How to Assess the Survivability of U.S. ICBMs

by Bruce W. Bennett


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Develops complete survivability distributions for U.S. ICBMs under various conditions of Soviet attack and under three U.S. basing options: silos, trenches, and shelters. The distributions show the cumulative probability of a Soviet attack achieving at most a given kill probability and thus specify the confidence with which survivability can be expected. Unlike other analyses in the literature, the report explicitly defines and develops the uncertainties in ICBM basing options and in Soviet operational effectiveness that influence the assessment of survivability. The report concludes that, from a U.S. perspective, the Soviets face a very high risk in any attack against U.S. ICBMs, even though they have developed MIRVed ICBMs with much improved accuracy.

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