TRESTLE Electromagnetic Pulse Simulator Program Should Be Reevaluated

PSAD-77-159: Published: Nov 4, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 1977.

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TRESTLE is a special Department of the Air Force facility now under construction originally designed to simulate threat-level, electromagnetic pulse stresses on large aircraft generated by a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon. Program costs have increased by l30 percent, or $34 million.

Because of technical problems, TRESTLE will not meet its original objective of being a threat-level simulator and, if completed as currently planned, could not provide test results to confirm that an aircraft can survive threat conditions and still meet its mission. Its use is further questionable because it will not be available for timely testing of prime candidate aircraft.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Due to the expected inadequate technical performance, the unreliability of extrapolation techniques to predict system survivability in the absence of threat-level testing, schedule delays, and the recent termination of the production portion of the B-1 strategic bomber program, the Secretary of Defense should withhold further expenditures of TRESTLE funds and make a cost and benefit study to determine how or if the program should continue. Congress should require the Secretary of Defense to justify continuation of the program.


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