Strategic Defense Initiative: Need to Examine Concurrency in Development of Brilliant Pebbles
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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In the summer of 1989, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization SDIO initiated studies to identify the best spacebased weapon concept, and in February 1990 it announced that Brilliant Pebbles was replacing the Space-Based Interceptor. The Brilliant Pebbles concept consists of several thousand interceptors orbiting the earth with the capability to detect and destroy targets by smashing into them at high speed. Each interceptor will be housed in a lifejacket that will provide, among other things, communications and the necessary on-orbit protection. SDIO has established two concurrent Brilliant Pebbles research and development programs to enable the President to make a decision not later than the summer of 1993 on deployment of strategic defenses. Both programs are part of the demonstration and validation phase, which precedes full-scale development. One program consists of a series of flight and underground tests to demonstrate that Brilliant Pebbles technology can intercept ballistic missiles and survive in wartime conditions.
- Antimissile Defense Systems