Created: 1/7/1955

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible







In collaboration with th? Air Force, to undertake the procurement of (a)igh altitude aircraft, (b) photo-reconnaissance equipment, and (c) electronic-reconnaissance equipment, and to prepare for and conduct extensiveof the Soviet Bloc in order to provide photographic and, secondarily, electronic intelligence. (Project AQUATONE)


The Lockheed Aircraft Corporation hasery-high-altitude, jet-powered aLrcraft (designatedhe Corporation is willing to take full responsibility for the design, mock-up, building, secret testing, and field maintenance of this unorthodox vehicle. It therefore appears entirely feasibleIA task force toovert overflight program based upon thehich will fly0 feet, well out of reach of present Russian interception and high enough toood chance of avoiding detection.

Photographic equipment can be developed which will enable extraordinary intelligence content to be obtained withtaken from great altitudes. ingle mission in clear weather cantrip ofiles wide0 miles long. potting camera will take pictures in which the individualsity street can be counted0 feet. Cloud cover will reduce completeness but iserious obstacle because missions can be scheduled for good weather and alternate routes for clear weather can be selected In flight.

Analogously, It is believed that automatic electronic intercept equipment (CLINT gear) can be developed which will provide from each overflight essential intelligence data as to locations, characteristics, capabilities, ranges andof Soviet radar, homing Identification and missile guidance systems. The possibility that otherwise Inaccessible. ultra-high-frequency links might beand recorded for communications intelligence analysis will also be explored.

The opportunity for safe overflight with the bestthat can be built at this time will lastear or



so because the Soviets will develop radar and Interceptors or guided missiles effectLve forfoot region. Thean be developed and produced extraordinarily rapidly because It Is basedighter aircraft already in oroduction and uses an engine already tested. Moreover,with this aircraft will contribute significantly to the ability of the United States toead in the development of atlll higher altitude aircraft and thus toafe overflight capability. Therefore, time is of the essence If the existing opportunity is to be exploited and to be extended by continuing development.


Although undertaken primarily to collect photographic and electronic intelligence, this operation willariety of purposes of interest to various parts of the United States Government. Theill have major utilityigh altitude test platform. The research to bewill include the testing of engine performance, pressur ization, and the functioning of auxiliary equipment of all kinds as well as of electronic and photographic equipment at high altitudes. It will alsotudy of the capabili ties of personnel to perform missions requiring sustained flight at high altitudes and of the utility of equipmentto permit personnel to function more effectively. The aircraft will probably be useful also for high altitude air sampling. In the field of intelligence, the operation should contribute significantly to the attainment of the following objectives:

estimates of Soviet ability toweapons and their capacity to produce them.

Soviet guided missilephotographs of testing ranges, etc.

the Soviet order of battle as anindicator.

adequate locations and analysestargets.

new developments which mightto technological surprise.

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f. Appraisa Soviet: industrial and economic progress


The cost of procurement of materiel by this Agency under the program here proposed is expected to total approximately

, virtually all of which will have to be obligated In It can be broken down as follows:


irframes, together with maintenance and testing equipment for the testing of the first onee delivered


6 complete sets of photographic equipment, each set consistingonfigurations

ets of electronic search equipmentused ontogethersets ofill

field maintenance equipment


margin of error in these figures probably does notit is believed highly unlikely that thecosts could amount to moreesti

mates assume that the Air Force will furruonontribution to the project and without cost to the Agency (a) technicaland supervision, (b) all equipment regularly furnished as government furnished equipment, includingnd (c) transportation of materiel and personnel to test sites.

In addition to the above, certain non-materiel costs will be incurred in the course of preparation for the mounting of the.operation. These will be primarily (a) administrative costs, including especially the cost of developing photo-intelllgence and electronic-Intelligence requirements, and of mission planning, (b) the cost of pilot recruitment andand (c) some part or all of the cost of testing initial items of equipment in the United States. It is expected that

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arirni.ntsr.rat.ive costs can ba largely absorbed in Pilot recruitment and training costs mighttotalwhich the major part would represent

the cost of flight training which is provided by the Air Force and for which the Air Force is normally reimbursed. If the Air Force is prepared to absorb this item, the cost to the Agency of recruitment and training should not exceed

of which the major part will fall in sl ul nie testing program has not yet been estimated. It will fall entirely in

The above figures contain no allowance for (a) any major costs that may be incurred in the acquisition or preparation of operational bases, (b) the cost of actually mounting the operation, including pay and subsistance of personnel,of personnel and materieL to and between operational bases, and field maintenance, and (c) the cost of processing photographic film and electronic tape.


In view of the clandestine character of the proposed operation, its nature, and the varied results expected to flow from it, it is proposed that this undertakingoint CIA/Air Force project in which the CIA will undertake procurenent as indicated above, with theof the Air Force in all phases, and willlandestine operation. Within the CIA, the Special Assistant to the Director for Planning and(SA/PC/DCI) will be in charge of the project, with Mr. Herbert Miller as Executive Officer. He will beby other officers temporarily assignedart-time or full-time basis as appropriate. Sub-projects will be organized forthwith as components of AQUATONE covering the performance of all the following functions:

procurement (Project

of photo-reconnaissancel4IMtl)>HYrs ro jec t

IS] 3. Development and procurement of(Project |

Assembly and formulation of photo-intelligence requirements (Project

Assembly and formulation of electronic-intellLgence requirements (Project

Pilot recruitment and training (Project

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ater stage, other component projects wtLl be organized as required.

It is recommended

the project be approved as outlined above.

the Special Assistant to the Directorand Coordination be designated as the officialof the project and as Approving Officer, subjectguidance of the Deputy Director of Centralthe Director of Central Intelligence.

the procurement of the airframes,equipment and electronic equipment up toindicated above be authorized, subject to tneprovisions:

and contractualbe those normally employed by the Agency, with


such exemptions and restrictions designed to achieve maximum security as may be approved by the Approving Officer.

contractual and procurementand commitments will be specificallyIn advance by the General Counsel.

commitments and documents whichfunds in excessbe approvedDirector of Central intelligence.

Appropriate documentation will be obtained from the Air Force and from competent technical advisers in support of procurement contracts and theand descriptions of materiel to which they refer.

the recruitment and training of pilotsother action necessary in preparation for theoverflights be authorized, together with expensesthereto initially up to the amount of

the Comptroller be authorized toin the manner and to the extent approved by theOfficer within the limitations as to quantity andset forth above.



the Approving Officer be authorizedfor the necessary gathering and formulation ofrequirements and mission planning, inthe Air Force as appropriate.

the Approving Officer be directed tothe closest possible security over alL phases


R. M. BISSELL, JR. Special Assistant to the Director for Planning and Coordination



Deputy Director of Central Intelligence


Deputy Director (intelligence)

si RICHARD HELMS for Deputy Director (Plans)


Deputy Director (Administration)




Director of Central Intelligence

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Original document.

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