185. Memorandum From the Chairman of the United States Intelligence Board (Colby) to the Chairman of the 40 Committee (Kissinger)1
- Intelligence Value of Project AZORIAN
1. The United States Intelligence Board has reviewed and updated its intelligence assessment of Project AZORIAN (attached). On the basis of this review, the Board concludes that there have been no significant developments since the last Board assessment which would detract from the unique intelligence value of this target.
2. Successful recovery and exploitation of the cryptographic materials expected to be on board would represent a major milestone for the U.S. [less than 1 line not declassified] effort against Soviet naval forces. [1½ lines not declassified]Acquisition of the nuclear warhead and the SS–N–5 missile system, together with related documents, would provide a much improved baseline for estimates of the current and future Soviet strategic threat. The Board also expects that recovered documents would provide important insights [1½ lines not declassified]
3. In its evaluation the Board assumed a successful mission. On this basis the Board continues to believe that recovery of the AZORIAN submarine would provide information [less than 1 line not declassified] on subjects of great importance to the national defense.