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Our questions are many: What modifications will be made to the B-1 bomber and what will they cost? What weapons will be placed upon our new strategic bombers, and when will the existing B-52 aircraft be retired ?
We have heard the B-1 bomber program described as a $20-billion program but I have no doubt that the total cost of the program as funded is larger. We also need to establish whether or not there are expenses related to the B-1 decision which have not been funded. The administration has stressed its emphasis on air-launched cruise missiles, and I think it will be important to establish today exactly how many ALCM's will be deployed and on what aircraft.
The administration speaks of stabilizing our procurement of Ohioclass submarines. In fact, relative to the unattained promises of past administrations, this is a cutback in ballistic missile submarine procurement.
The administration has announced that it will proceed with the D-5 Trident II missile. We support that action but need to establish today that this is, in fact, a program which leads to the kinds of hard-target kill capability at sea which the committee envisions.
This committee has long felt that not enough attention was being paid to sea-launched cruise missiles, SLCM's. To its credit, the administration proposes an enhanced SLCM program. Now, we need to know exactly how many SLCM's will be deployed with nuclear weapons and upon how many submarines. Furthermore, we need to have a better understanding of how nuclear-armed SLCM's will be integrated into the single integrated operations plan, SIOP.
The controversy surrounding the administration's MX basing proposal remains. The administration witnesses have testified that no decision has been made on precisely where to build superhardened silos; no number of silos has been established; no design exists for these superhardened silos; and no precise cost estimates are available.
At the present time, we do not even know if there is sufficient funding for MX basing in the President's amended fiscal year 1982 request to achieve an IOC of 1986 for the MX missile in superhardened silos.
Administration witnesses have testified that no cost-effectiveness studies exist which can be presented to the Congress to justify confidence in such form of MX basing options as the deep underground missile and the Big Bird, long-endurance aircraft.
Great attention has been paid, correctly, to strategic communications and control systems in the Reagan strategic plan. Many of the initiatives being proposed have suffered from inadequate funding in the past; however, much of the Reagan Cs program involves redundant communications aimed at providing greater survivability throughout a nuclear war of relatively long duration.
Today we seek a justification for these requirements and anticipate that new, innovative approaches will also be discussed.
The President proposes enhanced civil and air defenses. We have been given some idea of the magnitude of the air defense program which is proposed but not a detailed justification. We hope to establish that today. Thus far we have not received a programmatic survey of the President's civil defense initiatives. My hope is that this area of strategic defense will be clarified today with regard to the program and its costs.
I have raised many questions in these remarks, but then that is the purpose of our hearings. My colleagues in the Senate and the American people want more information about the President's strategic proposals.
The fact that we are engaged in a House/Senate conference on the fiscal year 1982 defense authorization bill makes it necessary that we expedite these hearings because decisions with respect to major strategic programs such as the B-1 bomber and the MX missile must be made in the next few weeks.
To provide this subcommittee the kind of detail which has traditionally been necessary to justify an administration's defense program, I wish to welcome Hon. Jack R. Borsting, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Dr. James P. Wade, Jr., Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; T. K. Jones, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces); and Donald C. Latham, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Command Control, Communications and Intelligence).
We will commence this morning with an opening statement by Dr. James P. Wade, Jr.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES P. WADE, JR., PRINCIPAL DEPUTY
UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING, ACCOMPANIED BY HON. JACK R. BORSTING, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER); T. K. JONES, DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (STRATEGIC AND THEATER NUCLEAR FORCES); AND DONALD C. LATHAM, DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE)
Dr. WADE. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces. It is a pleasure to return this morning to continue our discussions of the Reagan administration's program for revitalizing our strategic deterrent.
As you know, the question of how best to modernize our strategic forces has been perhaps the most important issue that this administration has raced. In deciding how to proceed, the administration faced a number of difficult choices. Perhaps the most fundamental and important of these was whether to match the enormous destructive power of the Soviet nuclear arsenal or to focus on improving survivability and endurance of our own forces.
Our decision that the major thrust of our efforts would be directed at survivability rather than destructive power was driven by several factors: Instability—incentive to strike first in a crisis, and incentive for surprise attack-should be reduced; imbalances should be redressed at less cost and with fewer nuclear weapons; should deterrence fail, a conflict should limit itself to a lower intensity; and the resulting posture should be more conducive to negotiated reductions.
Thus the program the President has approved does not seek per se to increase warheads but, rather, to improve the effectiveness of our strategic deterrent, to substitute improvements in command and control for major increases in force size, and to recognize that it is surviving and enduring forces which will best deter aggression.
Yesterday, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy outlined some of the policy and operational considerations involved in our decisions.
This morning, I should like to concentrate on some of the details of the program itself.
It is important at the outset to recognize that the program President Reagan announced on October 2 is a comprehensive, integrated plan, the most far-reaching such effort since the Eisenhower administration. Indeed, in my judgment, the fact that this is an integrated package is more important than any single element.
The President's program consists of five mutually reinforcing elements and embodies our belief that we must maintain the strategic Triad and insure that each leg of that Triad is as strong and as survivable as possible.
The five elements are, first, improvement in command and control systems; second, modernization of strategic bombers so we retain the capability to penetrate Soviet air defenses by manned bombers; third, deployment of new submarine-launched missiles, in many ways the most survivable of all our systems; fourth, a step-by-step plan to improve the strength and accuracy of new land-based missiles and to reduce their vulnerability; and, fifth, improvement in strategic defenses as a fourth means of discouraging and deterring attack.
I should like to outline each element briefly.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
Perhaps no portion of the program is as important as the improvements we plan in command, control and communications, C3. It will do us little good to modernize our forces if we do not also insure that we have the capability to intelligently control those forces and to communicate with them in peace and in war.
Over the past 10 years we have not done enough to make our command, control, and communications systems as capable, as survivable, and as enduring as they must be. Our new program begins to redress this problem. Our goal is to make these systems as enduring and capable as the forces they support.
To improve our strategic warning capability, we will upgrade the survivability of our warning satellites and deploy mobile ground terminals to back up our data processing capability for these satellites. Mobile systems such as these can be virtually impossible for the Soviets to target.
Additionally, both our satellite and ground-based radar warning systems will be improved so we could obtain more definite warning should an attack occur. Surveillance radars, which would help us to detect,
for example, an SLBM attack, will be added to cover potential submarine operating areas to the Southeast and Southwest
To upgrade the capability and survivability of command and control we will deplor E-1S airborne command posts to serve the National (kommand Authority. SCA, in time of war, and harden existing EC138 airborne command posts against muclear effects in order to better serve our military commanders in the field. The EC-135's will also meira additional enhancements in their ability to communicate with both the NCA and strategic forves
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We will develop a new satellite communications system employing extremely high frequency channels so the President's order can be passed from command centers to our commanders and their forces. Our bombers will receive very low frequency and low frequency communications receivers to enhance their ability to communicate with command centers.
Our deployed submarines will also receive an upgraded communications package. At the same time, we will be initiating a vigorous and large R. & D. program leading to a command and control system which will endure for an extended period beyond any initial nuclear attack.
BOMBER FORCES The previous administration was willing to live with the risks of an aging B-52 force for the eighties and the uncertain schedule and unproven capabilities of an advanced-technology bomber, ATB or Stealth, for the nineties. We have chosen a far less risky course in a field where the margin for error is exceedingly small.
Our program will provide much-needed capability in the eighties and will respond to the congressional mandate to field a new bomber by 1987. It also provides the management to produce as soon as possible the best and least costly advanced technology bomber which should give us significant advantages into the next century.
Specifically, we will develop a force of 100 B-1 variant (B-1B) bombers with an initial operating capability, IOC, in 1986. This highly capable aircraft will have the ability of serving a dual role as a more survivable and enduring cruise missile and penetrator weapon platform as we develop the ATB.
Our vigorous ATB program will lead to that plane's deployment in the early nineties. We will modernize a selected portion of our newer B-52's to carry cruise missiles and make them more survivable overall.
The older B-52D's will be retired in 1982 and 1983.
A force of over 3,000 cruise missiles will be deployed beginning next year, in B-52G's and thereafter the “H’s” and the B-1 aircraft.
Finally, existing KC-135 aerial tankers will be outfitted with new engines to increase our airborne refueling capabilities.
The two-bomber approach of the administration's program will not only provide capability when needed but also will help in controlling costs by stimulating competition, allowing for flexible procurement policies and providing the B-1 for use as a cruise-missile carrier for the 1990's, instead of another yet-to-be-developed aircraft.
SEA-BASED FORCES The cornerstone of our program for the sea-based forces is the development of the more accurate submarine-launched ballistic missile, SLBM, known as the D-5, or Trident II missile. This missile, which we will deploy in 1989, nearly doubles the payload of its predecessor, the C-4, and is more accurate as well. We thus maintain our sea-based capabilities when large numbers of older Poseidon submarines retire in the 1990's.
At the same time, we provide the additional targeting capabilities
aat come with a more accurate missile. We plan to continue construction of the Trident ballistic-missile submarines at a steady rate of one per year. The lead Trident has had a highly successful series of sea trials and will be delivered to the Navy today and commissioned in about 2 weeks. With most of the construction difficulties of the past resolved, we now look forward to a highly successful program.
In addition to our longer term plans, we will deploy several hundred nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missiles on our general-purpose submarines beginning in 1984. These missiles will serve to strengthen our deterrent by enhancing our Strategic Reserve Force. More to the point, they represent a near-term improvement in our deployed capability and thus speed the closing of the window of vulnerability of which the President and the Secretary of Defense have spoken.
The multiple protective shelter, MPS, basing scheme for the MX missile has been canceled. This administration's judgment is that the MPS concept has serious military drawbacks while not solving the basic problem of current survivability of the Minuteman and the Titan force.
The system of 200 missiles and 4,600 shelters envisioned previously would not have been survivable against even the worst threat allowed by SALT II without constructing many more shelters and/or adding ballistic missile defense. Without a clear technical foundation for addon capability, we could have been in the position in the mid-1980's of having sunk many billions of dollars in an MPS system and staked the future of our ICBM's on a system that was somewhat hostage to SALT.
The Soviets would have no incentive to help us and we might be forced to make major concessions in other areas just to keep MX viable.
In place of the discarded MPS basing scheme, we will embark on a step-by-step approach to modernizing our ICBM forces.
First, we will continue development of the MX missile, procuring at least 100 operational missiles and deploying some fraction of them in existing Titan or Minuteman III silos which have been modified to provide for improved hardness. This deployment gives us a shortterm improvement in our existing ICBM force. It is an interim way of breaking the Soviet monopoly on prompt hard-target counterforce capability until the D-5 and the more permanent MX deployments become operational. It also provides a vastly stronger and more accurate weapon with 10 warheads for the Soviets to consider in their own strategic calculations.
Meanwhile, we will pursue R. & D. on three promising programs which would give us survivable MX basing for a much longer period. These are:
(a) Continuous airborne patrol aircraft-development of a longenduring aircraft which could carry and launch an MX missile.
(b) Ballistic missile defense of land-based missiles—the development of an ABM system to provide protective coverage and survivability of land-based ICBM's.
(el Deep underground basing and placement on the south side of