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HOWEVER, THE PRESIDENT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE PROGRAM EMPHASIZE
NON-NUCLEAR DEFENSIVE SYSTEMS.
CLEARLY, THE SOVIETS ARE UNDER NO
SUCH CONSTRAINT ABOUT PURSUING SUCH RESEARCH, OR USING NUCLEAR
STATES SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS AND A FUTURE UNITED STATES STRATEGIC
ALSO, NDEWS MAY BE USEFUL AS PART OF A FUTURE BALLISTIC
MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM.
A NDEW WOULD USE A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION TO
POWER NARROW, INTENSE BEAMS OF ENERGY IN SELECTED DIRECTIONS TO
IN SUMMARY, THE SDI RESEARCH PROGRAM HAS ALWAYS CONTAINED
EFFORTS CARRIED OUT JOINTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO EXPLORE THE TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY OF
NDEW. IN THE PAST, FUNDING FOR NDEW HAS BEEN APPROXIMATELY 10-15
THE SDIO REQUESTS THAT CONGRESS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE DOE
REQUESTS TO ALLOW THE COMPLETION OF CRITICAL FEASIBILITY TESTS IN
TIME TO IMPACT OUR DECISION TIME FRAME.
AS PART OF THIS SUPPORT, I REQUEST THAT THE CONGRESS ASSIST US IN PROVIDING A FUNDS TRANSFER BETWEEN SDIO AND DOE TO ALLOW US TO HAVE CONSISTENT RESEARCH MILESTONES. A DISCUSSION OF THIS SPECIFIC ISSUE IS PROVIDED IN APPENDIX A.
RECENTLY, THE PRESIDENT TRANSMITTED A MESSAGE TO CONGRESS PROPOSING THE TRANSFER OF $62 MILLION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY IN FISCAL YEAR 1986 TO ACCELERATE RESEARCH ON NUCLEAR DIRECTED ENERGY CONCEPTS. THE PURPOSE OF THE LETTER WAS TO EMPHASIZE THE URGENCY OF THIS PROPOSED ACTION, PROVIDE SUPPORTING INFORMATION, AND REQUEST YOUR ASSISTANCE IN EFFECTING THIS FUNDING TRANSFER.
IN THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, OUR KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
OF NUCLEAR DIRECTED ENERGY TECHNOLOGY HAS ADVANCED
SIGNIFICANTLY. THIS KNOWLEDGE HAS INCREASED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NUCLEAR DIRECTED ENERGY RESEARCH TO THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC
DEFENSE INITIATIVE PROGRAM. OUR NEW UNDERSTANDING IS A RESULT
OF THE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS MADE IN THE NUCLEAR DIRECTED ENERGY
TECHNOLOGY AND THE RESULTS OF SDI ARCHITECTURE STUDIES WHICH
CONSIDERED IN FUTURE STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE PROGRAMMATIC
DECISIONS. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THIS TECHNOLOGY BE SYNCHRONIZED
WITH THE EXPECTED MATURATION OF SDI TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS.
OTHERWISE, PROGRAMMATIC DECISIONS WILL BE BASED ON AN
INADEQUATE UNDERSTANDING OF NUCLEAR DIRECTED ENERGY FEASIBILITY.
TO KEEP PACE WITH SDI TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, THE $62 MILLION TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WILL BE USED TO ACCELERATE NDEW RESEARCH TO DETERMINE THE TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY AND THE PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS OF NDEW CONCEPTS. THIS DETERMINATION WILL PROVIDE DATA AND EXPERIMENTAL CAPABILITY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO ASSESS SOVIET DEFENSIVE AND
COUNTER-DEFENSIVE THREAT CAPABILITY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT NO
LATER THAN THE EARLY 1990's -- A DATE AT WHICH WE BELIEVE MANY
CRITICAL SDI TECHNOLOGIES WILL BE COMING TO MATURITY. THIS
UNITED STATES STRATEGIC DEFENSE SYSTEM.
TO AVOID ANY INCREASE IN THE FEDERAL DEFICIT, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS MAKING $62 MILLION AVAILABLE FROM WITHIN THEIR OVERALL FISCAL YEAR 1986 SDI BUDGET OF $2,759 BILLION. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR PROMPT CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT'S REQUEST.
SDI AS A NONNUCLEAR OPTION Chairman HaTFIELD. Gentlemen, thank you very much again for a very eloquent presentation.
Senator Johnston, do you have any questions you wish to ask?
Senator COCHRAN. Mr. Chairman, just an observation. When I first was one of those that decided to support the President's initiative and appropriate the funds for the SDI and began discussing this decision with constituents, one of the most appealing aspects of it from a political standpoint was that it was a nonnuclear program.
The fact that we are now seeing the effort made to develop the nuclear-directed weapons and do research in this effort makes it a tougher sell from a political standpoint for those of us who are trying to defend the program and defend the President's efforts in this area.
I don't know that there is anything that can be done about it. I am not saying that that means that we ought to stop supporting the program or that I am going to stop supporting the program, but it makes it a lot more difficult and that just ought to be recognized.
I think we are going to put a great deal more effort in the explaining of this, the education process, so that it is understood that we are not talking about the nuclear weapons that explode in the conventional way and create the fallout and nuclear winter and all the rest and that we are escalating the nuclear weapons programs into outerspace.
It is just very frightening. It is very frightening to the people of this country, and younger people, particularly, who were beginning to be excited about an alternative to the traditional nuclear arms race.
This puts it back into the category of a traditional nuclear arms race in some minds and it has to be worked on if you are going to keep getting support from the Congress for the program.
Senator JOHNSTON. May I ask a question?
Senator JOHNSTON. General, how would you rate your candidates for possible development in the early 1990's? I understand that the groundbased laser is the best candidate at this time?
EIRS PROGRAM General ABRAHAMSON. No, sir. Actually, there are simpler candidates which are such things as some of the mechanical kill devices. If you recall, back in 1984, remember, we intercepted a missile with a nonnuclear device which was, of course, ideal, and what we would like to dowe demonstrated the feasibility of that concept then.
Since that time we have embarked on now bringing that system down, making it very small and making it very inexpensive. In fact, the cost goal for each of those is less than $1 million per round. Obviously, we can't produce even a nuclear weapon at that kind of a price.
which ack in 1984, remas, of course, i that concept thpoing that systeme
embarked that cond whatssile with you te
That is called the EIRS Program. It can't exist by itself. It has to have a command and control system and it has to have a means by deal- ing with decoys. But in terms of the weapon, that is probably one of the very early area systems that could provide protection to populations. It would not be just a simple terminal system that would defend our missile fields, for example, alone.
Senator JOHNSTON. These would be shot from the orbiting satellite?
General ABRAHAMSON. No, sir; they would be shot from the ground. Now there is an equivalent of that which we are making very fine progress on and this is, again, a similar interceptor. However, it is now based in space.
The one that is based in space can allow you to get at the boost phase which we consider to be so critical.
So, if I were going to rate the two weapons that would be the earliest of all, I would rate those two more standard kinds of systems which are clearly nonnuclear and, again, sir, I echo that point.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. After that-
General ABRAHAMSON. That's right; those are two kinetic energy devices.
Senator JOHNSTON. One fired from the ground and one from orbit?
Senator JOHNSTON. You would have to have the orbiting for the boost phase?
General ABRAHAMSON. Yes, sir.
General ABRAHAMSON. Yes, sir; EIRS, which has been awarded to Lockheed Corp. now as a single contract. It is an experimental vehicle just like everything else is in the program.
Senator JOHNSTON. Can they reach out to intermediate phase?
General ABRAHAMSON. Right now, most of the work is not being done on the rocket. Most of the work is being done on how to bring the cost down for the interceptor itself.
However, with fairly standard rocket technology, we believe that even just one site in the North Central United States could cover most of the North American Continent.
I am not sure that is the best deployment scheme, but that gives you a feel for how fast you can get out and cover a very, very large distance.
Senator JOHNSTON. Thank you.
FISCAL YEAR 1986 SUPPLEMENTAL FOR SDI Chairman HATFIELD. General Abrahamson, there is another matter that I would like to raise at this point.