The MX Advanced ICBM Weapon System

PSAD-79-76: Published: Apr 18, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1979.

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A review was made of Air Force activities and plans relating to the selection and acquisition of land for basing the MX advanced intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The review objective was to determine whether the Air Force has a realistic plan and is progressing toward timely site selection and land acquisition.

Public land acquisition for a project the size of MX has a large potential for major program delay, because the withdrawal process is complex, time-consuming, and politically sensitive. The Air Force has yet to coordinate its schedule with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to determine if the planned dates for withdrawal necessary for timely deployment could be met. Air Force officials indicated that they did not want to discuss the land withdrawal specifics with BLM officials until the MX program is approved for full scale development. BLM officials stated that the longer the Air Force waits to coordinate a land withdrawal plan, the greater the need will be for special action by Congress or the Administration. This action may not be acceptable to the public, especially in the affected states.

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