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If the near-term program has a degree of urgency within the Defense Department, each of these factors should have been finalized prior to submitting a request to Congress.
The committee is going to carefully examine this request to determine:
(1) the status of long-term basing decisions for the MX missiles;
(2) the justification for proceeding with the near-term plan at this preliminary stage;
(3) whether near-term basing plans reflect final site decisions and firm cost estimates and analysis of hardening options;
(4) how the various plans being proposed relate to the SALT I interim agreement and the proposed SALT II treaty; and
(5) whether the MX near-term program planning is coordinated with ballistic missile defense programs and other elements of the President's proposed strategic program modernization.
Our primary witness today is the Hon. Richard D. DeLauer, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Development. Dr. DeLauer, if you prefer, you may summarize your statement and the full text will be included in the record.
Dr. DeLauer is a very, very valuable member of our Defense effort.
Doctor, we would ask that you proceed. You might like to identify your associates who are with you.
Dr. DELAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am most happy to be here to talk over the MX portion of the President's strategic modernization program. I have with me T. K. Jones, who is my Deputy for Strategic Systems, Major General Wright from Headquarters Air Force, and Brigadier General Jim McCarthy, Special Assistant for MX.
I think you know all these gentlemen.
Mr. GINN. I know them very well. In fact I see General Wright more than I do my wife.
Dr. DELAUER. Lately I can make the same statement about Mrs. Smith.
We are going to have a division of labor here, Mr. Chairman. I am going to answer questions of policy and things about the overall integration of the strategic program. General McCarthy will handle the MX questions and the detailed aspects of construction, Milcon particularly, we will leave to General Wright.
Mr. GINN. Thank you.
Dr. DELAUER. I may even ahead of time have to say, we will have to provide it for the record.
Mr. GINN. If necessary, we will get our members here and vote to · close, if we determine that is necessary.
Dr. DELAUER. Fine.
STATEMENT OF DR. DELAUER
You opened the proceedings with the most important point. This is the President's program. The strategic modernization program is a coherent program, and MX is one element of it. That program was conceived with the basic objective of providing a credible deterrent for this country in the strategic arms area. Everything we are
doing is directed such that, when we are finished with this coherent ten-year program, we will have redressed the deficiencies this country now faces in the strategic area and will have in place a survivable, enduring credible structure.
That is our aim and our goal.
The Soviets, notwithstanding all the negotiations for limitations, have proceeded and have continued their ICBM development all through the decade of the seventies. They have deployed three new ICBMs during that period of time and we have evidence from intelligence information that they are not slowing down in the eighties.
In contrast to that, we have really only had one major effort in the land-based ICBM arena and that has been our MX program. It is a program that is vitally needed by the country.
The missile development program has been highly successful and we have our first R&D launch scheduled for the beginning of next year. The missile is on schedule and doing very well.
What we have to do is keep the deployment options open to us in conjunction with the way we are doing the missile development program.
Last year, when I appeared before you, we had some discussions in regard to the basing mode for the MX and that is what we are here to talk to you about today.
The President had the basing mode for MX re-examined last year. The result was a report by the Townes Committee, which was under the chairmanship of a Nobel laureate, Charles Townes, from California.
Notwithstanding a lot of comment with regard to the Townes Committee deliberations, it was clear from their report that the unanimous decision was, in light of the capability of the Soviets to fractionate their warheads-in other words, more warheads for the same missile payload—that the basing concept of multiple protection shelters was not survivable, and they did not recommend that we proceed with it.
The President accepted that recommendation, and his program included the options of alternate basing schemes.
These alternate basing schemes include a deep underground basing concept, defense of MX in perhaps super-hardened deceptively-based elements, and the possibility of having MX airborne in a continuous patrol aircraft.
All these were suggestions by the Townes Committee as areas of investigation, and the program contains them.
In addition, because of the time scale involved, the President also said that he was going to deploy the first 40 MX missiles as they came off the production line on a temporary basis in existing ICBM silos, modified as appropriate.
At the time we talked about this deployment with you last year, there were options of initially deploying MX in Titan II silos or in existing Minuteman silos.
When we talked about it in detail with you last year, I laid on some of the criteria that we had to examine between the time we talked to this subcommittee last and before we came up with our final recommendations. These criteria had to do with whether or not we could indeed super-harden the silos because this was part of the recommendation, and that is one reason the Titan silos appeared to be attractive. For reasons of SALT limitation provisions, we wanted to not violate those and, too, we are deactivating the Titan IIs, and so they were looked at.
We had to be sure that they could be economically done and that they were really appropriate for the nature of the hardening we talked about, soil conditions, distance, separations, things like that that had to be done so that was one reason the Titans were involved.
We also talked about putting them in existing Minuteman sites.
However, when the Appropriations Act was enacted, the Congress put certain limitations on our particular plans in regard to deployment, and they had to do primarily with the question of super-hardness. We were given restrictions by the Congress such that we could not use any of the funds to deploy temporarily the MX in super-hardened sites. This limitation led us very shortly to the conclusion that that would preclude us using the Titan IIs, so we eliminated them in late December of last year, and that meant that now we were reduced to examining the thousand Minuteman silos replacements that now exist.
To do this, we looked at the next element of the program which was to do it in the most economical manner, and to try to do it with the most survivable manner in light of the restrictions on the temporary modifications to the Minuteman silos.
I might add a little point.
Congress did not preclude us from super-hardening the silos if indeed they were going to be part of the permanent solution, and, in turn, they said that we had to come back and give to the Congress a recommendation on what that the permanent solution was to be by 1 July of 1983. Those sets of criteria led us down a particular path, so we were now forced to select out of the 1,000 Minuteman holes, which ones would be most appropriate.
That process has been going on since the December time period, since the MX missile was designed to be compatible to a degree, a large degree with the Minuteman III silos that now are in place, that further reduced the number from 1,000 to 550. Of those, only 400 have sufficient depth. From that time on we have been examining these 400 from the basis of the most economical and the most survivable set of silos that would provide the basis for the recommendation of which ones should take the 40 MX missiles.
We are in the middle of that narrowing situation at the present time, and we are momentarily waiting for a decision on that, since this is the President's program. Since, indeed, he is involved in some of these decisions, the timetable is reasonably elastic in the short run.
Also, the fact is that we are required by the Environmental Protection Act to have it very properly organized and strategically restricted on what we can do, and we have been very careful to be sure we are doing this thing exactly as the statute requires, and, as a consequence, our announcement schedule has been somewhat delayed, so that is the broad area.
You are most interested in the interim basing plan, that is, the one that has the money right away. We propose $3.6 billion in fiscal year 1982 dollars over the five-year development of MX, which does not include the missiles, for near-term the deployment. We have $715 million in the fiscal year 1983 for basing RDT&E; $236 million in Milcon for fiscal year 1983.
REMARKS OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
FOR RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING
THE ICBM FORCE MODERNIZATION PLAN
DR. RICHARD DELAUER
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I welcome this
opportunity to appear before you today and discuss the Defense
Department's plan for ICBM modernization.
I believe that
implementation of this plan is vitally important to the future
security of our country.
While we have accomplished much analysis of candidate
locations, we have yet to complete detailed site investigations.
Several key cost trade-off studies are
now being accomplished
which will allow us to specify our facility requirements by the
late April timeframe.
Today, we will present an overview of the M-X program with
emphasis on program requirements and status.
once established, will enable you to better place MILCON require
ments in perspective once they have been firmed up and provided
for your approval.
The ICBM modernization plan is an important part of the
answer to Soviet initiatives that have created an imbalance
in strategic forces that seriously threatens our ability to
deter them from strategic coercion.
It is a vital part of a
coherent plan for strategic modernization that will go far
in redressing the strategic imbalance we now face. Between 1971-1980, the estimated cumulative dollar costs of Soviet
strategic force procurement ,exceeded that of the United States
They introduced three new ICBMs during the 1970's, and are
for the 1980's.