National Defense:

Triad Hearing Follow-up

PEMD-93-28R: Published: Aug 6, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO responded to questions concerning the U.S. strategic nuclear triad. GAO found that: (1) the B-2 program involves the greatest number of unknowns for any weapon system and presents the highest level of cost uncertainty; (2) the Air Force could not justify the Minuteman III modernization program because of the program's high cost, extensive testing needs, and future modifications; (3) the estimated costs for the Minuteman III is $23 billion and $58 billion for the Ohio/D-5 force; (4) the D-5 missile with Mark 5 warheads would be considerably more effective in neutralizing hard targets than the Minuteman III; and (5) the number of U.S. silos surviving a nuclear attack would increase if fratricide and test unrealism were taken into account.

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