139. Draft Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson 1


  • Recommended FY68–72 Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces (U)

I have reviewed our Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces for FY68–72 in preparation for the FY68 budget. The tables on pp. 34 summarize our force goals. Detailed force and financial summaries are displayed in the tables attached to this Memorandum.2 I recommend that we:

[Page 420]
Complete development of and deploy a MIRVed Poseidon, for $700 million in FY 68, and $3.2 billion in FY68–72. Plan on a total force of 31 Poseidon submarines.
Maintain 1000 Minuteman missiles, consisting by FY72 of 600 Minuteman IIs and 400 IIIs, the latter with improved third stages and Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs), for $1.1 billion in FY68, $3.6 billion in FY68–72.
Procure area penetration aids for all Minuteman and terminal penetration aids for Minuteman III, at an FY68 cost of $125 million and a total of $214 million in FY68–72. Complete development of Polaris penetration aids and preserve a 1970 Operational Availability Date (OAD), but disapprove a JCS recommendation for procurement in FY68 of penetration aids for Polaris. Procurement of these would cost $333 million in FY68–72.
Adopt a 1.5 crew-to-aircraft ratio and a 43% alert rate for the strategic bomber force instead of continuation of JCS recommended 1.8 crew ratio and 53% alert rate; approve in principle a bomber dispersal plan and an increase in the number of B–52s per base to 30 where savings will result. The estimated savings are $100–200 million in FY68, and about $1 billion in FY68–72.

[Here follow 2 pages of tables.]

I. The General Nuclear War Problem

Our strategic nuclear forces should deter attack on the U.S. and its Allies and, if deterrence fails, limit damage to our society and those of our Allies. To accomplish these objectives, we design our forces around two related concepts; Assured Destruction—that is, the clear and unmistakable ability to destroy the societies of the USSR and/or the Chinese People’s Republic (CPR) even after a surprise attack; and Damage Limiting, which entails the ability to reduce by both offensive and defensive means the damage an enemy can inflict on the U.S. and its Allies.

Deterrence must work over a range of situations. It must prevent not only a massive surprise attack, but also Soviet escalation to general nuclear war from local war. The Assured Destruction capability is designed to deter a potential aggressor, even in crisis situations when the alternatives to initiating nuclear war might otherwise lead him to go to war.

The Soviets seem to view our forces, as we do theirs, as a potential first strike threat. The recent deployment of the new, relatively small SS–11 ICBM in hardened and dispersed silos and Soviet interest in small and mobile missile technology reflect their concern to protect their [Page 421] strategic offensive forces against a U.S. first strike. Our force structure planning should take account of the interactions implied by their interest in having a protected retaliatory force.

Three broadly different posture alternatives are available. First, we could seek only an Assured Destruction capability (although we would in any case achieve a substantial Damage-Limiting capability in the process of building an Assured Destruction capability). Second, we might add a light Damage Limiting increment that would give some protection against probable types of Soviet attacks, and more complete protection against small attacks that the CPR may be able to mount in the 1970s. Third, we might try to add a major Damage Limiting capability to keep U.S. fatalities very low against the heaviest possible Soviet attack, and regardless of Soviet force structure responses.

Plainly, we must and will maintain whatever forces are needed to meet the Assured Destruction objective, while keeping flexibility to meet unpredictable changes in the threat. Under the second option, we would choose Damage Limiting programs that insure against the failure of deterrence under many, but not all, circumstances. The third alternative is certain to be very expensive. Moreover, because its rigid objective is probably infeasible, I reject this option.

Relative U.S.-USSR Strategic Capabilities. The table on the following page compares estimated Soviet strategic offensive forces with those of forces the U.S. programmed for the same years.

[Page 422]

U.S. vs Soviet Strategic Nuclear Forcesa

1966 1968 1971
Soft Launchers 0 142–146 0 135–145 0 10–100
Hard Launchers 934 168–218 1054 465–550 1045 630–900
Mobile 0 0 0 0 0 20–0
TOTAL 934 310–364 1054 600–695 1045 660–1000
Soft Launchers 0 574 0 546 0 286–300
Hard Launchers 0 135 0 135 0 185–265
Mobile 0 0 0 0–24 0 75–150
TOTAL 0 709 0 681–705 0 546–715
SLBM Inventory Launchers 512 121–136 656 121–148 656 127–244
Bombers and Tankersc
Heavy 600 150–165 510 130–155 255 100–130
Medium 80 515–675 76 370–500 210 245–410
Tankers 620 180–205 620 155–205 620 90–165
TOTAL 1300 845–1045 1206 655–860 1085 435–705

The Soviets are building at least two types of single silo launch sites, a large one that we expect to hold the large payload (9,000–12,500 pound) storable liquid fueled SS–9 ICBM system, operational in limited numbers in 1966, and a small one probably intended for the SS–11, a small payload (1,000–2,000 pound) storable liquid fueled missile, also operational in 1966.

The Soviets have recently increased the rate of deployment of the SS–11 missile launchers to a level about 20 percent above their previous maximum. As a result I estimate that they will have between 600 and 700 operational launchers in FY68 instead of the 514–582 estimated in NIE 11–8–65, with the increase consisting of SS–11 missiles.

We have not yet observed any evidence of Soviet Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) programs, of Soviet penetration [Page 423] aid developments, or of the re-entry technology required for highly accurate missiles. We might not see such programs, however, until about three years before their deployment in significant force.

In addition to the offensive forces shown, two relatively large-scale Soviet defensive programs appear to be underway: a probable long range anti-ICBM system around Moscow (16–32 launchers expected to be operational in 1967 or 1968); and a system near Leningrad and across European USSR intended for either ballistic missile defenses, long range surface-to-air bomber defenses, or some combination of the two. Soviet defense priorities, as we assess them, suggest a probable emphasis on ABM. As an ABM, however, the technology of the Leningrad system appears to be much closer to some of the early systems considered by the U.S. than to Nike-X, except perhaps for the use of an X-ray kill warhead above the atmosphere.

The CPR Nuclear Threat. The earliest operational Chinese ICBM is not likely to appear till the mid-1970s. Given the utility to the CPR of being able to threaten her neighbors and U.S. Far Eastern bases, it seems likely that the Chinese would try first to develop and deploy an MRBM. Indeed, some test firings of medium range missiles have been in progress over the past several years.

The CPR also has one “G” class ballistic missile submarine for which a missile could be available in 1967–69, useful primarily as a threat to Asian targets. As a force to retaliate for a U.S. strike against the CPR, however, this system is vulnerable, since the “G” class boat’s long transit time to the U.S. (40–45 days) would allow our Naval forces to destroy the submarine (or submarines) in the early 1970s.

The CPR also has almost 300 bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons against Asian targets. But only 15 of these have ranges beyond 600 miles, and the Chinese are unlikely to undertake the costly development of a long range bomber to attack CONUS.

II. Adequacy of the Programmed Offensive Forces for Assured Destruction

Against the Expected Threat. Our Assured Destruction capabilities based on programs approved last year or on the programs I am now recommending can survive a well-coordinated Soviet surprise attack, even if the Soviets used all their available strategic offensive forces against our own.

U.S. Weapons Surviving Soviet First Strike, 1972a

[table (5 columns and 6 rows) not declassified]

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As shown, even after a Soviet first strike, some [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] U.S. weapons could be reliably launched against the USSR by either the programmed or recommended forces. [3 lines of source text not declassified] An even higher percentage of the recommended forces would reach their targets. The table below shows the damage potential of various sizes of U.S. retaliatory attacks in the absence of strong defenses.

[table (6 columns and 7 rows) not declassified]

I believe that a clear and unmistakable ability to inflict [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] will deter a deliberate Soviet attack on the U.S. or its Allies. Even if the Leningrad associated sites are an effective ballistic missile defense, or if the Moscow defense were deployed at other cities as well, the programmed U.S. missile force, with the penetration aid program of this and prior years, could inflict more than [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

Although the Chinese may attain the capability to threaten U.S. bases and Asian neighbors, the CPR nuclear forces, between now and 1972, will not pose a threat either to U.S. retaliatory capability or to the viability of our society. [5–1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

[1 paragraph (7 lines of source text) not declassified]

Against Higher-Than-Expected Threats. We cannot now be sure that the USSR would not deploy a very heavy ABM in the FY68–72 time period. The effect of adding a very extensive Soviet ABM (which would cost them the equivalent of $25 billion over a five year period) is summarized below:

FY69 FY70 FY71 FY72
Soviet ABM
Reliable Area Interceptors 750 1350 1875 2475
Reliable Terminal Interceptors 675 975 1425 1800
[1 row not declassified]

This illustration shows that the procurement of Poseidon to replace Polaris A–3 on 31 existing SSBNs and of Minuteman penetration aids, maintains our Assured Destruction capability at an adequate level. I am recommending that we include both these measures in the missile force.

Against a strong Soviet missile force with accurate MIRV but in the absence of an extensive ABM the Assured Destruction capability of the recommended missile force would not fall [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. In fact, our sea-based forces alone could inflict [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] fatalities against such a Soviet threat.

[Page 425]

The worst case against which we should hedge now—unlikely, but possible in the early 1970’s—is one in which the Soviets deployed SS–9s with accurate MIRV as well as an extensive ABM defense. The Soviet ABM could destroy our offensive re-entry vehicles directly, and also force us to equip missiles with penetration aids at the expense of lethal payload. The Soviets might also defend preferentially, protecting some targets with more interceptors than expected, thus complicating our targeting problem.

The Soviets might deploy MIRV on SS–9s as follows:

FY69 FY70 FY71 FY72 FY73
Number of SS–9s with MIRV 0 0 50 100 150

Each SS–9 is assumed to carry six MIRV with a yield of three megatons per re-entry vehicle, with a CEP of 2,000 feet in FY 1971 and 1,500 feet thereafter. Against the combined threat with both the heavy ABM deployment and MIRV on SS–9s, penetration aids for Poseidon would be desirable, and the recommended force therefore would include 31 SSBNs converted to Poseidon, penetration aids for both Minuteman and Poseidon, as well as the other elements of the previously approved missile force. If the Soviets do not employ sophisticated tactics such as preferential defense, the Soviet fatalities that could be inflicted by the recommended missile force against the combined threat are as follows:

FY69 FY70 FY71 FY72 FY73
Soviet Fatalities [numbers not declassified]

More extreme threats are possible, but they are so unlikely, given the state of Soviet technology and the high cost to the USSR of mounting such forces, that they do not warrant taking now any actions in addition to those included in the recommended U.S. force. I will, however, discuss below some available hedging actions for our missile force. In any case, even against the most extreme threat, the combined Assured Destruction capability of the Recommended U.S. Missile Force and the Programmed Bomber Force is clearly adequate, and would amount to [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] fatalities.

Our offensive forces make it dangerous and expensive for the Soviets to move in the direction of extreme threats to our Assured Destruction capability. The incremental 5 year cost to the USSR of the depicted SS–9 and ABM threats would be about $30 billion, approximately a forty percent increase in the present Soviet expenditure rate on strategic forces. Yet, evaluating the Soviet Assured Destruction capability with extreme conservatism, as a Soviet planner might do, this Soviet missile force with only these SS–9s, SLBMs, and the older missiles would inflict less than 10% [Page 426] fatalities on the U.S. after a pre-emptive strike by programmed U.S. forces. If this was an unsatisfactory Assured Destruction capability for the Soviets and they reoriented their planning at the same budget level to maintain Assured Destruction, they would have to reduce their spending on ABM or MIRV. The USSR would have to reduce vulnerability to the very accurate programmed U.S. offensive forces, by expensive measures such as further dispersal of missile payload (the SS–11 deployment appears to be the beginning of this), by hard point defenses (HPD), or by adoption of mobile missile basing schemes thereby reducing the total Soviet missile payload that would otherwise be available at a given budget level. The reduction in Soviet missile payload, in turn would make the U.S. Assured Destruction task less expensive or, alternatively, the development of higher-than-expected threats even less likely.

Of course, the Soviets could increase their strategic budget. But we can, in planning our forces, foreclose any seemingly “easy” and cheap paths to their achievement of a satisfactory Assured Destruction capability and a satisfactory Damage Limiting capability at the same time.

III. Missile Hedges Against a Soviet MIRV-ABM Threat

If it became desirable to supplement our planned strategic offensive forces, we could either (1) add hard, fixed-based missiles—such as an undefended advanced ICBM—with relatively low cost per unit of alert payload in inventory, but high cost per unit of payload surviving an attack; or (2) add sea-or land-based mobile systems or fixed-site missiles with hard point defense, all of which have relatively high costs per unit of alert payload in inventory, but are relatively insensitive to the Soviet offensive threat.

This distinction is illustrated in the following table with Minuteman representing the first class of offensive forces and Polaris representing the second class. In this calculation the low Soviet attack inflicts [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on U.S. land-based forces and the high attack inflicts [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

Ten-Year Costs Per Thousand Pounds of Payload (Millions of Dollars)

Reliable and Surviving
In The Inventory On Alert &Reliable Low Soviet Attack High Soviet Attack
Minuteman II 4.5 6.2 6.9 62.0
Polaris A–3 14.2 31.8 31.8 31.8
[Page 427]

Future candidate systems in these two classes are considered below:

1. Poseidon: To hedge against an extreme threat, we could consider construction of new Poseidon submarines in addition to the recommended conversion of Polaris A–3 to Poseidon submarines. If long lead time items were switched from the SSN to the SSBN programs in FY67, 10 new Poseidon submarines could be constructed and delivered, 5 each in FY71 and FY72, at $1.46 billion in FY68 and $2.4 billion in FY68–72.

2. Advanced ICBM: We are studying new ICBMs of increased payload, and basing schemes to protect the missiles against the MIRV threat. These studies are essential to determining the utility of an advanced ICBM as part of the force mix. Definitive results are not expected in time for the FY68 budget. A decision on an Advanced ICBM before completion of these studies would be premature. By end FY73, 50 Advanced ICBMs could be available in a mobile or defended configuration. Undefended, they would cost $1.8 billion to develop and $15 million per missile to deploy. Annual operating costs for 300 missiles would be about $600 thousand per missile, including flight testing. Ten year costs of a mobile or defended ICBM might be approximately twice as high.

3. Interim Minuteman Defense: Although hard point ballistic missile defenses would be intended for an advanced ICBM, they could be deployed as an interim measure in FY71 or FY72 to protect Minuteman, if the extreme Soviet threat appeared. For $240 million in FY67–68 Nike-X production funds, Minuteman could be defended on the following schedule:

FY71 FY72 FY73
Minuteman Squadrons with Terminal Defense 0 6 6
Sprint Interceptors 0 1000 2000
Zeus Interceptors 0 500 500

The FY68–72 costs of this defense would be approximately $5.3 billion, and the defenses could also be useful for an Advanced ICBM.

4. Ballistic Missile Ships (BMS): A ballistic missile ship was studied extensively in connection with various proposals for an Allied Nuclear Force. Built to look like a merchant vessel, such a ship would rely on deception, speed, or fleet defense for protection. The vulnerability of this system is, of course, the principal reservation. Long lead time funding of some $86 million would maintain the option of procuring ballistic missile ships on the same schedule as that of new Poseidon submarines. If the option were exercised, FY68–72 costs would be $1.4 billion [Page 428] for 10 ships and $2.6 billion for 20. About $0.8 billion of the $2.6 billion is for Poseidon missiles, which could be later used in Poseidon submarines.

I believe that it is not necessary to commit ourselves now to exercising our options on any of these hedges.

IV. The Manned Bomber Force

Strategic bombers might be called on in the future to support conventional operations on a much wider scale than they are doing now in Southeast Asia. Moreover, the Assured Destruction capability of our strategic missile force will almost certainly deter the Soviets from a surprise attack except, perhaps, in an extreme crisis or an escalating war. In these cases we would have received sufficient warning to put the strategic bomber force on high alert. Our bombers should therefore be primarily designed for such situations, rather than for all-out immediate use in spasm nuclear exchanges.

Our bomber threat appears to affect enemy force planning, just as do our missiles. Bombers force the enemy to divert resources to defend against aircraft as well as against ICBMs. In this role, they have their chief advantage; and in this role, they are not needed in large numbers.

Reductions in manned aircraft operating expenses would be consistent with this view of the bombers role. A 43% alert rate, down from 53%, will be sustainable with the recommended new 1.5 crew ratio. At this rate, our alert bombers could deliver more than [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] against the present Soviet defenses, and [number not declassified] against the projected, improved FY71 defenses. Location in the interior of the U.S. is desirable, where suitable bases exist, to protect against a future sea-launched missile threat. In general, B–52s should have the ability to disperse in times of crisis and be distributed with 30 per home base where economies will result. By May 1967, the Air Force will have completed a basing study to determine the feasibility of these basing concepts.

Such operating adjustments will provide a large enough surviving bomber fleet to meet the entire Assured Destruction payload requirement, will save $200–400 million annually, and will probably make it possible to extend the B–52 G/H’s life to FY77 without additional modification. This will allow an added margin of safety in the timing of some of our strategic missile development and procurement decisions.

V. Strategic Forces and Damage Limiting

Damage Limiting forces, unlike those for Assured Destruction, cannot and need not work with near perfection under all conditions, but should insure against the most probable risks, including those posed by [Page 429] the growth of Chinese nuclear forces. The implications of Soviet reactions for our own choices of Damage Limiting forces must also be taken into account.

Evaluation of Damage Limiting Programs Against the Soviet Threat. So long as we have secure retaliatory forces, any kind of nuclear war with the Soviets is unlikely. Of the ways in which one might start, a surprise attack in normal times is especially unlikely; it would be much more likely to arise from a crisis or limited war, giving both sides enough strategic warning to increase their alert status. The Soviets might start a nuclear war for fear of a pre-emptive strike by the U.S., as part of a massive attack on Western Europe, or to prevent the loss of a limited war. In each case, the Soviets could be expected to try to preserve as much as possible of Soviet society and military power. Thus, they might devote a large part of their strategic offensive forces to reducing the U.S. offensive threat.

The Damage Limiting ability of various U.S. postures will be evaluated under the following kinds of wars:

[3 paragraphs (20 lines of source text) not declassified]

The Soviet damage potential against the U.S. in three kinds of war is depicted, with the Soviet threat in 1976 assumed to consist of 1000 ICBMs, 211 submarine launched missiles, and 46 heavy bombers.

United States Fatalities
Withheld Urban Attack
Comb. Military-Urban Attack By USSR Collateral Fatalities Remaining Urb. Damage Potent. U.S.Pre-emptive Strike
U.S. Approved Program 30–45% 3–5% 18–19% 28%
U.S. Approved Program Extended 22–45% 2–4% 20% 24%

Two factors tend to decrease U.S. fatalities between 1971 and 1976: the gradual decline in the Soviet bomber threat, and improved U.S. counter-military capabilities. Without programmed U.S. defenses, however, the USSR’s damage potential could be over 100 million (50%) U.S. fatalities in a mixed Soviet attack.

We have also analyzed the effects if the U.S. initiated either of two balanced Damage Limiting programs, assuming at this point that we evoked no response from the USSR except for provision of penetration aids for projected Soviet missiles. (Soviet responses are considered below.) Posture A includes Nike-X with a limited Sprint defense at 25 [Page 430] cities, an improved bomber defense using F–111s, and expanded civil defense. Posture B includes a heavy Sprint defense of 52 cities. Incremental expenditures for these postures, measured from the Approved Program as a base, are shown in the following table.

Costs of Alternative Defense Postures (In $ Billions)
Approved Program Damage Limiting Increment Over Approved Programs
Level-Off Posture A Posture B
Dev+Inv Annual Dev+Inv Annual Dev+Inv Annual
Civil Defense 0.8 0.1 0.8 0.0 0.8 0.0
Nike-X 1.4 0.0 8.0 0.3 17.5 0.6
Air Defense 0.4 1.3 1.5 -0.3 1.5 -0.3
TOTAL 2.6 1.4 10.3 0.0 19.8 0.3

The table below compares the performance of the Approved Program with that of Postures A and B.

[table (5 columns and 4 rows) not declassified]

[9–1/2 lines of source text not declassified] These figures underscore the importance of improved civil defense.

The light defenses of Posture A are sensitive to large Soviet counter-urban attacks, although they keep the damage level below that of the Approved Program. The heavier and much more costly Posture B defense is less sensitive to the size of the counter-urban attack.

Interaction of U.S. and USSR Force Planning. U.S. offensive forces, apparently viewed by the Soviets as a potential first strike capability, exert pressure on the Soviets to protect their retaliatory forces. The effect of U.S. defensive measures—say, an ABM—on the Soviets, almost surely, would be to move them to offset the U.S. defense by expanding their offensive force. Our encouraging prospects in the development of U.S. anti-submarine defenses, however, may discourage major Soviet reliance on SLBMs. The long term viability of these measures, and their implications for ASW force requirements are under study.

The following table shows the results if the Soviets choose to restore their Assured Destruction capability against U.S. Damage Limiting Postures A and B; because of the prospect of U.S. ASW defenses, possible Soviet land-based responses are assumed. The assumed response to Posture A is procurement of 200 large mobile missiles at a 10 year cost of about $10 billion; to Posture B, 650 missiles at a cost of about $20 billion. Results of equal expenditures on defended missiles would be similar.

[table (5 columns and 6 rows) not declassified]

[Page 431]

Addition by the Soviets of relatively invulnerable missiles as a Soviet response to a U.S. Damage Limiting program can regain their retaliatory potential against a U.S. first strike without fully restoring Soviet first strike potential against the U.S.

[2 paragraphs (21 lines of source text) not declassified]

VI. Specific Recommendations on Major Force-Oriented Issues

Poseidon Deployment. Because Poseidon is so much more effective per dollar than Polaris A–3 and because Poseidon provides insurance against a higher-than-expected Soviet threat, I believe that we should ultimately convert 31 Polaris submarines to Poseidon. A fleet of 31 Poseidon boats will have [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] of a fleet of 41 Polaris A–3 boats. Only an unexpectedly serious Soviet ASW threat that would require dispersal of our forces on a larger number of SSBNs could change this. Disposition of the last 10 submarines, which cannot economically be converted to Poseidon, need not be decided now. We are studying the option to deploy new Poseidon submarines after the last conversion of the 31 now planned.

We plan on an operational availability date (OAD) in 1970 for the Poseidon missile carrying Mark-3 re-entry systems. Possible Mark-3/Mark-17 mixes will be re-evaluated yearly as new estimates of the Soviet ABM are made and a capability to deploy a Mk-17 MIRV on Poseidon will be preserved. The total FY68 cost of the Poseidon program is $700 million; and the FY68–72 R&D, investment, and operating costs are $3.2 million.

[1 paragraph (2–1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

Last year I commented on some of the command and control vulnerabilities of the FBM force. The Navy has generated a number of alternative solutions to these problems on which recommendations will be made this October.

Minuteman. I have approved the inclusion in the Minuteman III program of an improved [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] at an additional FY67–72 cost of $400 million. When Minuteman III becomes operational, there will already be 600 Minuteman IIs in the force. Rather than replace these with Minuteman IIIs prior to the completion of the Force Modernization Program in early 1972, we will take as a tentative planning objective a force consisting of 600 Minuteman II and 400 Minuteman III, with additional Minuteman III to be procured thereafter as replacements.

Since all 600 Minuteman IIs will be available by July 1969, I am also recommending a rate of 40 [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]Mark-17s per month, which will lead to the complete replacement of all Mark-LLAs by end FY70. [3–1/2 lines of source text not declassified] By [Page 432] buying full complements of warheads [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] in FY68, we will maintain the flexibility to tailor Minuteman III re-entry packages to Soviet defenses and target systems. In succeeding years we will adjust production quantities to avoid having excess reentry systems.

[1–1/2 lines of source text not declassified] I am also approving development of a [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] at an FY68 cost of $25.6 million and an FY68–72 development cost of $288 million to achieve an IOC by end FY71.

Titan. As newer missiles phase into the force, Titan II will lose its unique advantages, while remaining expensive to operate. The end FY66 Titan II inventory can support a follow-on test (FOT) program of 6 launches per year without cutting into the operational force until the end of FY70, at which time it would be necessary to phase down approximately one squadron per year. I recommend that the $18 million in FY67 funds for 6 new Titans not be released.

Penetration Aids. The effectiveness of penetration aids against Soviet ABM defenses is now under review. Pending completion of that review, I recommend that production of the penetration aids for the Minuteman programs be approved.

[1 paragraph (8–1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

The FY68 cost of the Minuteman penetration aid program is $91 million, with a total cost of $230 million in FY68–72. Disapproval of deployment of the Polaris A–3 penetration aids will save $218 million in FY68, and a total of $333 million in FY68–72.

Missile Flight Test Programs. We have re-examined our ballistic missile flight test programs, with two major conclusions:

  • —The number of missiles in operational flight tests (OT) should be determined on the basis of the number of significantly different missile configurations, rather than as a fixed percentage of the total force.
  • FOTs should be viewed as providing data for updating our estimates.

These considerations suggest an optimum OT rate of approximately 40 launches per configuration, and an FOT rate of 20 per configuration per year, yielding savings of approximately $330 million during FY66–71, without appreciable loss to our knowledge of systems effectiveness, compared with the previously approved program.

Strategic Bomber Forces. A study of B–52G/H lifetime based on the recommended lower crew ratio and considering possible modifications, suggests that our B–52s will be able to operate effectively even after 1975 against projected or even better-than-expected Soviet air defenses. Therefore, I do not believe that an AMSA development program must [Page 433] meet an initial operational capability date of FY74, even if it is decided that the B–52 should be followed by an AMSA. However, as an insurance program, I have started concept formulation to define and evaluate a suitable bomber design.

I recommend that 3 squadrons of Hound-Dog A be retired in FY67, and the remaining 6 squadrons in FY68; Hound-Dog B should be retained pending the outcome of the Terrain Matching Guidance (TERCOM) development program. This program will maintain enough Hound-Dogs for their SIOP mission, primarily to attack area bomber defenses and lower-priority airfields, while resulting in FY67–71 savings of approximately $30 million.

[1 paragraph (5–1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

Nike-X Deployment. The following table shows the components entering the Nike-X defenses of Postures A and B, and their cost, in addition to the $1.4 billion of RDT&E funds to be spent:

Limited Defense Posture Heavy Defense
No. of Units $ Billions No. of Units $ Billions
TACMAR Radars 7 $1.7 3 $1.0
MAR Radars 0 0 8 2
VHF Radars 6 .3 6 .3
Missile Site Radars 26 3.4 40 7.9
DM–15–X2 Interceptors 1200 1.1 1200 1.1
Sprint Interceptors 1100 .7 7300 3.1
Total Investment Cost $7.2 $15.6
FY67–76 Operating Cost $1.0 $ 1.8
AEC Costs $ .7 $ 2.0

[2 paragraphs (12 lines of source text) not declassified]

In view of the uncertainty of Soviet targeting and force structure response, and given the substantial cost and relative ineffectiveness of either Posture A or Posture B, I disapprove the JCS recommendation to deploy Nike-X for a FY72 IOC.

Deployment of a New Manned Interceptor. The Soviets would probably use their bombers primarily in attacks on urban areas rather than on time-urgent military targets, since the time to reach target is so much longer for bombers than for ballistic missiles. Therefore, air defense is an important component of a Damage Limiting posture. The F–12 and F–111 interceptors, equipped with the improved ASG–18/AIM–47 fire control and missile systems, and used with an effective Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), would be better than the present force in operating from degraded bases, countering concentrated bomber attacks, operating independently of a vulnerable fixed [Page 434] ground environment, and dealing with bombers attacking at low-altitude or carrying air-to-surface missiles.

With strategic warning we estimate that 32 UE F–12s or 48 UE stretched F–111As could achieve the same number kills before weapons release as the current force which has a 10 year cost of $3.0 billion. The 10 year systems cost for the 32 UE F–12 force have increased from the previously estimated $1.9 billion to $2.9 billion. Estimates for the F–111 force remain at $1.5 billion. The F–111 force therefore appears substantially more efficient than the F–12s against the currently projected threat. Supplementary calculations indicate that it is comparable in efficiency to the F–12 force against possible future threats.

The 48 UE F–111 force would operate from 4 main bases, 8 dispersal bases and 30 recovery/recycle bases. Sixteen combat support aircraft, that would be flushed with the interceptors, would carry missiles, ground support equipment, spares, and personnel to support the F–111 turn-around at the recycle bases. With 42 AWACS aircraft to provide airborne control, we could reduce the present ground environment, retaining only enough radars and BUIC centers for peacetime control.

The investment costs for this force include $676 million for the F–111 and $790 million for AWACS. Since the modernized force would ultimately have operating costs about $250 million per year lower than the present posture, the additional investment costs would be recouped by FY78.

Given the advantage of the F–111 interceptors—an aircraft already in long term production—and in the absence of a decision to deploy Nike-X, the decision to modernize our air defense structure can be deferred for one year.

The F–12 development program will be reoriented in FY 67 and FY 68 to include further design studies for the F–111 interceptor, cost studies, and adaptation of the Navy AWG–9 fire control system for ADC use, using the YF–12 as a test bed. The AWACS development program which supports both tactical and CONUS defense missions, will be continued as a high priority effort.

SAM–D. We have a new surface-to-air missile system (SAM-D), in Advanced Development oriented primarily toward Field Army air defense and Fleet air defense but with potential application to CONUS defense. These efforts will define a building block approach to the system, and reduce costs. At this stage of development, a deployment decision would be premature. We are also examining the utility of Nike-X in a surface-to-air role. Preliminary results are encouraging.

Civil Defense. The Damage Limiting Postures A and B include an expanded Civil Defense Program with dual purpose shelters in new non-federal public and private construction in addition to the shelters [Page 435] resulting from the present shelter survey and stocking program, but no special purpose shelter construction. The table shown below summarizes the protection offered by this program and compares it with the Approved Program, considering the location of shelters and limits on the movement of population.

The Approved Program extended to 1976 would cost $1.5 billion. Last year we proposed a one year, $10 million experimental program to evaluate shelter development in new construction. This program would give us information on the feasibility of incorporating dual purpose shelters in new construction, and on the necessary incentive schemes to stimulate shelter development. Although this proposal was not approved by the Congress, continued study indicates that such a program would provide for an efficient, controlled Expanded Civil Defense Program over time by incorporating shelters in new public construction and that this expansion can be matched to the deficits that will remain after conclusion of the shelter survey program. It is presently estimated that for $800 million we could add 50 million useful spaces, and save an additional 3 to 4% of our population over the approved program. An additional $1 billion spent on special purpose shelter construction, to meet the residual deficit, would save less than one percent of the population, and would not be warranted.

Approved Program Expanded Program
Number of Shelter Spaces In Millions Percent of Population With Protection Factor of 40 or morea Number of Shelter Spaces In Millions Percent of Population With Protection Factor of 40 or morea
1966 140 35% N.A. N.A.
1971 230 64% 240 70%
1976 280 67% 330 88%

Accordingly, I am recommending $186.3 million for the FY68 Civil Defense program to include $10 million for an experimental shelter development program. Pending completion of the experiment, I am including a nominal $25 million for shelter development in FY69. The further development of this program will depend on the results of this experimental program.

[1 paragraph (17 lines of source text) not declassified]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Department of Defense, FY 68–72 Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces, Box 18. Top Secret.
  2. Neither the tables on pp. 34 nor the attached tables is printed.
  3. From National Intelligence Projections for Planning (NIPP), except for the number of hardened ICBM launchers. Recent ICBM deployment rates lead to the figures in this table, rather than the NIPP projections of 514–582 ICBMs for mid-1968, and 499–844 for mid-1971.
  4. Excludes test range launchers, having some operational capability, of which the Soviets are estimated to have 47 in mid-1966, 49–50 in mid-1968, and 60–65 in mid-1971.
  5. We estimate that the Soviets could send somewhat over 100 heavy bombers and no medium bombers over the continental United States on two-way missions. U.S. medium bombers are FB–111s in 1971, with range and payload markedly greater than those of the Soviet medium bombers.
  6. The RV mix for Poseidon in the 1972 recommended forces need not be decided now. In the above table, based on the expected threat, a mix of [8–1/2 lines of source text not declassified].
  7. The protection factor is the factor by which the outside radiation dose is reduced by the shelter.
  8. The protection factor is the factor by which the outside radiation dose is reduced by the shelter.