Created: 8/17/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible





MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director for Science andProgram

memorandum i& for information only.

Office lias little information about the TAGBCARDits transfer to Director, Program D, NRO, the Agency bandies contracting for TAOBOARD, someis available. ignificant events summary chronologyprogram is attached, based largely on information available toof Special Activities Contracting Officer.

.i. Additional comments about the program that follow are based on informal remarks made in the pas: several weeks by Kelly Johnson, Col. Clason B. Saunders, Director, case officer of the urogram} or as indicated.

A. Initially theach, drone was to be carried on top of and launched from specially2 uircra.fi: (originally two) which were. In this configuration] drone ramjeta to be ignited, checked out while attached to1 and launched at speeds ofor cruise flights at altitudeseetistance of aboutiles. At recovery, camera, payload and certain equipments are ejectedarachute air snatch accomplished byircraft,

5. After loss of1 aircraftlight test launchhe program was reviewed by NRO and reoriented. H aircraft were substituted in place of1 launch aircraft and configured to1 drone, redesignated, which would be gravity dropped fromaunch vehicle. The reoriented program required ar. addition toroneolid propellant

Handle Via Byeman Control System


rocket booster {inecond stage) and associated equipment to enable the drone to bo accelerated, after drop from, to an appropriate altitude and ram pressure (to start the inlet) ac whichrone ramjetould ignited, The program called for the useolid rocket, which had beer, previously qualified .indated for ilw. Apollo program, However, according to Col. Saunders, sometimee reoriented program was under way, Kelly Johnson ascertained that theonfiguration needed more thrust and,esult, the rocket had to be redesigned and increased in size to accommodc.te the new requirement. Recently problems have been encountered with qualifying the redesigned rocket. Kelly Johnson said thai quality control problems were encountered ir. the rocket case materiel but corrective action has been undertaken. Also according to Col. Saunders, it was .ic-cessary tolame shield type of liozulc to the aft end of the rocket to protect the drone from hot exhaust temperatures of iho rocket. Aside from the aforementioned major

.flort, ii . COiXCOm

being expressed by Lockheed performance people about the eventual range ofrone, originally forecast0 nm. OXCART practical flight experience in Southeast Asia indicates that the severity of upper air hot day temperatures (above standard day) encountered maypecification range by as muchn similar situations. Also, there is some concern that wind shears or rapid temperature changes may possibly induce flamcouts when operating in areas of the world where these situations are encountered.

6. Step by step, the TAG BOARD reoriented program has evolvedurported initial simple second stage configuration, with an on-thc-sheif qualified rocket capability,edesigned one of increased size and complexity. It is not known to what extent Kelly Johnson returned lo the wind tcnncl to verify these rather major changes from the initial approved reoriented TAGBOARD program. Keily Johnson, -lowevor, ^xodea his usual confidence forecasting the satisfactory demonstration ofn four test flights scheduled later this year. Itather optimistic feeling foromplex reoriented program (new first stage, i. e. ,nd additionecond stage, i.ocket ct al. )



Deputy Director of Special Activities


As noted above




- Special Assistant to the Director (Mr.tttt

- DD/SA tt

SA tt


- RH/OSAtt

Handle Via Bye man Control System

I. Summ.iry VAC-BOARD Chronology

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) authorised torone configuration and feasibility study for approximately six months.

LAC authorized lo proceed towards design and fabrication ofrones and conversion of2 aircraft (WEDLOCK! to launch vehicles. Definitive- contract later provided essentially for the following:

Conversion of2 aircraft1 launch aircraft

Fabrication OI1 drones

Static testing of one oi therones

Flight test ofirplane months, including

S. Initial spares, AGE, manuals, facility construction

other related

Definitive contract later provided essentially for:

One prototypeamera


Flight tost program

Initial spares, AGE. manuals, etc.

. Au NRO request technical responsibility for the program was

.ontrol System

transferred from CTA/OSA to General Geary (now Col.irector, with contracting to remain with CIA/OSA.

1.AC authorized to proceed with production ofdditional1 drones.

On fourth test drone launch over PMR1 launch aircraft) was destroyed leaving1s the only launch vehicle. Of the initialrones fabricated, this left1 drones (one used for static testing and four forack up launch vehicle, program was re-evaluated.


LAC advised to continue programimited basis.

LAC provided withircrafteplacement) launch aircraft) for modificationaunch configured aircraft, but to continue programimited basis.

I. 7

After NRO review program reoriented: LAC authorized to:


Fabricate seven's in lieu of thel's previously authorized


Produce long lead items for modification ofaunch aircraft

II. 6


J. 7

LAC advised to procure lony lead items for eight additional drones. etrofit,roduction and long lead for 8)

K. 7

LAC advised to proceed with twelve additionalandroduction).

L. 7

LAC delivery schedule received for current approved program:


5 0.





3 Drones:






M. 7

Proposal received from llycOn to finish the updating of theii i'r.iU:ii r eliver

eleven additional cameras. (Alter the loss of launch

ycon was also advised to workimited basis,f long lead items,ntil approval to proceed with

reoriented program was received. )

econdaunch aircraft has been assigned to tlie program and furnished to LAC for modification instimated completion of modification is7 including check-out.



rone flight testing will be7 and later at Beale Air Force Base- test launches arc scheduled to be made by theo demonstrate Specifications. It is alsotwo of the launches will include Hycon camera tests.

following NRO funding has been allocated, thus far, toprogram as indicated:


-As ofugustlong lead items for procurement of

sixteen drone systems to be procured inContractors, LAC and Hycon. have been advised that future procurements are anticipated to bc: sixteen drones and eight cameras per year. )


Original document.

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