Accession Number:

ADA465297

Title:

The Trident II Missile Test Program: Implications for Arms Control

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1987-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

41.0

Abstract:

The United States has several types of strategic nuclear weapons including bombers, sea-launched cruise missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. To improve its submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the United States is developing the more accurate and more powerful Trident II missile to replace the current Trident I missile. The flight-test program for the Trident II missile is the subject of a controversy Should flight tests of one version of the missile--a version configured to carry twelve warheads--continue even if those tests might complicate negotiation of an agreement reducing strategic nuclear warheads The controversy has arisen from efforts to achieve the best results in two separate areas weapon design and arms control. In designing and developing the Trident II, the Navy and the Administration have striven to obtain flexibility and to utilize the large carrying capacity or payload of the missile. Accordingly, the Navy has planned to develop and deploy two versions of the missile An eight-warhead version with larger warheads that are effective against facilities that have been highly hardened against nuclear attacks such as newer Soviet ICBM silos and command centers buried deep underground and A twelve-warhead version with smaller warheads that are effective against moderately hardened facilities such as older Soviet ICBM silos, munitions bunkers, and most command centers.

Subject Categories:

  • Surface-Launched Guided Missiles

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE