Created: 10/5/1984

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The Search for

The Nuclear

South Africa and

South Africa's Nuclear Explosives

Genesis and

Availability of Fissile

Prospects for South Africa's Nuclear Weapons

Size and Nature Over the Next Five

Considerations Regarding Nuclear

Nuclear Test




Delivery System: Present Status and Future

Implications of South African Nuclear Weapons

Annex A: The Civil Nuclear

Annex B: Nuclear Test

Annex C: South African Delivery System


We believe that South Africa has the capability to produce nuclear weapons on short notice. We belie%

that South Africa has already stockpiled the components fores: devices or first-generation nuclear weapons that use enriched uranium.

liven the size of its nuclear program. South Africa could stockpile annually enough highly enriched uranium for two to four nuclear explosives, depending on thet nf-no-og).

Since the furor that accompanied the discovery of the Kalahari test siteouth Africa hasolicy of calculated ambiguity with respect to its nuclear options by intimating thai it has the capability to produce nuclear weapons while disavowing any interest in doing so.olicy allows it to avoid the intensities: pressures for safeguards and the sanctions that would inevitably follow any revelationeapons capability. At the present tine. Pretoria appears satisfied with that policy and is likely to adhere to it through the five-year time frame of this Estimate.^

There Is no hard evidence about the degree to which South Africa has incorporated nuclear strategy into its military planning. The South African defense force's clear-cut conventional military superiority in the regionuclear strike capability unnecessary. Nuclear weaponry would have little effect against the principal militaryoperating from domestic or border state rural bases and ircBirrection in black urban areas. Moreover, the sense of urgency that prevailed In, largely because of the perceived Soviet threat- appears to have dunuiished jj^p

Much of the South African capability is based on work carriedthe1

lowever. it is reasonable to assume that research and development has continued, with the possibility that emphasis may have shifted more lowaid fabrication and delivery systems rather lhan continued stockpiling of uranium and components. Although South Africa already has several types of aircraft capable of delivering nuclear eiplosivcs. those aircraft are aging and are becoming

We believe that South Africa is not likely touclear explosive device during the next five years The increase in tensions on the continent and with the West that would accrueestuclear device would be greater than the political/military gains to be derived. However, growing tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, if accompanied by perceptions that the United States was losing ground to Moscow in Africa, or was losing interest in Africa, might provide incentive to testaution to the Soviets. Any attempted intimidation by Moscow on behalf of its African clients might provoke tlie South Africans toestarning that Pretoria will not

There ia still considerable disagreernent within the Intelligence Community as to whether the flash in the South Atlantic detectedatellite in9uclear leal, and if so, by South Africa If the latter, the need for South Africa toevicelhe time frame of this Estimate is significantlyf)-

Revelation that South Africa possessed nuclear weaponry would immediately exacerbate the tensions that exist in southern Africa. Black African states, supported bv tbe Soviet Union, would seek stricter sanctions against Pretoria and raise the specter of South African nuclear blackmail to achieve regional domination They might seek some form of protective guarantee from their patron. Although Moscow would almost certainly not offer any explicit nuclear commitment, it might provide more sophisticated air defense systems and step up arms and advisory assistance, ^ey-"

Revelation would put the United States in an awkward position. Black African states would hold the United States at least partially responsible for Pretoria's nuclear status and the United States would be criticized for not restraining South Africa's nuclear progress.strong US denunciations of South Africa's nuclear weaponswould be perceived as evidence to fretoria that the United Slates has taken an anti-South African position. We do not believearsh US reaction would provoke Pretoria lo cut off important minerals exports to the United States, as some observeis have contended.


The Search for Security

helargelyof conflict in southern Africa following Portugal! witlid rawfl! In the rtutf-lOTChrdUJiiAtK impact on South Africa. Until that tuae. the Portugueie colonies of Angola and Moianabique -ere the further eitrntiorn al the so-calledredoubt' and. along with the white minority leaoinr inuffer against theseains black matority-rulc In South Africa and Namibia. By aod Urge, South Africans felt secure wilhin their harden and confident of iheir ability to contain blackdeuce Jad"""

South Africa'sbe Angolan civil warailed, however, to turn the tide in favor of pro-Western liberation croups, and thisajor reaurrumenl of the country! military capabilities and policies. The intervention showed that South Africa lacked the leaource* toeoOaetol military campaign In additioa to bavins brrnbv tbe magnitude of tbe Soviet and Cuban involvement in Angola, militaryn ideati-fied teriou* deficiencies In materiel, communications, and losUtics^c)

Those deficiencies, tet against the emergence In Ancola and Mozambique of Marxist-oriented, anri-aperthetd resomei heavily depeodeor on Sow! aad Cuban support, generated (oars ln Pietoria that those foimer colonies would become naging arretirect Soviet-backed invasion, perhaps lo vol vineai well as black Africanubsequent rise in guerrilla activity in both South Africa and Namibia bv guerrilla* operating out of Ancola and Moiambiquc and an upsurge in racial aVrnocotratiooi Ln South Africa addedense ofr'

hus, by the. South Africa saw Itself ai standing virtually alonetotal onslaught" being waged against It by black Iruuments and radical black African states supoorted by the Soviet Union and its allies. In reaporae. South African leadentotal national strategy" aimed atelf-sufficient, fleiibie defense force capable of deterring conventional aa well as guerrilla threats.rath effort lj redress the military imbalance, too priorityn lo buiadiog up use conventional capabilities of the aimed forces and lo developing an arms uidustry capable ofeventuallyon foreign souices ol supply {see inset on page

5 The transfertacV maoritv regime in Rhodesia0 came as another blow to Southlenae o( Bv then, however, the South African military hadforward deierue slialeirv based on iocreaongly aggressive conventional and covert military oyerarioni against guerrilla baies and local defente position* in neighboring (tales, par-tieularlr Angola and Moutntmjue.eudr. South Africa has teuaerted itaelf as the dominant rautury power In vwthern Africa It hai forced MoiambUtue toutual non*ggic**lon pad and is ciertinn pressure on Angola to send home the more0 Cuban lioops stationed there In addition, II has convinced those governments to place restrictions nn guerrillas operating from iheir territories ^eT*""

The Nuclear Option

_ *vSouth Afruclear test site in the Kalahari Doeit and appeared well on its way towarduclrar eaptorive device.a MgfcQjha

he International outcry that followed theof the Kalahari site persuaded Pretoriaany plans it may have hadent andtighterr la nuclearmysterious flash in theaised fears in the Internationaltbat Pretoria finally had tested analthough there Is still strong disagreethe Intelligence Community as to whetheractually look place

IKa Regional Miliary Birinnia

ln iclatkin to tU neiajibon Soulh Africa Iiiura-<

powi. slthouah il falls short ol lhal tfatui b.

Wolf in orandarca Toe Soulh Alnun defctue lowail* upersonnelraular lores Ia at. Sooifa Africa

prababiv ceul mutter Force of apoeoiimiMrv

toldWrtready rcscrvra.ic uru ij. and oiler main liable for teevttc ui or ol national eaieraanev art

Th* aovrrnmenl-eoMrQileti Armament) Corporation of South Alius,suet* now oiimatail2 billion. ciitr*nil> meet) the bulk of the military')for around Sore* ojulpmanl It producei small ajou and ammunition, artillery and

armoreddloi coramuattaboos equipment, aitd Ii It aao oodjiiea and upvsilaa aglni

panel mtck ai thecatturioaWorld WWnil face ami

problteu.fvaUoM its acsag fleet ol (when.

tomben. aad flmamaina aircrut

In ooMraM. tbe Wack arsiei inl-trainad, utaoequalf Iv niDoorted. and poorly Ud.tbo IrarMtioA from bush fighter lo con-entlonal inldirir hai been ctcrcrncjy difficult Angola hu00 men under ursi and Meumbiquc hai cvoaa toho majority In both counntea, howev-ei. aro enaaaed in or^untrrinrurieriCY ei* rations, lor which they ate inadequately prepared, or in loot)teec-nL

lUahab-earmedally onlym of South Africa, sowat sat been weakened trace IndeonianorO by lb* ka of -bite rWtaMooak dc-roooa. poL-Oeal Lnterfe--mce. and lb* Itatvttablr fricOors analne from rnbalum and Ihe lamely failei. irrfercstlae of dial twemtU elements,"

While South AltKi hai aa Indigenous aimi Induiliv. Angola and MoiamtMque mutt depend on Soviet tup-pUed wfapoory. Both counlriea have more battlehan Soulh Africa and together have mora (and more ad>anonf) hf fichlrr alrexait However, anther country hai the prnroDcl trained to operate or maintain theand the ffew of aparepr"'

The only -aaponry in tbo Aagolan nnWrr that beutj Srajut AfricanbJn Arapyk an tbe noriulieatad saandofface-to-air rniaulaaby Iba SrMet Union In 3UO-1W3 Thai modem air defmm ryitern Is manned by SovVrl and/or Cuban pemnital ato OX miles north of the Anc*.ila Namibia bonier

S Trie Soviei Unloni proitctMn ofinto wuthetn Africa In ihtay -ell have been the key factor in Pictorial decliion lo itep up Hi nuclear eiploilvei tetearch and development. South Afiica'i leaden lung have identified th* Sovlei Unionir country') maw advcriarv Withhavin* once aaain (ai it did cliewhere in Africa in| brouclit the iieal-power rivalry to Ihewith it the perceived threat of an invasion of Soulh Africaadded protectionredible nuclear detenent tookewaaagara*.

9 SouUieavdinea* to MM aheadboth conventional mihiary buildup aad nucleardeveicprneru hueen motivated by the behet riut it cannot depend on the Weal Thatyrith tie Sovietdominate Soulh African defense thinkirn thiouih the IWOi and rxobaWy beyond, trirr in nui

Prior toOi. Soulheaders|ho idea ihat thetr country was of tlralecic imporlaiice Io the Waal fiven ill locallan and mineral rewurcei Becauar ot lhal importance,gued. itaxK Soviet laiiet Thus. South Africa could count on Western asinance In the event of Soviet-iittpued atxresiion. Western criticism ofowevei.the ill-fated intervention in Angola. Defense Minister (now Prime MiaistcO Botha, warned thai realities had cbajiced arid that Soulh Africa no loraer could count on such asistance Thatwas baaedane degree ran the veidespiead beliefSouth African aibtary planneri that their intervention in Anaola could have laicceeded if the Waal had been willine. lo mt>Port tUird^"

Uneasiness over theteliabibty wro rein-forced by its outcry over the Kalahari test lite and [he mandatory arms embarao aaairut Soulh Africa passed by the United Nationi In addition to calling for an emba;iu aaalnit convenllonal military aulUance. the embargo aba calledan agaJnit UN member states cooperating wilh South Africa in developing nuclear weapons The Weat'i refusal lo veto the embargo deepened Soulh African'

TVr Brent din-tot of th* Dr

tkraard.ciundveiy oo the rmnay of audear rMerreaee

wblitimrverary prafcBOr ta (he IvTOt Ha unrad lhalodoai nail (ar-Wlty and derae-Oraleha worai He aoOlNd hla potlOon by obaavtof ftat Mom- -waU bava (aw mrvatloni ibotrt udoa rwleoaaalnat Snth Africa.



Since then, South Africa's deferaeincluding nuclearhas been driventrong desire for ieIf sufficiencyear of Western interference At the same lime, itolicy of calculated ambiguity bv which It Ultima res tba'. ttuclear weapon) capability while disavowing mmt iiMercat iauclear device ^tf

South Africa and Noetprolifero'ion

IS. South Africa, which hasharier member of the International Atomic Knerstv Agencv (IAEA)ai been reluctant lo make majorlegal commitments thai would restrict Its Iree-dom to develop nuclear technology. It Is probable lhat its refusal to adhere lo the Non-Proliferation Trealy (NfT) is in large part due lo the fact that the treatysignatories lo place all fissile material under IAEA safeguard! &

retoria's unwilLisgness to bend to outsidefrom Western wippJier stales concerningreooirerriervu was perhaps best illustrated tn Eha early lMOs when the South Africans had to secure naclcai fuel foe the first of lhe two Koebcrg power reactors. FacedotM US-French strategy de-ntmcd to force them to accept comprehensivein return foruel supply, the South Africans canvassed lhe uranium market and succeeded injflicienl supply of lowumber of alternative sources,!

retoria's poailion concerning IAEA safeguard* on specific South African nuclear facilities has been more flexible. It has acceded to requests from supplier states for such contioli involving Imported nuclear materials, equipment, and technology- For example, tbe country's only research reactor at the Pellodaba nuclear research center hat been under5 became it utilizes US-originuranium [US weieheike-iae.rench-built Koeberg power reactors are open to IAEA inipectlon io*""

IS, In January 1BA4 South Africa siutouneed that it would be willing to resume due unions with the IAEA concerning tafeguaids for the lodigenoui seroicom-mercial uranium enrichment facility at Va.indabu The motives behind this announcement are not clear. This gesture was notn! time Pretoria hasooperative attitudeumber of occasions3he South Africansan Interest in sharing knowledge about their unique aerodynamic enrichment process with other countriesillingness to place the projected commercial facility under IAEA safeguards'persistent and successful efforts by (he black African states and India7 to restrict South Africa's ablbty to participate in IAEA activitiesa South African proclivityiege mentality.esult. Pretoria saw no incentive lo cooperate on safeguards issues with an international organization that appealed lo have become captive of South Africa's enemies. >W

he controversyegard lo Southtalus within lhe IAEA has become less intense In recent years but the problem still remains. It is pouible thato head off future attacks on Its IAEA membership There have been several UN* resolutions introduced during the past year calling on the IAEA to terminate all contact with South Africa until it accepts cooipTchensive safeguards. Several Western nations, Including the United States, have unjted that no action be taken in view of tbeIn early August of South African-IAEAconcerning the possible application of IAEA safeguards to the semicommerciol enrichment facility al Valindaba. (ft)-"

IS. Pretoria's public commitment In the4 announcement lo request IAEA safeguards for all of ID own nuclear eiports can be viewed as another positive developmentore restrained approach In dealing with the South African problem.'

he actual Icchnical difficulties inafeguards arrangement for the enrichment Facility are considerable and will ensure that disciusioru will

behe enrichment pioceu utilised by lhe South Africani hai umgue features thai Pretoriaill wish to piotettommercial icciel

Genesis ond Development

ccording to open literalure. South Africa could have begun research on nuclear etpleeivci devices as early. when lhe Vallndaba plant was being designed and at least one South African scientist was In the United States sludying the application of peaceful nucleate'1

vidence that South Africa hasignificant nuclear eiplosives capability is substantial, and com pell i

he South Africans tic acutely aware of the tine it will late to resolve the safeguards issue and may well have calculated that their gestureelatively costleu way lo buy time and mereagainst further attacks on their IAEA membership status If the black African states and others continue their effort to eapel Pretoria from the IAEA, the South Africans willegitimate rationale tor breaking off negotiations al any time We doubt lhat there ia some other vested inierest that would persuadeto remain ft the negotiating table under such citcu instances

Mxnae can b* oMi'UI lo



he South Africans have had Utile difficulty acquiring materials and technology essential to their nuclear weapon? development pic*:am. Thereumber of reasons (or this. First, ihe program was very secret formcnt of its hiHory, and iscnproJif era lion concems were lower duringndhen many Important

pparent stsruluowri regat recent years tuggMti thai nuclearhas met theilitary requirements, al leatl to the eitect warranted by current perceptions of the strategic threat and of the roil involved In overt actions auch as lesrirtg It alao tirggeatl thai iheand political benebli of being seen ai having once piepaieduclear test are constdried to be as greal asest had been carried out*fa mij .

SC.7 South Africa hu followedpolicy of calculated ambiguity with respect to the nuclearby intimating that it ha* the capabdiiy to produce nuclear fl while disavowing any mleiol in dotiuiiojflf'-

olicyumber of benefib. particularlyariah state such at Soulh Africa. It forceadversaries lo asaume ihat Soulh Africaeapons capability and to factor thai auurnpiioritheir policy formulation Kot rumple even though Moscow need have no fear of South Africa'i ability toucleai strike against the Soviet Union, it must take Into coonderitjon the damage Soulh Africa could inflict oo the Soviet UaiooAfrican clients, as well as on Soviet and Cuban garrison) In Africa.r-ii ae)

alculated ambiguity also allows South Africa to avoid the intensified pmsurcs for nuclearand unctions lha! would inevitably follow any open displayeapons capability. Under present policy It can proceed with research and development fairly confident ihat the court of world opinion lacks the evidence toase against It

he assumption on Ihe part of ill adversaries that Soulh Africauclear weapons capability also giveseterrent credibility while allowing il lo avoid tbe stigma of being the firit to Introduce nuclear weapons on the African continent. Thatalso might prompt neighboring black African dates to seekdcr ihe Soviet nuclear umbrellalessallow deployment on tbeir territory of tactical nuclear weapon) superior, oo doubt, to any South Africa might have,rr)

be South African defenselear-cut superiority in southern Africa and ibe success of its operaboos against its adversariesucleai strike capability irrelevant at ihe preaerl time. In addition, the cost and effort Involved in maintaining andthe conventional capabilities of the military and of acquiring. If poarabe. new and advanced weaponry, particularly aircraft and tanks. Mrongfy luggestuclear weapon is far down on the military'i shopping Its;ap)

e believe ihat South Africa ii not likely touclear explosive device during the lime Irame of thi* Estimate. At ibe pinenl time, the lerue ofassociated wilh nuclear development inppears to have diminished Moreover, ihe increase in tension! on the continent ond wilh the West thai would accrue ftotnlest would be greater than the poutical/redllaiy gains lo be derived, particularly In view ol South Africa) military rupenoriry in tbe tcgkn. and the rxnventional deterrent capabitiry it now envoys.onrj.

here are circurnsUncea which could induce the South Africans to change their policy anduclear device. International coejiderittoru could leaduclear test lar sooner than regional ones,e within the period of Ihil estimate Crowing tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, if accompanied bv perceptions that the United States

wjj losing ground lo Moscow in Africa, or wu Ice inn Interest in Africa, might giveight toof nuclear deterrence andeat. fewe)

Soviet efforts to defend Itseither with conventional weapons orstronger retaliation could force Southeat and with proclamations that ilberivate Soviet message lastcondemning South Africa's military policywhile not accompanied by threats ofnonetheless was regarded by Pretoria asat intimidation, fa-wrj"

Technical Considerations

we believe that the politicalgoverning whether South Africa conductstest are preeminent, there are.technical considerations as well. Theseprincipally to reliability and performanceeipJoaivesi1)

ossible that South Africa hasoused the testing phase and is concentrating on lhe wcaponlaJng and delivery of its nuclear explosives device. Afrikanersontingency-minded people and as such probably would prefer lo have anuclear weapon rather lhan bc forced to develop one hastily in the faceorsening security situa-

Tbe head of South Africa's NationalService. Dr. Bernard, voiced that point of view9 when he publicly stated that "bv theuclear crisis really faces us, it will probably be too late to make ourselves really prepared and to be able to defend ourselves at thatf

Another alternative scenario is that South Africa Is working on advanced design concepts such as


Delivery System* Present Statui and Future Prospects

> thct the rVpuWlc ofea hai the tfthnoiogicxt oapacitu to nanu/aefu" nuclee* ami at ueil a* aopnsatt-eaied lytiewu of dVffocv aith the deri'tdand penetration.

II. V. NeL. speech lo the South African Institute of Strategic)

irtually all oi Soulh Africa's combat aircraft canuclear pay load These include llieZ. the Mirage Ul EZ, ihehe and ihe Canberraf do not believe the Impalaound tactical choice, however, because of its small sire and inferior performance. This issue Is discussed in detail In annei C

he South African Air Force (SAAFJ publicly announced that Buccaneer bomber? had been used for practicing nuclear delivery techniques. Using conventional bombs, five Buccaneer bomberson World War II salvage ship off Cape Town. The bombers released theiriles away from the ship, then pulled up sharply and veered away. The SAAF further characterized the eiercisc ascomputer-lied tcchniQue to deliver nuclear bombs and escape the effect of the resultingst'*"

or the past few years at least. South Africa'a nuclear program has notajor source of contention In Africa nor haa it had advenefor the United State* except In relation to the international nonproujerarion rccune With theel the discovery of the Kalahari teat ite7 and'ri-ui flash in the South Atlantic In. South Africa's nuclear program nas provoked little condemnation This Is partly because of its lowand partly becausewould be ihe first lo condemn--have been preoccupiedother matter* Tne low level of open contention regarding

]to attempt io bring South African facilities under international nuclear safeguards Isere)

evelation that South Africa possessed nuclear weaponry would immediately eaacerbale ihe lerorons in southern Africa. Black African stales, supper led by the Soviet Union, would renew their calls for UN and other sanctions agairul Pretoria Those calls would be more In terse than previous ones in view of South Africa's recent military operations in the region and fears of South African nuclear blackmail to achieve regional dominationlients in southern Afr.ra might seek some form of ptolerlive guarantee from their patron. While the Soviet Union almost certainly would oo* offer any eapucit nucleareet, it might provide more sophisticated air defense systems and step up arm* and advisory assistance- In addiricn, Moscow could be counted on to Issue geoet-auaed but ominous threats against South Africa and those who were suspected of contributing to it* nuclear deveropcaent

lack African lUles would hold the United States al lean partly responsible for Pretoria's nuclear status, particularly if ihe United Stales did not ioin In the denunciations In African eyes, ihe United State* has done little to testialn Southilitary operations in the region and the United Statesuclear superpower would be ciitlcded for notits nuclear progress as

tr nana, strong US denunciations would be additional evidence lo Pretoria that ihe West is undependable or. al ihe very least, thai ihe United State)South Africa lo meet the threats against it with orse hand lied behind its back Many South African official) long have believed thatthe safeguards demanded by the West puts smaller nuclear countriesistinct disadvantage We doubtarsh US reaction would provoke Pretoria lo cut

re( Set!e*>rfs

important mine rail exports to the (Jot ted States, as some observers have contended, ttoce ecooomic reality probably would prevail over South Africanutoff could become more possible, however, should the United Stales actively seek to Interrupt the flow of nuclear-related equipment and technology to South Africa.

outh African testinguclear device would weaken the IntematJonal oon proliferation regime and encourage ihe acquisition of nuclear weapons by other countries bv demonstrating thatuciear weapons capability can be succesv fully acceenpuahecL Several states (such aa Paksaian. Argentina. Brad, and Israel) might feel fewer ush-bi-Doeit about developingapons or openly pubhcialiag their nuclear weapons capabilities if South Africano serious international repercussions or tnJumlugjra; setbacks.


Too fiarral


Although South Africaoal reserves and eiportj ilgniflcant amounts of coal, fteed for nuclear power it early at. This need arises because South Africa bas built III electrical power plants where Its coal Itumber of the developed regions In South Afncn, most notably the western Cape, are not near coal deposits, however, and transporting coal by rail or tranamttting power over electrical lines, at distance! someltme* upilometers. Is inefficient and prohibitively expensive

1 Pretoria choar therefor* to construct nuclear power plant] on the coast to ensure adequate cooling water from the ocean. In fact, tbe recent drought in South Africa has heightened South African Interest In additional nuclear plants since some conventional power plants located Inland have been forced to shut down because of Inadequate cooling water supply .Jot**

South Alrica't entry Into the realm of civil nuclear power began6 when it signed an agreement withFrench led coeaortiunilyegawatt (electrical) light water reactor pow-er planes for the tiivberg nuclear station near Caner- The first of these reactors started op for iiiiOaJ tearing on4 When both reactors are operating, ihey will contributeoerceot of the country') electrical power needijef"

The problems encountered In obtain: ng foreign enriched uranium fuel have pushed Pretoriarogram for self-iuifieiencv In nuclear fuel supply. It Is developing and/or ootsstructlng commercial-scale faculties tor uranium processing, enrichment, and reactor fuel fabrication These facilities, shown In figurehould be available by the time current foreign supply contracts are completed, if no naj


nouth African effort toeavy-water-based power reactor wasompeting effortrocess for uraniumwhich wouldight-water-basedfuel cycle succeeded, however, and development of tbe process began it

The Kcilahari Nueloor Test Site

he Ealahail nuclear tert 4te is located aboutlotocteis north of Uplngtoo In the Kalahari Desert. The site's esasteoce was discovered and publicly made known bv the Soviets In August 11

t theltonc of itseaity preparations appeared to be under way for an underground Duclear test- SubsoQuent to the inter-national uproar created by the Soviets' announcement, tbe site wa* nwthVaalled, although notow level of activity has been observed bv satellite imagery since that time I

Sere Description

The general area around tbe Kalahari facility is well-fuited to uodeniTOund nuclear testing. The stole-Uoo from Important centers of activity, the relatively low Intrinsic value of the land, aod the bard-rock geology are all typical features sought Inuclear test site, fa tia-aanj .

The sitesrge,erimeter ofyJlomCerj (or an area ofctuatehe facility consists of an operational areaupport base. The support base generally is upwind of tho opemrional (test) areas as one would eapectest site,it) i




L The aircrall in the current South African Air rorot (SAAF) inventory most hkely to be *claxtad for ihc nucleardelivery role aie fighter-bora ben and bght bombers. The fighter-boanber and light bomber aircraft in the SAAF are the Mirage FlAZ, the Miiaie III EZ. thehe lmpala. and thee do nol believe the lmpalaealistic alternative became of Iti (null lite and Inferior performance. Thus, our analysis of theuclear-capable aircraft focused on the Milage Fl, Mirage [II. Buccaneer, andrt

2 Bated oo all performance aspects, we believe that the best nuclear strike aircraft la thehe Buccaneer The Canberrareater combat radius but waaar -eaiher operarsooa The Buccaneer is capable cf unrestricted operanoru at eight and in adverse weather. Furtbexosote. the low-aliitude penetration speed of the Buccaneer Is higher, and theuperior avionics should enable it io penetrateowerlthough no Infor-mation was available on the electronic(ECM) of either aircraft, tbe Buccaneer ECM i> almcet certainly luperior to thai of the Canberra. All of thesehigher Speed, lower penetration altitude, aod superiorto make themore nirvivable than the Canberra. Tbeprobably would not be selected in preference to the


The weight and/ce size of the nuclear weapon cicard* the Baceaneer bomb bey -eight or euoicnMOft Lmits

. The selection criteria are such that theuticlmie combat radio* advantage over the Buccaneerritical factor

1 The survivability of the Mirage Fl and Mirageprobably is comparable lo that of the Buccaneer. However, tbe infeno* coawbat radial of the twoaircraft limit* their empaoysaent to target* at relatively short range. Even again* short-range tar-arts. the superior range of the Buccaneer would allow It toore ciieultoui route to the larger. Such flexibility permit) an aircraft lo bypass cotrations of ail defenseons In-masking lo make tracking and interception more difficult, or totbe target from tlie moit advantageousThm, we would oot eipect either Mirage aircraft to be selected over the Buccaneer unless the criteria are such tbat

The markedly superior combat radius of the Buccaneer I*ritical factor.

The SAAF believe, that the upenor over-target ipoed cf the Mirage aircraft -rill lignificantly Lmpteve the mluton'i chances

Weapon* Delivery

ll four aircraft are capable of performing the standard nuclear weaporu delivery techniques. High-altitude bombing, for eiample,ree-fall or parachute-retarded nuclear weapon tbould present no problems, since all four aircraft have lervice ceclioas in0 meters. However, this delivery profile may not be usedigh-threat cnvirunnien: since low-ieve! delivery makes the attacking aircraft less vulnerable to air defenses The four aircraft ihoutd be capable of low-level bombing[free-fall or parachute-rrtaided weapon; and level lavdowu (parachuteT**

he Soulh Africa Navy hai Gabriel cruiseon its Reshef patrol bouts lioia Israel. The Cebriel missile conventional warhead weigh* ISO Vuloffrarm and iieter in diameter. While theconsideration!ruise missile {tempera-lure. accelerauon,_altitude) are similar to those for aircraft delivery.

f the South Africans were to developa cruise misstle of lufficlenr siae to carry thea led design, theo the weaponuation teguiie-mencs would nor be ngruf1.candy more difficult to caster than for an air-dehvcred free-fall botch. The same condunons apply whether the cnlsck is surface launched or air Uunched. or whether It Hi glade bomb We believe the South It rteans would have little trouble in adapting the if aircraft delivered designruise missile if no majof weight and sue reductions are necessary.

Ballistic Milsiiei


uclear artillery proiectile design is veryfrom that of aircraft or missile delivered nuclear weapons. Artillery delivrty requires that very high acceleration be imparled directly to the proiectile ease and presents formidable challenges lo weaponBoth interior and citerlor ballistics considerations must be included in the design. Center of gravity, gaggfteni of inertia, siie, weight,afety are crlhca: to provide the rebah-Uty and accuracyfor battlefield opera, ion*

be South Airteans manufacture theirm field artillery giim and sophistlcated ealended-range aia munition ior them. This has led to specula-lion ihat ihey may also be working on nuclear rounds lor these aun* Given the present known scope of their program, however, we believe they would stand no chance of si>cocedinr( in such anl-

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