September 26, 1997

FACT SHEET
FIRST AGREED STATEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1997, RELATING TO THE ABM TREATY

The First Agreed Statement is also referred to as the Agreed Statement relating to lower-velocity theater ballistic missile defense (TMD) systems. Under this Agreed Statement, lower-velocity TMD systems are systems with interceptor missiles whose maximum demonstrated velocities do not exceed, and have not exceeded, 3.0 kilometers/second.

Under the First Agreed Statement, land-based, sea-based, and air-based components of lower-velocity TMD systems (i.e., interceptor missiles, launchers, and radars) will be deemed compliant with the ABM Treaty, if:

  • During the testing of such TMD components or systems the ballistic target-missile during the flight-test does not exceed:

    • A velocity of 5.0 kilometers/second, or

    • A range of 3500 kilometers.

There are no other conditions. The applicable provision of the ABM Treaty, Article VI(a) prohibits giving non-ABM systems or their components the capabilities to counter strategic ballistic missiles or their elements in flight trajectory and prohibits testing them in an ABM mode. TMD systems satisfying the requirements of the First Agreed Statement are consistent with those Treaty obligations.

The First Agreed Statement does not constrain or prohibit these lower-velocity TMD systems from operating with an architecture that includes space-based cueing and external sensor support.

The U.S. compliance review process has independently determined that the core U.S. lower-velocity TMD programs (Patriot PAC-3, THAAD, and U.S. Navy Area Wide), as currently configured or designed, are fully compliant with the ABM Treaty. These programs are consistent with the provisions of the First Agreed Statement.

In addition, the agreement commits the Parties to implement on a reciprocal basis the transparency and confidence-building measures agreed upon in the separate, legally-binding Confidence-Building Measures Agreement (CBMA). The First Agreed Statement will enter into force simultaneously with the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS).