Russia Could Bring Back Nuclear Missile Trains, Report Says

December 6, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Nuclear missile trains that were used during the Soviet Union could be brought back in Russia, a report has said this week.

A source in the Russian military told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, which manufactures the Topol, Yars and Bulava missiles, is in the process of designing a missile launching train, according to the Moscow Times. 

The military source said, “While the decision to start manufacturing [missile trains] is still pending, the probability is high that it will happen.”

The person added that the trains could be deployed sometime around 2019 in the “best-case scenario.”

The stealthy Soviet-era trains, as The Times of London (via the Australian) reported on Monday, could travel more than 600 miles per day without being detected. They could also launch missiles from any part of their route. 

As of now, technical studies and cost estimates are being conducted, the reports said.

Last year, Lieutenant General Sergei Karakayev, who is the head of the Russian Strategic Missile Force, said President Vladimir Putin ordered that work should start on a design for a missile train

In 1987, the Soviet Union began deploying nuclear weapons in trains and they used RT-23 Molodets missiles. However, by 2005, Russia took them out of service.

Meanwhile, the US has announced a $11.7 billion plan to upgrade its nuclear weapons arsenal due to neglect. And starting from 2020, the US said it will spend as much as $1 trillion to modernize its nuclear weapons, including nuclear submarines and 100 bombers.

Russia did a test-fire of a new intercontinental ballistic missile from the Alexander Nevsky submarine in late November, according to the Washington Times. The launch of the Bulava missile was carried out in the Barents Sea located to the northeast of Finland.

The Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine also tested a Bulalva missile in the Barents Sea on Oct. 29.