Status of the Air Force's Missile X Program

PSAD-78-35: Published: Mar 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1978.

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The Missile X (MX) system is an advanced, highly accurate, mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system the Air Force is developing. Its increased survivability, as compared to the fixed-in-place Minuteman system, is intended to be gained by having a number of possible missile launch points. The Air Force is considering buried trench and shelter basing concepts for deployment of MX.

Complete data may not be available to support an October 1978 MX full-scale development decision review. When concept validation was approved in 1976, the Air Force was asked to reduce the magnitude and uncertainty of cost for certain MX subsystems and to demonstrate technical feasibility. For several areas specified for examination, information will not be available until October 1978, and information on the cost of constructing the buried trench will not be complete until well after October. The results of these efforts must be evaluated to propose the most cost-effective design to meet operational requirements. Considering the cost magnitude and technical risks involved in the MX program, scheduling the full-scale development decision should be contingent on the availability of accurate and complete results of advanced development efforts.

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