Ballistic missile defense technologies by United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment

By United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment

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61 What is New? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Figure Figure No. Page 3-1. S. and Soviet Strategic Forces, 1970-84 . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Chapter 3 Ballistic Missile Defense Then and Now INTRODUCTION This chapter briefly reviews events and decisions of the 1960s and early 1970s which explain why the United States does not now have ballistic missile defense. It pays particular attention to the rationale of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations for ultimately declining to deploy large-scale ballistic missile defense and instead agreeing with the Soviets to severely limit it.

S. ABM Program to 1969 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Soviet ABM Program to 1970 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Salt I: The ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement on Offensive Strategic Arms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Provisions of the SALT I Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Implications and Aftermath of SALT I....... . . . . . . .

For most of the new ballistic missile defense technologies, much research is still necessary to determine whether the physical principles involved can be affordably applied in working weapon systems. Many of the technologies being considered for BMD still require improvements in performance of orders of magnitude (factors of ten) before they can be used in weapons. 19 Massive improvements in computer speed, reliability, durability in a hostile environment, and software capabilities would be required.

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