Theater Nuclear Forces Modernization Efforts

PSAD-79-68: Published: Apr 20, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1979.

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Since 1974 the Department of Defense (DOD) has attempted to assess and strengthen the survivability of Theater Nuclear Forces in western Europe. To achieve greater flexibility in using Theater Nuclear Forces, DOD modernization efforts were directed towards improving survivability under nuclear or nonnuclear attack through greater mobility; upgrading command, control, and communications systems; improving the accuracy and timeliness of operational intelligence and target information; and modernizing aging armaments with new systems.

It was concluded that the Theater Nuclear Forces Modernization Program could have benefited by more centralized management and coordination by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In August 1978 a Theater Nuclear Forces Acquisition Planning Coordinating Group was established to manage and coordinate all efforts related to Theater Nuclear Forces. It is hoped that this coordinating group will centralize and strengthen the management of improvements in the Theater Nuclear Forces by providing forceful guidance, establishing priorities, and continually evaluating and reviewing ongoing programs in order to achieve modernization goals in a timely manner.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Theater Nuclear Forces Acquisition Planning Coordinating Group to review the Army and Defense Nuclear Agency survivability programs to ascertain whether they should be consolidated, and also provide direction and funding priority. The Secretary should direct this coordinating group to make sure that proposals to the Secretary of Defense for the development or modification of weapon systems, designed to improve Theater Nuclear Forces capability, include information on (1) how the system is expected to contribute to the total Theater Nuclear Forces' mission; (2) its relative priority with respect to other systems needed for the mission; (3) the time frames for accomplishing the improvements; and (4) the effect of the proposed development or modification on the total cost of forces modernization, including Department of Energy costs related to nuclear warheads.

    Agency Affected:


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