Russia has started research and development of rail-mobile missile systems, Moskovsky Komsomolets said with reference to unnamed sources in the missile industry.
“The new rail-mobile missile systems will not employ heavy missiles,” it said.
“They are to be armed with something lighter, which would fit in one railcar, like the Bulava, Topol-M, or best of all Yars, which can carry several warheads (design work done by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology has confirmed this possibility),” it said.
“Not only has research and development work on this system been started, but also sources for financing its creation have been determined,” the newspaper said.
The Russian Strategic Rocket Forces possessed rail-mobile missile systems before 2005. They looked like conventional trains comprising refrigerator, mail, and passenger railcars. Each of these trains included three launchers with Molodets solid fuel missiles, the necessary infrastructure, and a command center. Such missiles could be launched from any spot.
To track the movement of these trains, which easily escaped monitoring systems, the U.S. had to keep a constellation of 18 reconnaissance satellites in orbit, which cost it quite a lot, the newspaper says. However, the U.S. intelligence services never managed to identify a rail-mobile missile system during its patrolling mission, it said.
Therefore, as soon as the political situation provided for this, the U.S. first persuaded the Russian government to make sure that these trains not shuttle around the country but stay inactive, and so the U.S. could keep only 3-4 satellites to monitor them. Moreover, the U.S. later managed to persuade Russia to dispose of its rail-mobile missile systems.