MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence
nformation for EXCOM
Thia memorandum is for your information only.
The EXCOM meeting scheduled0 hours
7 was called to review the scheduled phase-out of the OXCART program and determine if any revision in earlier decisions should bo made. You will recall that the schedule agreed to earlier was removal of the OXCART fron Kadena ln late January or early February so that theould be ln place and assume responalbllity for North Vietnam missions byebruary. It was further agreed that we would maintain an operational capability!"
hrough8 and that all aircraft
yj.aced in storage immediately afterarch
3. During the last couple ofumber of activities have been carried out to determine readiness of thoo take on the mission and to reevaluate some of the relative capabilities of the OXCART and The two majoraddressedomparison of the vulnerability of the two aircraft in the defenslvo environment of North Vietnam,omparison of tho, cameras and other on board equipment. Both studies have been completed and we presume that tbe EXCOM will be verbally briefed by NRO on tho results. aper summarizing the results of the
eopy / of 2_
APPROVED FOB RELEASE
studies has been made available for our review.
the question of vulnerability, we wentstudy knowing that the OXCART had aln that it had three different provenavailable for use with an option to usecombination of twoiven flight. had no proven countermeasure system available esult of the debates on vulnerability,project office lookedide variety ofand at the moment appears to have settled onof our jammersew Air Force jammer that is
in the experimental stage. omputer simulation it appears that if these jammers actually perform to specification they will remove any advantage we had on vulnerability and in fact some numbers would argue that they mightlight improvement. It is important to stress, however, tbat one of these jammers had never been put on thend our experience showsarge number of technical problems havo to be resolved before reliability is assured. Therefore, on this point we must note that if the jammer arrangement works as planned, theill probably be able to survive in the North Vietnam environment, but based on our experience we think it foolish to commit the aircraft until thorough testing has been completed. We have serious doubts that such tests could be accomplished before the February date.
to the so-called sensor evaluation, theis clearer. Our camera covers somoiles inswath with resolutions varying from aboutdirectly under the aircraft up totbe edges. Of course thisroven capabilitymissions flown andase inart ofdid not resultompletely satisfactory Theamera systems plus a
v.'A DYI: CONTROL SV-7KM ONLr
side-looking radar and an infrared camera. The 3cameras are called: Terrain Objective, Operational Objective, and Technical Objective. The first of these, the Terrain Objective,apping system and has no significance as an intelligence gathering device. The Operational Objective has about the same resolution as our camera but covers only someiles evenameras are used. The Technical Objective was designed toigh resolution system to allow spot coverage of individual targets
The tech camera cleariy aoes nox even come cioseup to specificationshink it willthat it has no real capability to be helpful onVietnam coverage.
In summary, on the sensor evaluation
youamera systems with an approximately similar resolution capability butovering almost three times as much area per flight. To achieve comparable coverage theould have to fly two to three times as many missions. More Important, however, is the fact that our schedule has been totally dictated by weather and it just isn't possible to fly three times as much as we have been doing unless you want toircraft on the same day. Our experience indicates thatchedule wouldr more aircraft at Kadena rather thanhich we have been using. In any case, the cost per target coverage would clearly go up and we thinkactorr more.
resumeumber of questions will be directed to you by Mr. Nitze. ave tried to anticipate
HANOLE VIA BYEMAN
fflf SlQIIET- =ontrol
few of the moot likely to help you in responding.
Is it possible for tho AgencyVo operate the OXCART beyond the datesare now scheduled to be terminated?
Yes, it is possible towith the OXCART program if theextend is reached now and additional fundsavailable. However, even at this point incapability is becoming marginal indood. Wephasedeople and no replenishment Extension would necessitate lmmodlateacquire additional qualified personnel,the U. S. Air Porce. Our sporo parts picture
is also marginal and ordors placed evon today would not provide various critical parts for several months. We would probably have to resort to cannibalism of some other aircraft until new parts are delivered. Although the contractors have been extremelythey, too, have been losing key personnel who are not interested inareerying program. The contractors will need boat to keep enough qualified people on the program. The period involved in an extension is very critical. eelhrough the end of the fiscal year, is the absoluTe-minimum practicableonsider it debatable whether an extension should be accepted unlessonsiderably longer period. ay-to-day operation of this program is Just not practicalhink we have been extroraely fortunate that the morale of the people has remained sufficiently high toeliable operation. Ono more short extension in ay viewit too much aba i' nave great concern that Wo would fall flat on our faceo tried
a. QUESTION: Would you considererious loss if the OXI'aRT is brought home and thes not successful in carrying out the type missions now being flown?
Hanoi.r: via tJYE-'Atf
b. ANSWER: Yes, it wouldignificant loss ln that should theor any reason fall to provide the coverage now provided by BLACK SHIELD we would no longer have the present degree ofin our ability to detect the introduction of offensive Missiles ln North Vietnam. This ln itself woulderious intelligence gap; however, in addition to tbe loss of an offensive missile search capability, considerable information would bo missing on the status of North Vietnam surface-to-air missile units, the pre-strlke and post-strike coverage needed for target planning and bomb damago assessment, and the broad coverage of the North Vietnam logistics network. Admittedly, low level reconnaissance could fill some of the requirements, but at the likoly additional expense of aircraft and crews. Coverage of the hlghly-dofonded Hanoi area would be sharply curtailed and Intelligence on the road and railfrom Communiat China would be seriously restricted. BLACK SHIELD support to tactical operations has been significant. Tba status of targets would be acquired only with additional risk of more aircraft and crews.
How much additional monoy wouldVo continue the OXCART program throughof this fiscal year?
It isillion infunds' w'oVid be required. illionbeen allocatod forhia wouldtotal NRO FYundingillion. million requirement for new funds is,proportionate to the total operating cost68. It is noted that the total FYstimatemillion is substantially below. 5which we previously submitted andormal budgetear. This isconsonance with phaseoute havestocks to diminish well below the operatingwould have normally maintained. In addition, during
this fiscal year we have eliminated many modifications and updating of items that would normally have been undertaken. The additional costs foronths' extension are as follows:
onths' FY 68 Extension
maintenance and overhaul
Engine maintenance and overhaul
Maintenance modifications and overhaul of airborne systems, etc.
Operation and maintenance
Pilots'salaries and equipment support
Less already allocated
New funds required
How muchull- year'sthe program cost?
An extension of the OXCART Programfull year wouldillion In NRO fundsmillion for fuel, andillion in CIAIs Identical to the proposed annual budgetpresented to you on) Thethe funds'requirement is as follows:
maintenance and overhaul Engine maintenance and overhaul
modifications and overhaul ofsystems, included: cameras,
Operation and maintenance
Pilots' salaries and personal equipment
Fuel CIA Costs
Do you.think it likely thatfor use of this type aircraft will developother than North Vietnam?
hink our planning must be on" You will recall that there was afrom the Commander-in-Chief Pacific to cover Korearwith tne uXCART but that request wasbyommittee. We certainlyconcern about our lack ofof South Chinaituation couldwould dictate the useore advancedthere. are still flying, but as
a result of the shootdownestrictions and limitations have increased. As the CHICOM Air Defense capability improves we may find it impossible to operaten certain parts of China. ecognize that various drono programs have been scheduled to help fill this gap, it is ray impression that none of these programs appear to be able to take the job on todayather that some of the developmental programs are having difficulty. In addition to the Farave continuingabout the Middle East and believe we may well face situations there in the next couple of years that will demand extensive aerial reconnaissance. Since the Russians have already provided good defensiveto some of the countries of concern in thisould have the same, or maybe even greater concern, for uses or drones in that area.
a. QUESTION: Is there any real differenceIA reconnaissance effort using civilian pilotsurely military reconnaissance program using military pilots?
b. ANSWER: The answer to this question depends on the worm situation at the time and the actual individuals who make upommittee. ersonally believe that there are times and situations when the government would be willing to approve mannedoverflights under civilian auspices while they would notimilar operation using milltar equipment and personnel. ontinue, therefore, to be concerned about totally giving up the capability to exercise that option should the need arise. ase this not so much on whether the pilotilitary officer, but much more on tho command control system that would be in use. An you know, we literally direct our manned reconnaissance program right from the Headquarters Buildingan personally intervene at any time oven after the operation Is underway. ignificant side benefit Is that the people directing the missions and the people doing the actual analysis of the information are in constant contact and oachlear understanding of the other's problems, limitations, etc. on'tractical way for this kind of close relationship to exist if tbe operation Is carried out under regular military procedures.
CAHL JS. UUCKfiTT
Deputy Director for
Science and Technology
YCiViAS control sr/crcM onlyOriginal document.