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MEMORANDUM FOR: General Carter
Attachedopyraft Memorandum and statement prepared by Dr. Charyk for the Secretary of Defense. This was given to me this morning by Gllpatric with the understanding that the subject would be discussed upon Secretary McNamara's return after the first of the year.
The problem is that the OXCART, slightly modified, is needed by the Air Forceeconnaissance plane, anandomber. Furthermore it provides tho Air Forcenew vehicle" badly needed In view of the SKY BOLT0 argument.
I proposed to Gilpatric that CIA purchase the Air Force requirement. This, however, does not answer their political problem. ish you would consider this matter carefully with interested people in the Agency so that we can discuss the subject on my return onh. ave no doubt that the Killian Board will raise the question with me onhh.
JOHN A. McCONE Director
AFPPCVED rCPATE:7aw srsuu wr
FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SUBJECT: Surfacing2
The purpose of this memorandum is to discuss three points about surfacing
The needecision now to surface2 in January;
How to surfacend
The impact on the security of
A decision now to surface2 in January is required for the following reasons:
million, accounted for approximately
Your decisions on thend SKYBOLT will be taken by many members of the Congress as evidence that you are prejudiced andoctrinaire position against manned strategic systems. This charge can not be effectively refuted simply by talking about. An effective defense against it will require, first, that you be able to point to the money included in the budget fornd second, thateentral position in your statement to the Congress, and not merely inclusion as an afterthought. To do this, it will be necessary to surface0 million.
The "Black Budget" for4 has grown to be excessive. It is now approximately as follows:
Kedlock (IMI) Sub-Total
imt Ylft KBHmillion
Surfacingnd the Kediock (interceptor) would reduce tbe total substantially.
Our many discussions on tikis problem have led us to the conclusion that tho best approach to surfacingnd the Kediock would be along tho following lines. The basic aircraft should be described as an experimental plane! likeesigned and built to test various advanced techniques. It should probably be designated The excuse for keeping itecret should be that because of the very advanced technology involved, we wanted to keep the Soviet Union from learning about it until the last possible moment. (Of course, we kept the relevant committees of the Congress informed.) Now, however, the aircraft is about to fly, and complete secrecy is no longer possible. The story should indicate that the aircraft was developedariety of possible uses in mind including, an interceptor, and possiblyecoverable first stage booster. It has been suggested that the latter application be keptallback classified cover story, in line with our new policy of secrecy on satellite launchings. The defect in that is that the aircraft was obviously started before the secrecy policy.
A draft statement to the public (press and/or Congress) is attached for your consideration.
There is no possibility of keeping the existence of ecret forever. It is bound to come out. The only1 are when and how. inTexistenca is already apparently quitenown in the aerospace industry. Moreover, the combination ofof secrecy, Lockheed and Kelly Johnson, is bound to start
. Under the circumstances, trying to maintain
the security of2 by trying to keep the wholeecretigh probability uf failure.
On the othertrong case can be made for an approach to maintaining the security of2 based on the following two points:
(a) Surfacingnd the Kediockover fornd
(b) Taking maximum precautions Lo maintain the highest security on the low radar cross-section of
Apparently the low radar cross section of2 isemarkable technical accomplishment. Moreover, mere visual observation (or photographs) would not reveal it. There la good reason to believe that it can be kepteecret from the Russians. Surfacingnd the Kedlock would help this. The Kodlock doesn'tow radar cross section. ould doubtless bo equipped with the equivalent of removable corner reflectors that would giveigh radar cross section in peacetime, andow radar cross section in wartime. (We might even fly one where Communist radars canook at it just to establish the high cross section in their minds.) All this is of course important because it is the low radar cross section that makes2 so promising for covert operations. It is very important to keep the radar cross-section secret in order to prevent the Russians from taking countermeusures.
Tha schedule proposed by the Air Force (or the procurement and deployment ofould obviously be impossible of accomplishment if substantial progress in development of the aircraft had not already-been made. It can now be revealed that thes to bo developed as an outgrowth ofecret experimental aircraft of very high performance and advanced technical concept.
1 program was started ins the resultroposal by Lockheed that was notable for its advanced technical concept Coupled with this was Lockheed's unique management proposal which indicated the job could be doneignificantly shorter period of time than is generally considered acceptable and with the resultant savings in dollars. There were in this proposal several items of not only proprietary interest to LAC but of far reaching consequences to the defense posture of the United States^ and it was therefore decided that any future steps taken in relation to this program would be on an extremely classified need to know basis.
Inasmuch as the structure and design of the proposal presented an entirely new approach and also appeared to have possibilities as an LR1 (Long Range Interceptor) as well as considerable potentialost strike reccy or reccy strike vehicle, it was decided to exploit these possibilities and to go ahead in0rototype program In the simplest configuration.
This also motivated the decision to continue the work on theire control and weapon system originally slated for the now.
Due primarily to the Lockheed management approach plus special contractual procedures and commitments within the Air Force, this vehicle is well ahead of what normally could be considered anschedule.
In March1 tho program was reviewed by the present administration and the decision was made to continue under the same ground rules. Its post strike reccy and reccy strike capabilities were recently given major consideration due to the uncertainties surrounding
The Air Force for the first time in its history now finds itself in the singular position ofehicle whose basic design readily lends itselfiversity of purpose with only the most minor of modifications and little change in performance.
Taking advantage of this diversity the Secretary of Defense has decided that one of the major applications of1 will be in the roleost-strike reconnaissance vehicle. In this role, the aircraft, now designated, willefueled rangeto thereater speed and altitude,maller, but adequate, payload. Its development and procurement costs willmall fraction of those for the Because of the fact that many of the technical components necessary for recce strike are still beyond the current state of the art, it is not possible to commitecce strike system at this time. At firstill be designed simplyost-strike reconnaissance aircraft. Tlds is an important role for future manned strategic aircraft, and ia required to giveesirable strategic flexibility. However, research and development on recce Btrike technology will continue, and, if and when the required technology becomes available,X aircraft might be configured toecondary bombing or reconnaissance-strike capability if either proves to be required.
It is anticipated that system testing of1 will be done at Edwards Air Force Base commencing not before late Spring