If flight testing were limited or prevented by some control regime, and if suppliers
refused to transfer full-up ballistic missile systems, then could a developing country---or even
a developed country---achieve an operational ballistic missile capability?
The number of flight tests needed to develop and obtain confidence in a ballistic
missile is decreasing over time. (See figure 1, which shows flight testing trends for various US
ICBMs.) This decline is due to the accumulation of knowledge and the development of
improved alternative techniques for evaluating missile systems. Better instrumentation and
analysis methods are applied to static firings of the rocket motors; and more sophisticated
simulations of launch and flight are applied to workouts of the guidance and control systems.
In addition, continually increasing computational capabilities streamline the development
process by aiding design, development and evaluation.
Political considerations have also driven down the numbers and restricted the
possibilities for testing. For example, overflights of the continental United States are
problematic, and a static testing procedure called Simulated Electronic Launch of Minuteman
was introduced to compensate partially for the lack of flight tests fired from active-duty silos.(35)
Intangible factors such as morale (in turn, affected by the threat perception) of the
missile work force, organizational structure and even culture may affect the number of tests
needed. A common cause of failure in complex technical projects is poor coordination and
communication between teams which produce different subsystems that must work together.
A better-educated and better-equipped work force may also be better able to circumvent
difficult technical problems and minimize testing.
The transfer of knowledge from non-military space activities to military missiles may
also reduce flight testing requirements. But it is easy to overstate the adaptability of civilian
space technology to military requirements. Farooq Hussain states that, "The development of
very reliable launchers, for both satellites and manned spacecraft, with a minimum number
of flight tests has always been the philosophy of NASA....The United States' aerospace industry
has now learned the methods by which very high reliability can be attained essentially without
a flight-test requirement or with only a nominal one."(36) The trick, according to Hussain, is to
"introduce a large amount of redundancy in back-up systems." However, this "very high
reliability" is purchased only at a cost that would be prohibitive for most military systems.
Redundancy means dead weight, and a multiplication of system cost and complexity. A
typical commercial launch is carried out only under the best weather conditions, and only
after the rocket has been examined by an army of technicians, and a committee of engineers
has given the word `Go.' Moreover, the continuing series of unmanned launches, using
rockets with long histories such as Atlas, Titan, and Delta, is itself a de facto testing program
from which information is obtained to improve the rockets and their operational use. Major
upgrades of these systems have been accompanied by an expensive and embarrassing series
of failures. Nor has the manned space program been without its disasters and learning curves.
After the tragedy of Apollo 1, a series of unmanned launches of the Saturn vehicles was carried
out before manned flight resumed; and even the space shuttle, with all its redundancy and
sensors monitoring every component, has experienced one catastrophe and many mishaps.
Robert Sherman notes that "The history of missile development is replete with
examples of new missiles and new technologies which performed well in computer simulation
and ground testing, but which revealed unpredicted---and probably unpredictable---fatal
defects in flight testing."(37) Of the eight new strategic missiles first tested in the 1980s (MX,
Trident II, Pershing II, SS-24, SS-25, SS-N-20, SS-N-23 and an SS-18 follow-on), all but two
failed their first flight tests. The MX missile's inertial guidance system performed "brilliantly"
in early development tests, but its accuracy fell off when the production team took over
production of the missiles from the development team, according to Sherman.
A recently revealed report on Soviet ICBM development demonstrates the requirement
for extensive static testing and operational flight testing. Apparently the Soviets had persistent
difficulties with hydro-thermodynamic instabilities in their liquid-fuel engines. Production-model engines that worked most of the time would unpredictably exhibit these instabilities.
Sometimes the engines failed catastrophically. No systematic differences between the engines
that worked and those that failed could be detected, and despite the efforts of hundreds of
scientists, the effects could not be reproduced in the lab. Ad hoc solutions were sometimes
found, but the scientists could not obtain any systematic control over the phenomena.
According to the author of the report, a former Soviet rocket engineer, this problem explains
why the Soviets relied for so long on clusters of small, inefficient engines on their booster
rockets, instead of moving to the larger, more efficient engines used by the United States.
Their solution was to mount sensors in the engines that would shut them down at the first sign
of trouble, then the rocket would fly on using the remaining engines.
This example clearly illustrates the kinds of difficulties that may arise unexpectedly in
the development of missile systems, and may go undetected in the absence of a rigorous
testing program. As it turned out, the clustering fix masked a systematic flaw. During the
winter of 1965-6, the Strategic Rocket Forces undertook a standard test of a deployed strategic
missile. The nuclear warhead was replaced with a dummy, and the missile was transported
to a space facility for the launch toward the Pacific. The operational missile, which had been
serially produced in the thousands, exploded on the launch pad. Hydrodynamic instabilities
in the fuel feed lines caused the explosion. The oscillations turned out to be associated with
a narrow range of air temperatures, around -30 degrees C. The engine had passed ignition
tests at 40, 30, 20, 10, 0, -10, -20 and -40 degrees C, but had never been tested at -30.(38)
If no flight testing is permitted, then every new weapon or component risks catastrophic
failure with a high probability.
INCENTIVES FOR THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES
The present response by the developed world to the spread of missile technology is an
export control/proliferation management regime, combined with a `technical fix' in the form
of anti-missile systems. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), initiated in 1987
with seven members, has grown to include 25, mostly Western industrialized countries.(39)
MTCR members and adherents pledge to abide by common export guidelines on missile-relevant technologies and missiles themselves. Although a factsheet on the MTCR issued by
the US government in 1987 said that the guidelines "are not designed to impede national
space programs or international cooperation in such programs as long as such programs could
not contribute to nuclear weapons delivery systems,"(40) the regime seems to have acquired the
goal of doing precisely that. By definition, any space launch vehicle could contribute to a
ballistic missile that conceivably could deliver a nuclear payload.
At the same time, many countries of the North, alarmed about the perceived spread of
missile capabilities, are developing or purchasing anti-missile systems. The US government
plans to spend $3.2 billion in Fiscal Year 1995 to develop ballistic missile defenses, and the
United States and Russia are aggressively marketing their tactical anti-missile missiles to
countries in the Middle East and East Asia.
Unfortunately, the MTCR and missile defenses do not address the security concerns of
the `proliferators.' These policies have therefore failed to eliminate the demand for missiles,
borne of regional political tension and local arms races.
Janne Nolan has argued that even if the big military powers agreed to forgo missile
flight testing in order to curb missile proliferation, developing countries would not find this
offer all that compelling, given the disparities that would remain in the size and capabilities
of military arsenals.(41) Yet, assuming non-transfer of further missiles, developing countries
would gain some palpable security benefits through a flight test ban. Superpowers like to
think of ballistic missiles primarily as deterrents. But in the developing world, missiles have
been used recently and extensively against cities, mainly as weapons of terror and attrition.(42)
A testing ban would immediately improve the security environment of many countries by
halting costly and destabilizing regional missile races. If the ban extended down to missiles
with a range of 100 km/500 kg payload, then the benefits would be even greater, as deployed
short-range (yet often `strategic') systems would be `rusted out' over time.
Such a regime would not equalize the global military imbalance. In particular, the
United States and Russia would retain massive conventional superiority as well as massive
nuclear capabilities. But in time, these arsenals would also dwindle through lack of
operational readiness training, gradual loss of confidence, and (hopefully) eventual strategic
The entire world would benefit by decreasing the chance of accidental or intentional
nuclear war. A flight test ban should also alleviate the perceived need for anti-missile systems,
lessening global tensions and freeing up vast resources that would be spent to develop and
deploy such systems.
Certain developing countries would also be relieved of anxiety about the United States
and Russia re-targeting ICBMs on them. A Pentagon report leaked to the press in January 1992
suggested that in the post cold war world, "every reasonable adversary"---some presumably
in the developing world---should be targeted with nuclear and non-nuclear strategic
weapons.(43) As part of its recent `counter-proliferation' initiative, the US Department of
Defense is reportedly considering fitting some Trident II D5 missiles with small nuclear
weapons,(44) as well as with conventional warheads. Rear Admiral Thomas Ryan, the director
of the US Navy's submarine warfare division, argues that the latter is needed as a credible
deterrent against certain developing countries.(45) A long-range, kinetic energy penetrator is
intended to destroy underground command and communication bunkers of potential (third
world) adversaries. This wild plan appears to be driven by the search for a new mission for
the D5, which was to have been targeted primarily on the hardened SS-18 silos, now
scheduled to be eliminated under START II.(46) The bunker-busting mission would require
accuracy of 5-7 meters, which could not be achieved without testing;(47) on 18 November 1993
the Navy conducted a classified test of a D5 missile equipped with at least two conventional
warheads from a Trident submarine off the Florida coast.(48)
US Navy officials are touting a conventional SLBM as an `anti-proliferation weapon.'
But it is likely that this current (and disturbingly recurrent) talk of converting ICBMs or SLBMs
to engage third world targets from intercontinental range will motivate developing countries
to pursue their own long range missile development. In addition, the development of ultra-high accuracy needed for conventional SLBMs could destabilize the US-Russian nuclear
relationship and re-energize the qualitative nuclear arms race.
GREAT POWER ISSUES
Undoubtedly, flight testing restrictions would hamper and even make impossible the
spread of long range missile capability. But the major military powers may be unwilling to
forgo testing to achieve this end. Nolan states that a flight test ban (FTB) "has never been
considered seriously by [the five declared nuclear states'] governments," and that "the notion
that the superpowers and the NATO allies would abandon missile flight testing in the hopes
of persuading third world countries to follow suit lacks credibility."(49) In this section, therefore,
I analyze the crucial issue of the interests of current ICBM powers.
Russia. Some Russian legislators perceive START II to be unfavorable to Moscow. Others
worry that the costs of the treaty are too high. They estimate that it will cost Russia $5 billion
to comply with START II and to reconfigure its forces, including producing new ICBMs not
prohibited by the treaty.(50) The SS-25 is the only ICBM currently produced in Russia.(51) US
intelligence sources reportedly expect that Russia will flight test and deploy one or two follow-ons to the SS-25 and to the SS-N-20 SLBM sometime later this decade.(52) The Russian press
reported in early April 1993 that the Moscow Thermo-Engineering Institute and the
Dnepropetrovsk `Yuzhnoye' Science and Production Association are developing a new
"multipurpose" ICBM. According to the report, flight tests will begin in 1994.(53)
According to CIA Director Woolsey, "Russia's willingness to fulfill START II
requirements will depend, in part, on its ability to modernize its remaining forces to make
them viable into the next century and to ensure that it remains a strategic super-power."(54) On
the other hand, some $1.2 billion in so-called `Nunn-Lugar' monies are being provided to
assist in the denuclearization of the country, but continued strategic modernization is
undercutting political support in the US Congress for more assistance.
A converted SS-25 underwent an initial test launch as a space launch vehicle from the
Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 25 March 1993. The commercial launcher is known as the `START
I'.(55) In addition, a Washington, DC-based group of investors, headed by former Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs Admiral Thomas Moorer, has also contracted with a Russian company to
develop a mobile commercial satellite launcher. Their so-called `Surf' vehicle would
incorporate elements from deactivated SS-N-23 and SS-N-20 SLBMs and would be launched
from mobile floating platforms. The first demonstration launch is anticipated in 1994, if the
project receives approval from the US government.(56) Several other planned conversions are
underway.(57) Such schemes would complicate a ballistic missile flight test ban, but they do
not present insurmountable obstacles.
United States. A flight test ban would preclude the continuation by the United States and
Russia of the race for exotic first strike weapons,(58) such as high-accuracy usable capabilities,
defenses, depressed trajectory(59),(60)/short time of flight weapons, maneuvering reentry vehicles
(MaRVs) and precision-guided RVs.
A ban would also erode the reliability and confidence essential to first-strike planning.(61)
As Robert Sherman has argued, "statistical analysis can demonstrate that deterrence and
stability are highest when strategic missiles on both sides are `semi-rusted'---that is, when only
about 30-70 percent can be expected to work properly....Less-than-perfect reliability
discourages aggression more than it impairs deterrence."(62) However, in spite of this common-sense logic, supporters of an FTB will collide head-on (as do supporters of a nuclear test ban)
with proponents of weapons safety and reliability testing. In response to Sherman, Walter B.
Slocombe argued that reliability problems would "breed concerns about massive undetected
problems with the force, which would foster pressures for early use or, more probably, for
abandoning the flight test ban.... Implicitly, a ballistic missile flight test ban reflects the
view...that nuclear weapons modernization itself is the chief source of danger."(63),(64) It is
difficult to know what Slocombe means by "pressures for early use," but one need not be
wedded to the view that modernization is the wellspring of crisis instability to agree that it can
be a source of danger. Moreover, it is hard to envisage any arms control agreement which
does not pose the "danger" that it will someday be broken.
With respect to operational reliability, a chart at the recent authorization hearing for
the Trident II program noted that "Accuracy, reliability and safety can only be objectively
evaluated, verified and predicted by flight test....The ability to detect and correct an
unacceptable degradation in accuracy, reliability or safety is required."(65) This statement
confuses the information that is obtained in early development and evaluative test series with
that obtained later in continuing operational tests. The latter are not conducted at a rate
sufficient to detect the changes that might be expected in accuracy or in reliability rates. A
sudden and unexpected degradation probably would remain undetected for a considerable
period if testing were relied upon to reveal it. But in fact, the primary guard against such
deterioration is inspection and non-flight testing of the operational missiles.(66)
Farooq Hussain argues that an FTB would impede many "desirable technological
improvements to existing systems which contribute to increased survivability."(67) Contributions
to survivability, either against first-strike attack or against ballistic missile defense systems, do
contribute, in principle, to stability. But only improvements in survivability against defenses
depend critically on flight testing.(68) Thus if defenses remain limited under the ABM Treaty, we
need not fear an erosion of crisis stability due to an FTB.
Finally, some in the US defense establishment maintain that an end to testing would
be detrimental to US security, in that it would lead to greater uncertainty about other
countries' missile capabilities. During flight tests, missiles transmit a stream of electronic data
on the missile's performance to monitors on the ground. Interception of this data, called
telemetry, reveals the capabilities of the missile. Denial of telemetry and of visual information
through a testing ban, it is said, would lead to worst case threat analyses, which would spur
arms races.(69) However, worst case analyses prevail anyway, without testing restrictions. The
trade off here is one of curtailing missile development through a negotiated test ban, or
allowing development to continue simply so that it can be monitored.
There are strong political interests in the United States committed to continuing ballistic
missile testing. Continued testing is driven by: 1) bureaucratic self-maintenance of the US
`missile-lab complex'; 2) the market provided by testing for the US aerospace industry; 3) the
quest to develop missile defenses; and 4) the need to maintain superiority over British and
French nuclear forces (to justify US leadership of the NATO alliance) and over Russian and
Chinese countervailing forces.(70) Consequently, the United States has conducted 20 to 30
ICBM launches annually in recent years (see table 1). Similar pressures---especially pressures
to maintain missile industry jobs---are at play in Russia.
The Trident II (D5), which began launch pad flight testing in 1987, is currently the only
strategic ballistic missile in production in the United States. After 19 developmental tests and
nine `performance evaluation missile' tests, the missiles are currently being tested in each of
the D5 capable nuclear submarines (SSBN). On 20 August 1993, the eleventh Trident II
DASO test took place, this one launched from the USS Nebraska.(71) The Navy has slated 35
missiles for DASO tests.(72) The fiscal year 1994 US defense budget request reflects the
reduction in planned procurement of D5 missiles (down from 779 to 428) and reduced
operational testing plans.(73) Because of the success of the Trident II test program to date, the
Navy ended the CINC Evaluation Test (CET) program early and initiated a reduced follow-on
CET. The program provides data to evaluate continually the performance of the system
through the design service life (at least 30 years) of the D5 capable Trident subs. The Navy
has slated 138 Trident II missiles for CET and follow-on CET.(74)
In addition, the US Air Force is urging guidance and propulsion system replacement
programs for the Minuteman III, which, after the year 2003, will be the only remaining land-based ICBMs in the United States.(75)
France. In February 1993 M-4 missiles(76),(77) were retrofitted onto the last of five French strategic
nuclear submarines. Each of the five submarines can launch 16 M-4 SLBMs, each of which
carries up to six 150 kt warheads.(78) France plans to have operational a new generation
submarine (Triomphant class) by mid 1995. These will carry 16 M-45 missiles each. Unlike
the M-4, M-45 missiles carry electronic counter-measures and penetration aids. France plans,
in turn, to replace the M-45 missiles with 8-9,000 km range M-5 missiles in the 21st century.(79)
France has no ICBMs, but has developed short and intermediate range land-based ballistic
missiles. France tests its IRBMs and SLBMs into the North Atlantic, with a down-range
tracking station on Saint Maria Island in the Azores.(80)
United Kingdom. Britain neither builds nor tests its own ICBMs, but rather procures Trident
II (D5) missiles from the United States and tests its missiles and subs on the US Eastern Test
Range. The United Kingdom is reportedly slated to purchase 67 D5 missiles (including test
missiles and spares) for four Trident class subs during the next 30 years.(81)
China. China is developing new ICBMs and SLBMs. Deployment of the DF-31 (ICBM) and
the JL-2 (SLBM) are scheduled for mid- to late 1990s, and an even more ambitious 12,000 km
range mobile missile, the DF-41 is on the drawing board.(82) In addition, China is working on
improved guidance and MIRVs.(83) China flight tests missiles occasionally into the Pacific, to
near the Solomon Islands, and into the Yellow Sea and Indian Ocean.
Comprehensive flight test ban (CFTB). A comprehensive flight test ban would be more
effective in impeding missile development than would any partial measure, and it would be
more attractive politically to developing country missile aspirants. A CFTB would level the
playing field between them and the great powers in terms of permitted and non-permitted
missile-related activities. Furthermore, a CFTB would be far easier to verify than existing arms
control undertakings (like, for example, the Chemical Weapons Convention and even the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). The development of a new ballistic missile system cannot
be kept secret. As then CIA Director William Webster acknowledged in May 1989, "The
status of missile development programs is less difficult to track than nuclear weapons
development. New missile systems must be tested thoroughly and in the open...."(84) Flight
testing is unavoidably observable---and becomes more easily observable the longer the range
of the missile. US early warning satellites can reliably determine whether missiles are or are
not being flight tested.(85),(86)
The use of possible ballistic missile components in space launch vehicles to circumvent
a flight test ban would complicate such a regime.(87)
,(88) However, even if some component
testing could not be prevented, the lack of complete system tests would result in low
confidence in missile reliability. As Sherman notes: "War planners are aware of the numerous
instances in which components worked perfectly by themselves but, when flight tested
together, revealed disastrous incompatibilities that otherwise would have been
Moreover, interception of non-encrypted telemetry signals could expose military-related upgrades on ostensible space launcher flights. Non-encryption of telemetry should be
a staple of any FTB regime. Violation of this principle might provide early indication of
intention to break out of a missile flight ban treaty.
Undoubtedly, a CFTB would involve tradeoffs between arms control effectiveness and
non-interference with space activities. If flight testing restrictions were too lax, they might be
ineffectual, allowing the transfer of improvements from the civilian sector to the military. If
restrictions were too severe, they might impede civil space programs. In order to build the
strongest possible wall between ballistic missile tests and space flights, Robert Sherman has
suggested the following guideposts at each stage of flight.(90)
Reentry: High-speed reentry, radar-emitting reentry vehicles and terminal maneuvers could
be prohibited. Ballistic missile reentry vehicles approach or impact the earth at many times
the speed of sound. Accuracy would diminish if they were slower and spent more time in the
atmosphere. High-speed reentry is not used in space programs, however, because "it would
be bad for reusable payloads and worse for astronaut morale." In addition, legally permissible
re-entry angles could be defined to distinguish between legitimate space booster rockets and
ballistic missiles and between satellite/shuttle/spacecraft re-entries and weapons payload re-entry vehicles.(91)
Warhead separation phase: The weights and profiles of existing reentry vehicles could be
catalogued, and the release of objects sharing the weight and velocity change of missile
reentry vehicles could then be banned.
Boost stage: Each party to the flight test ban would list the length, diameter and total impulse
of every missile boost stage it deploys; flights of these devices could be prohibited. Where
boosters are identical to space launch vehicles, the space boosters must be displayed for
inspection, counting and tagging. Tagged boosters would be granted an exemption from the
test ban, provided they were not flown on a missile trajectory. When the tagged boosters
were expended, all new boosters would have to be verifiably different.
All US ICBMs and the more modern of the Soviet ICBMs use solid-fuel rocket engines.
Solid propellants are more stable and storable than are liquid fuels, making them more
militarily useful. Through such a cataloguing and tagging system as Sherman proposes, new
space launch vehicles could be required to utilize non-storable liquid fuel engines. This could
be verified during flight by infrared sensors, which can determime the chemical composition
of rocket propellant by its thermal signature.(92),(93) there is some precedent for this in forced
renunciation of use of Pu in energy reactors??--Jon Wolfstahl.
Guidance-systems: Ensuring that guidance being tested on a space shuttle or space launch
vehicle is not intended for an ICBM is the most formidable challenge. To deal with this,
Sherman recommends internal inspection of missiles and space vehicles.
Partial test ban. Several possible configurations for regional bans or other partial FTB
Numerical testing ceilings. A regime could be negotiated that permitted only X number of
tests per year. An annual quota of perhaps five or six flight tests (similar to a proposal by
President Carter in 1977) would allow the major military powers to maintain confidence in
the reliability of their arsenals while slowing modernization and development. Such a ceiling
was proposed by Sidney Drell and Theodore Ralston in 1985. They calculated that a fifty
percent cut in tests (from the average twelve per year to six) would cause a major delay in
achieving confidence in accuracy enhancements.(94)
Hussain notes that the Soviet development philosophy resulted in flight testing more
often than did the United States,(95) a fact which could make a numerical ceiling more difficult
to negotiate. However, with the radical improvement in relations between the former Soviet
Union and the United States, missile modernization is already slowing. On the other hand,
since most third world countries undertake only a small number of tests annually, a test ceiling
would do little to prevent continued development and proliferation.
The ceiling could be designed to allow only operational/reliability tests, preventing
testing of innovations. Verification of a ban on development tests would be complicated, as
it would have to ensure that incremental improvements (for example, guidance improvements)
were not being clandestinely flight tested on surrogate missile launchers. The broadcast of un-encrypted telemetry would help verify against such cheating.
A delivery range-delimited ban. The first question is of what range? Many of the current
developing country missiles of concern are short range systems (100-300 km). Missiles of
similar range in the US arsenal (like the Army Tactical Missile System) are considered tactical
battlefield missiles. The effects on Russian short range systems must also be factored in to
their likely acceptance or non-acceptance of such a regime.(96) An agreement to ban tests of
such short range systems would be more difficult, but not impossible, to verify.
The United States and Soviet Union agreed in 1987 to renounce their intermediate-range ballistic missiles, those with a range from 500-5,500 km. The INF Treaty also prohibits
the signatories from flight testing systems of this class. Former ACDA officials Kenneth
Adelman and Kathleen Bailey have promoted the idea of internationalizing the INF Treaty as
a possible approach to curtailing third world missile proliferation.(97) However, nearly all of
the systems currently deployed by developing countries would fall below the 500-5,500 km
range covered by INF. The ubiquitous Scud-B, for example, would not be included, nor
would the SS-21, Lance, or Jericho I systems. In the Middle East, only the Israeli Jericho II, the
Saudi CSS-2, the Indian Agni (under development), North Korean missiles under development
and Iraqi missiles (which are now being destroyed anyway) would be covered. A ban on
testing systems of these delivery ranges would be a meaningful step, but a regime that left their
adversaries' missiles in place, and would not permit testing of their own systems, would likely
be unacceptable to the Israelis and Saudis.
Such a regime would also leave open the possibility, however slim, of third world
countries jumping ahead to missiles with delivery ranges above the 5,000 km INF ceiling,
approaching ranges that could strike the continental United States.(98) Further, since some
developing-country ballistic missile programs are driven, in part, by arms races or tension with
ICBM-possessing countries (for example, India's concern with China), such a non-inclusive
regime might lack support.
Since there is a direct relationship between missile payload and range, the possibility
of downloading payload to achieve a greater than permissible range must also be factored in
to any range-delimited test ban.
Flight test free zone (FTFZ). A negotiated FTFZ already exists, in the demilitarized Antarctic,
and several other regions (Latin America, most of Africa) are de facto FTFZs. In the 1970s the
Campaign for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific attempted to incorporate an FTFZ into
the 1986 South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty.(99) Australia quashed this effort.
A geographically-delimited approach has several advantages for curbing missile
proliferation. In particular, it is not dependent on gaining the agreement of all, or nearly all,
of the states currently deploying or developing ballistic missiles.(100) Only some subset of this
group would be required to go along. A principal difficulty with this approach, however, is
that many of the regional arms races overlap each other. For example, a regional FTFZ to
include Pakistan and India would probably need to include China; and a Middle East FTFZ
might spill over to include Pakistan and India.
The lack of a negotiating history between many of the regional adversaries engaged in
missile races may make global or regional FTFZs premature. It might make more sense at the
outset to engage regional adversaries in confidence-building exercises and to foster regional
peace processes and reconciliation. Conversely, a missile flight test ban is one of the more
meaningful and readily verifiable arms control measures imaginable. It is conceivable that
regional adversaries---especially those that have alliance partners outside the region---might
find a regional FTFZ to be a productive diplomatic strategy to build confidence within the
In the Middle East, some tentative steps toward a regional FTFZ were broached by the
United States through separate talks with the Egyptian and Israeli governments in the late
1980s. Under discussion, reportedly, were small confidence building steps such as advance
notice of missile flight tests and possibly `no first use' pledges that could lay the groundwork
for farther-reaching steps in the future.(101) In his post-Gulf War Middle East arms control
initiative of 29 May 1991, President Bush called for a halt to further acquisition, production
and testing of ballistic missiles of any range by states in the region, leading to "the ultimate
elimination of such missiles from their arsenals."(102)
This proposal would appear to be in the interests of all countries of the region: The
citizens of Israel, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have all been threatened and attacked by ballistic
missiles in the past five years. Moreover, an FTFZ would meet both Israel's and the Arab
states' arms control interests. In general, Israel advocates limits on conventional arms transfers
to the region, while the Arab states prefer to deal with unconventional weapons first,
conventional arms later. Because of their historical use as delivery vehicles for nuclear
payloads, and because of their relationship to conventional air force capabilities, ballistic
missiles fall into a grey area and so missile disarmament might be acceptable to both sides as
a first step. Indeed, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has vigorously endorsed a plan for a
zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which calls on all Middle Eastern
countries to announce their commitment to "deal effectively and honestly with matters
involving the delivery systems of various weapons of mass destruction."(103)
A regional testing regime that permitted flight testing only of already-deployed systems
would probably be unacceptable to regional actors that felt at a disadvantage (that is, did not
then deploy missiles). Conversely, a regime that allowed all countries in a region to develop
missiles up to the longest range missile deployed in the region (for example, to the range of
the CSS-2 or Jericho II/Shavit in the Mideast), thereby permitting development of long-range
missiles by non-allies like Iran or Libya, would be unacceptable to the United States. A total,
regional missile flight test ban seems the most likely to be accepted. A central question is
whether regional flight test bans could be agreed without a global ban, or at least without
superpower participation in the form, for example, of no-first use guarantees.
An FTFZ approach might also have to account for tests conducted by the parties on the
territory of another country, outside the region. This has occurred quite often in third world
missile development (for example, Israel apparently tested in South Africa; Iraq reportedly
tested missiles in Mauritania; and Iran reportedly has recently prepared to flight test missiles
An RV test ban or ban on testing new MIRVs. While this ban would be useful in the great
power context (including China), it would not apply to most developing countries. However,
it might be desirable to lock all potential long range missile countries into such a ban
preemptively to preclude MIRV development.
START II bans, among other things, flight-testing MIRVed ICBMs after 1 January 2003.
Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey told the US Senate in summer 1993, "We will
be able to monitor the ban on MIRVed ICBMs...both by tracking the elimination of launchers
for MIRVed ICBMs and by analyzing the data from flight tests of new missiles."(104)
Ban certain flight trajectories. The most obvious candidate here would be a ban on flight
testing missiles (especially SLBMs) on a depressed trajectory (DT).(105) Again, while this would
be a useful step in the great power context, it is irrelevant in the near future to developing
country missile proliferation. Since such a trajectory would have no overlap with space
flights, it would be easy to verify a DT ban.
En route to achieving flight limitation regimes, several confidence inspiring measures
could be undertaken. During the cold war, the United States and Soviet Union pre-notified
each other of missile tests and broadcast warnings to mariners of the expected area of missile
impact (see Appendix C). These practices could be expanded to include any country firing
missiles into international waters or overflying another country. States in a given region could
also pledge that missiles will be tested on non-provactive flight paths, away from adversaries'
land mass or other assets.
With the cold war ended, security analysts have identified ballistic missile and nuclear
weapons proliferation as the leading threat facing the United States now and in the coming
years. The US defense establishment perceives the threat from third world missile
development programs to be serious enough to warrant an outlay of several billions of dollars
this year to develop technical countermeasures and `non-proliferation' programs.
In reality, the scale of the missile proliferation threat has sometimes been exaggerated---by proponents of missile defenses and by `proliferators' themselves. Many of the countries
often cited as being a source of concern actually have very limited indigenous programs.
Many undertake little or no flight testing, which may be less necessary for imported arsenals
of proven and primitive systems like the Soviet-manufactured Scud-B. But missile flight testing
is essential to achieve any degree of confidence that a ballistic missile system under
development will work as intended.
A few third world countries are steadily developing substantive space launch vehicles
and long-range ballistic missiles. India and Israel (and to a lesser stage of development, Brazil)
have missile development programs, demonstrable through serial flight testing. Israel and
India are not particularly politically worrisome to the United States, but both have nuclear
weapons. Eventual development and deployment of nuclear tipped (or possibly nuclear
tipped) ICBMs by them would have far-reaching implications.
In addition, China continues to develop more advanced strategic nuclear weapons. In
the 1990s, China is expected to deploy three new ICBMs/SLBMs, as well as its first MIRVed
missiles. This eventuality would also be globally destabilizing. The perilous political fate of
pro-Western politicians in Russia increases the desirability of a ballistic missile flight test ban.
Such a ban would impede US Navy and Air Force plans, as well as those of the other
declared nuclear powers. The main question relevant to the establishment of a global FTB
regime is whether the United States believes that non-proliferation benefits accrued from an
end to testing outweigh the bureaucratic imperatives, and psychological needs to continue
Once a system has been tested adequately, operational reliability can be assured to
some degree with methods other than flight testing. Certainly, a global and total FTB would
freeze existing ballistic missile developments, and gradually erode those holdings over time.
In order to ensure that clandestine development of ballistic missiles was not occurring under
the guise of space launcher tests, some special provisions would have to be made. However,
an FTB would be more easily verified through satellite and aircraft reconnaissance than any
other arms control agreement imaginable.
Agreement to an FTB in the near term would also demonstrate the commitment to
nuclear arms reduction which the superpowers pledged as an inducement to countries to sign
on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1969. This year NPT adherents will decide
whether and for how long to extend the Treaty.
Appendix A: Ballistic Missile Flight Test Ranges/Space Launch Test Facilities
BM=ballistic missile flight test facilities. SLV=space launch site or flight test facility.
Argentina: Argentine press reported in 1989 that the Condor II had recently been flight tested
Australia: BM---Woomera. Run by Defense Science Technology Organization, Woomera
reportedly has the longest recovery range in Western world. Its instrumented range covers
200 km2 and its full range is 800 km long.(107)
Brazil: SLV---Barreira do Inferno was the first major launch facility in Brazil; Alcantara was
built to launch the VLS but also has launch pads for Sonda III and Sonda IV.(108)
China: SLV---Jiuquan, Xichang, Taiyuan.
CIS: SLV/BM---Tyuratum Cosmodrome at Baikonur, Kazakhstan; Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia.
ICBM tests from Tyuratum fly in a north-easterly direction toward the Kamchatka Peninsula
impact zone. In the east, missiles are launched from Plesetsk, the former-USSR's northernmost
launch facility and now Russia's main test and launch facility.
Egypt: Heliopolis?? This was the site of Egyptian missile development in the 1960s.(109)
France: SLV (Arianespace)---Kourou, French Guiana. BM---Toulon.
India: SLV---SHAR Centre (Shriharikota); BM---Chandipur (Orissa State, east coast)
Israel: SLV/BM---Palmachim Air Force Base (south of Tel Aviv).
North Korea: BM---Nodongjagu??
Pakistan: SLV/BM---Somniami Bay??
South Africa: SLV/BM---Armiston (near Overberg, in Cape Province).
United States: BM---Vandenberg AFB (California), Cape Canaveral (Florida); White Sands
Army Missile Test Range (New Mexico). SLV---Kennedy Space Center (Florida), Vandenberg
AFB (California), Wallops Island (Virginia)(110).
General source: "Launch Vehicles: Operational Satellite Launcher Directory," Flight
International, 7-13 April 1993, pp. 37-41.
Appendix B: Flight Testing of Selected Developing Country Ballistic Missiles/Space
System Date Launch Site Impact Site/Other Info.
1976 First launch.
?? Second-23rd launches.
11/30/1990 Alcantara Launch Center 24th launch; took a 142 kg payload to 405 km.
1984 First launch.
10/1987 Terminated when first and second stages
failed to separate due to on-board computer
?? Third launch.
4/28/1989 Barreira do Inferno Fourth launch. First test of the `hot system'
to separate the two stages of the rocket, for
use in the VLS.
Satellite Launch Vehicle (VLS)
5/18/1989 Barreira do Inferno Successful launch of a 1/3 scale version of
late 1995?? Alcantara Maiden launch planned.(111)
2/25/1988 SHAR Centre Success.
9/27/1989 SHAR Centre Bay of Bengal --- success.
2/11/1991 SHAR Centre Success.
7/4/1991 SHAR Centre Success despite bad weather.
8/7/1991 SHAR Centre Success.
2/1992 SHAR Centre Broke up in flight when subjected to a high-G manoeuvre to test its structural strength.
5/5/1992 Chandipur Success.
8/18/1992 Chandipur Success. Mobile launcher.
8/29/1992 Chandipur Success. Clear weather. Mobile launcher
2/7/1993 Chandipur Success. Mobile launcher.
6/12/1993 Chandipur Success. First from production batch.
11/30/1993 Chandipur Success. Impacted on island in Bay of
Bengal, as intended.
6/4/1994 Chandipur Success. Impacted Wheelers' Island in Bay
of Bengal. First test with live HE warhead.(112)
6/6/1994 Chandipur Success. Second test with live HE
4/20/1989 Chandipur Aborted due to problems with ignition
5/1/1989 Chandipur Aborted due to error in a subsystem.
5/22/1989 Chandipur 1,000 km into Bay of Bengal. Success.
5/29/1992 Chandipur Bay of Bengal. Some problems with
warhead guidance (possibly failed to detach
from 2nd stage). Neither rocket nor 1 ton
dummy nose cone was recovered.
1/7/1994 Chandipur Aborted due to technical problem.
1/6/1994??? Interim Test Range (Balasore) Third successful launch. Impacted Car
Nicobar Island in Bay of Bengal.
8/10/1979 SHAR Centre Failure. Problems with stage 2 guidance.
7/18/1980 SHAR Centre Success. 35 kg satellite (Rohini-1) into LEO.
5/31/1981 SHAR Centre Failure. Improper orbit achieved, probably
due to stage 3/4 separation anomaly.
4/17/1983 SHAR Centre Success. 40 kg satellite (Rohini-3) carrying
imaging sensors into LEO.
3/24/1987 SHAR Centre Failure. Aborted after core stage engine
failed to ignite after booster separation,
probably due to short circuit.
7/13/1988 SHAR Centre Failure. Premature booster burnout leading
to loss of control; deviation from flight
plan; rocket break up.
5/20/1992 SHAR Centre Semi-success. 105 kg satellite (SROSS-C) to
5/4/1994 SHAR Centre Success. 132 kg satellite (SROSS-C2) into
elliptical 400 km orbit.(114)
7-8/1993 SHAR Centre Different stages of PSLV have been
individually tested. Flight systems are being
integrated for the launch.(116)
9/20/1993 SHAR Centre Failure. Software glitch in guidance and
control processor.(117) All four stages ignited
10/15/1994 SHAR Centre Success. 800 kg satellite (TRS P2) into 820
km circular sun synchronous orbit.(119)
1995 Under development at the Liquid Propulsion Test Facility at Mahendragiri.
mid-late 1970s Iran? Reportedly tested in Iran.
1986 Palmachim? Possibly two test launches.
5/1987 Palmachim? Apparent success. Tested to a range of 820
km into the Mediterranean.
7/6/1989 Overberg Test Range Apparent success. Into the Indian Ocean.
Armiston, South Africa
9/14/1989 Palmachim? Apparent success. Travelled 1,300 km and
landed 400 km north of Benghazi, Libya.
11/1990 Overberg Test Range Apparent success. Into the Indian Ocean.
Armiston, South Africa
9/19/1988 Palmachim Success. 156 kg satellite (Ofeq-1) into LEO.
4/3/1990 Palmachim Success. 160 kg satellite (Ofeq-2) into LEO.
6/12/1994 Successfully intercepted and destroyed
1984 Nodong Possibly three test launches.
1985 ?? Possible test launch.
1987 North of Wonsan Possible test launch.
6/1990 Nodong Sea of Japan.
1991 Kangwon Fired from mobile launder into Sea of
5/29-30/1993 Taepo-Tong 100 km into Sea of Japan.
5/29-30/1993 Taepo-Tong 100 km into Sea of Japan.
5/1990 To-kol Exploded on launch pad.
10/1991 ?? Possible test launch.
5/29-30/1993 Taepo-Tong 400-500 km into Sea of Japan.
Appendix C: Flight Test Control or Notification Measures Explored or Undertaken
early 1960s---Jerome Wiesner, science advisor to President Kennedy, considers the desirability
of a US proposal to the Soviet Union to ban missile flight tests. NASA opposes the idea, not
wanting interference with space launcher programs. The US Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency and the State Department authorize studies to consider the possibility of preventing
the further development of ballistic missiles through flight testing restrictions. A dozen or so
constraints are considered, but NASA rejects them all.(122)
1961---The Antarctic Treaty prohibits the testing of any weapon system in Antarctica.
1971---Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War Between the
United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Article 4 mandates that
"Each party undertakes to notify the other Party in advance of any planned missile launches
if such launches will extend beyond its national territory in the direction of the other Party."
1972---Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the
Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents on and
Over the High Seas, Article VI establishes broadcasting by radio a warning to mariners and
other shipping traffic "not less than 3 to 5 days in advance, as a rule, notification of actions on
the high seas which represent a danger to navigation or to aircraft in flight." Ballistic missile
launches into the sea fall under this chapter.
1972---The United States and the Soviet Union commit in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty not to test sea-based, air-based, space-based or mobile land-based ABM systems or
components. The two sides further agree not to test ABM launchers capable of firing more
than one ABM interceptor missile at a time. National technical means will be used to verify
these prohibitions, with each side pledging not to impede such verification.
1975---At the Conference for a Nuclear-Free Pacific, an initiative is undertaken to ban ballistic
missile testing in the South Pacific.(123)
1977---As part of his `Comprehensive Proposal' to the Soviet Union, President Carter suggests
limiting each the United States and Soviet Union to six ICBM and SLBM tests per year. The
Soviet Union rejects the proposal.
1979---The SALT II treaty (signed by the Soviet Union and United States but never ratified)
encompasses a ban on: flight testing or deployment of new types of ICBMs (beyond those
currently deployed), with an exception for one new type of light ICBM on each side; testing
new MIRVs on existing missiles; encrypting telemetric information from test flights;
production, testing and deployment of the Soviet SS-16 (because of its similarity to the IRBM
SS-20 and the complications for verification that this deployment would entail); testing ICBMs
from mobile launchers; flight testing air-to-surface ballistic missiles. It also calls for advance
notice of ICBM launches, except for single launches not extending beyond national territory.(124)
The United States had proposed a ban on testing missiles in a depressed trajectory, but
dropped the proposal when the Soviet negotiators countered with proposals to limit short time
of flight systems generally.(125)
1982---The Nuclear Freeze movement calls for a complete FTB in conjunction with other
1986---Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru seek to include a ban
on missile flight testing in the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty. They are thwarted by
1987---"Choices for Change: Security Through Arms Control," the report of a group of
Democratic Congressmen, calls for a comprehensive U.S.-Soviet FTB, with an exception to
permit completion of Midgetman testing. Les Aspin, Chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, supports the measure.
1987-1988---In the Presidential campaign, five of six Democratic aspirants support a bilateral
1987---Agreement on the Establishment of Risk Reduction Centers establishes a Nuclear Risk
Reduction Center in both Moscow and Washington, DC, which will be used to transmit
notices called for under the 1971 and 1972 agreements listed above.
1987---The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty prohibits the Soviet Union and
United States from testing ballistic missiles with ranges from 500-5,500 km.
1988---The Notice of ICBM and SLBM Launches Agreement provides that not less than 24
hours prior to an ICBM or SLBM launch, the Soviet Union and United States will each notify
the other through the Risk Reduction Centers of the planned date of launch, missile launch
area and area of impact.
1991---The START treaty prohibits encryption of telemetry (with the exception of tests related
to the Strategic Defense Initiative). It calls for the broadcast of all telemetric information from
ICBM and SLBM flight tests, and exchange of telemetry tapes, interpretative data and
acceleration profiles for all tests. The treaty limits Russia and the United States each to 25 test
silo launchers and 20 test mobile launchers at testing ranges.(127) Russia and the United States
have since installed telemetry playback equipment on each other's territory.(128)
1991---In his 29 May Middle East Arms Control proposal, President Bush calls for a halt to
further acquisition, production, and testing of ballistic missiles of any range by states in the
region, leading to "the ultimate elimination of such missiles from their arsenals."(129)
1992---The START II treaty bans flight testing of MIRVed ICBMs after 1 January 2003.
1. Prepared for Nautilus Pacific Research, Ballistic Missile and Space Rocket Workshop, Monterey, CA, 6-8 June
2. See O. Wilkes, M. Van Frank, and P. Hayes, Chasing Gravity's Rainbow: Kwajalein and US Ballistic Missile
Testing (Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 81, Canberra: Australia National University, 1991) Chapter
1 for a detailed description of the US Western Test Range facilities. Cost of replacing Kwajalein from Chasing
Gravity's Rainbow, p. 15.
3. "Kwajalein Atoll Chief Sees Bright Future For Missile Facility," Defense Daily, 8 April 1993, p. 46.
4. See Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, appendix 3.
5. E.H. Kolcum, "Navy Improving Test Facilities For Trident II Missile Program," Aviation Week & Space
Technology, 30 September 1985, pp. 76-79.
6. For a summary of technical hurdles to building a long-range missile, see L. Gronlund and D.C. Wright,
"Building an ICBM," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1992, p. 36.
7. F. Hussain, "The Future of Arms Control: Part IV---The Impact of Weapons Test Restrictions," Adelphi Papers,
no. 165, London: IISS, 1981, p. 19.
8. Martin Marrietta Corporation, Aerospace Division, Special Projects Technical Report (no. TR-E-80-008),
"Analysis of the Effects of Flight Test Limitations," Phase B - Final Report, December 1980, p. 51; Wilkes et al.,
Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, p. 76.
9. The Navy is requesting 138 Trident II D5 missiles for reliability testing during the systems' projected lifetime
of 30 years. This would average out to 4.5 tests per year.
10. See prepared testimony of Rear Adm. J.T. Mitchell before the Subcommittee on Nuclear Deterrence, Arms
Control and Defense Intelligence, Senate Armed Services Committee, 11 May 1993.
11. Although elaborate flight testing programs along the American model are uncommon, flights do occur. For
example, Iran and Iraq, through their extensive use of counter-city missile warfare during the late 1980s,
undoubtedly gained some operational reliability and accuracy data.
12. See, for example, W.S. Carus and J.S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iraq's Al-Husayn Missile Programme," Jane's Soviet
Intelligence Review, June 1990, pp. 242-248.
13. See "Short-Range Ballistic Missile Infrastructure Requirements for Third World Countries," prepared by the
Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, Air Force Systems Command, United
States Air Force (document no. AEDC-1040S-04-91), September 1991, for a thorough description of the testing
infrastructure required by a developing country.
14. Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Poland, Romania,
Syria, Yemen. The Scud is a single stage, liquid-fueled rocket with a range of 300 km and a payload of 1,000 kg.
It has a circular error probable of 900-1,000 meters.
15. It is less clear whether a proven design such as the Scud could be reverse-engineered or even produced
indigenously from blueprints and deployed without testing. Given the potential for faulty or mismatched
materials, undetected production flaws, subtleties of design not detected by the reverse engineers, and so on, it
would require a leap of faith to have any confidence in the product of such an undertaking. A proliferating
country would likely want to carry out at least minimal development testing to identify problems and minimal
operational testing to establish functionality, even if it were receiving direct technical support from outside.
16. See S. Flank, "Flight Test Restrictions & Reliability Analysis for Ballistic Missiles," manuscript submitted to
Science & Global Security, for an analytical framework that could be applied to understanding the effects of flight
test limitations on developing country ballistic missile programs, including modifying imported missiles.
17. For example, Janne Nolan has asserted that "an agreement to stop missile tests would slow the pace of
accuracy and other technical improvements if it were negotiable, [but] its contribution to the containment of
missile proliferation would be marginal." And Henry Sokolski has written, "The objective for any non-proliferation control is not detection, but rather `timely warning' of a diversion of material or technology from
`safe' to `dangerous' activities (i.e., at least a year or more of warning)." A flight test ban, he has argued, would
not permit timely warning.
18. J. Nolan, "U.S. Options for Countering the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles: An Assessment of Possible
Arms Control Measures", p. 45, in Missile Proliferation: A Discussion of U.S. Objectives and Policy Options, CRS
Report for Congress, by R. Shuey, 21 February 1990; H. Sokolski, "Space Launch Vehicle Controls: Arguments
and Answers," Aletheia Enterprises (Arlington, VA), November 1992.
19. The Prithvi is a liquid fuelled, single stage missile with a range of up to 150 km with 1,000 kg warhead, or
up to 250 km with 500 kg warhead.
20. After India's tenth test of the missile, a Delhi newspaper editorial addressed the need for adequate flight
testing of the system:
After ten test launches it can safely be said that India is on its way to field an indigenous SSM.
The number of launches, however, is no guarantee that the system is ready for deployment in
service. After the scientists are satisfied with the results, it will then be the turn of the soldiers
to try the missile. Any weapons system, after all, must be thoroughly tested before those in
uniform feel confident about it. It may be a tank, an aircraft or a missile, the service must
ultimately give the signal that it works. Therefore, if more testing is required, so be it. A tried
and tested system is preferable to one inducted in haste. This has been amply borne out by
The editorial called for realistic testing in adverse weather conditions: "To fully test the missile, it should be put
through other launching conditions as well. That also will establish the efficacy of the guidance system."
21. "Editorial Hails Successful Prithvi Missile Test," Indian Express, 9 February 1993, as translated in FBIS-NES-93-031, p. 59.
22. On 5 July 1989, the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) announced the successful launch
of a booster rocket from its Overberg test range in Cape Province. Several months later, in October 1989, NBC
News reported that ARMSCOR's missile flew 1,500 km southeast into the Indian Ocean. The following day, the
Washington Post said that "knowledgeable US officials" confirmed the NBC report and said the missile "was
constructed and flown by South Africa July 5 using technology acquired from Israel."
Israeli engineers reportedly designed and built the test range. The New York Times added that "American
satellites picked up what intelligence officials considered to be an important piece of information: the rocket
plume of the South African missile bore a striking resemblance to that of Israel's Jericho missile.... Administration
officials also say that equipment seen at the South African missile test resembles equipment used by the Israelis
in their own missile tests."
23. R.J. Smith, "Israel Said to Help S. Africa on Missile," Washington Post, 26 October 1989, p. A36; B. Gertz,
"S. Africa on the Brink of Ballistic Missile Test," Washington Times, 20 June 1989, p. 1; Narodna Armiya, 15
September 1989, as translated in FBIS-EEU 21 September 1989; Johannesburg domestic service, 5 July 1989, as
translated in JPRS-TAC 19 July 1989; M.R. Gordon, "U.S. Says Data Suggest Israel Aids South Africa on Missile,"
New York Times, 27 October 1989, p. A1; "State Confirms Discussions with Israel on Pretoria Cooperation,"
Aerospace Daily, 27 October 1989, p. 155.
24. D.A. Fulghum and J.M. Lenorovitz, "Israeli Missile Base Hidden in Hill," Aviation Week & Space
Technology, 8 November 1993, p. 29.
25. CEP is the radius of a circle within which half of missiles launched at a target point are expected to impact.
26. James. N. Constant writes in Fundamentals of Strategic Weapons: "The accuracy of a missile is probably the
most sensitive element of its effectiveness.... At best however, the accuracy of a missile can be defined only as
a probability since many error sources of both a systematic and random nature can combine to produce a miss
by the missile at the target. Consequently, a very large number of missiles must be tested before a given level of
confidence can be obtained that a given missile, or a given class or type of missile, will indeed hit its target within
some reasonable distance to insure target destruction. Improving the missile accuracy therefore requires a large
investment in missile test ranges, apart from the cost of missiles used in the tests."
27. J.N. Constant, Fundamentals of Strategic Weapons: Offense and Defense Systems (Martinus Nijhoff
Publishers, 1981), p. 167.
28. A. Karp, "Ballistic Missile Proliferation," SIPRI Yearbook 1991: World Armaments and Disarmament
(Stockholm: SIPRI, 1991), p. 319; J.S. Bermudez, Jr., "New Developments in North Korean Missile Program,"
Jane's Soviet Intelligence Review, August 1990, p. 343.
29. Prepared testimony of R.J. Woolsey before the Senate Government Affairs Committee, 24 February 1993.
30. See D.C. Wright and T. Kadyshev, "An Analysis of the North Korean Nodong Missile," Science & Global
Security, Vol. 4 (forthcoming), pp. 129ff.
31. See, for example, KYODO, 11 June 1993, as in FBIS-EASS-93-111, p. 4.
32. AFP in Chicago Sun-Times, 20 April 1993, p. 46.
33. US Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites equipped with infrared sensors reportedly detected all Iraqi Scud
launches during the 1991 Gulf War. In addition, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, tactical
reconnaissance aircraft and the E-8A Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) detected missile
activity during the war.
Several sensors are currently under development in the United States to detect third world missiles. For
example, Los Alamos National Lab is developing a transportable light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system
which can rapidly and accurately identify missile exhaust plumes. In addition, the US Air Force is contracting
out for the creation of a data base on radar measurements of the exhaust plume of various missiles.
34. US Department of Defense, Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, September 1991;
C. Covault, "Reconnaissance Satellites Lead Allied Intelligence Effort," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 4
February 1991; R.J. Smith, "Compactness, Simplicity of Iraq's Scuds Complicate US Search," Washington Post,
20 January 1991; R.A. Mason, "The Air War in the Gulf," Survival, No. 33 (May/June 1991); J. Boatman and B.
Starr, "Eyes of the Storm," Jane's Defense Weekly, 4 May 1991; D.A. Fulghum, "Lasers Track Missile Plumes,"
Aviation Week & Space Technology, 24 January 1994, p. 40; "USAF Eyes Contract Award for Missile Pluume Data
Base," Inside the Air Force, 23 July 1993, p. 11.
35. Hussain, Adelphi Papers, p. 31 and footnote 24.
36. See Hussain, Adelphi Papers, footnotes 36-40.
37. R. Sherman, "Deterrence Through a Ballistic Missile Flight Test Ban," Arms Control Today, December
1987, p. 8.
38. A. Bolonkin, The Development of Soviet Rocket Engines (For Strategic Missiles), Delphic Associates Inc.
(Falls Church, VA), 1991, pp. 100-108.
39. MTCR members are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. South Africa is slated to become a
member at the next MTCR meeting in October 1994.
Russia and Israel have agreed to adhere to the export guidelines but are not formal members of the
40. "Missile Technology Control Regime: Fact Sheet to Accompany Public Announcement," White House
Office of the Press Secretary, 16 April 1987, p. 1.
41. Nolan, Missile Proliferation, and Trappings of Power: Ballistic Miissiles in the Third World (The Brookings
Institution: Washington, DC, 1991), p. 159.
42. The presence of hundreds of ballistic missiles in the Middle East has not deterred war or the use of these
missiles. In fact, only Afghanistan and the Middle East have seen ballistic missile warfare since Germany fired
V-2 missiles in World War II: Egypt launched missiles in the 1973 October War; Libya fired toward Lampadeusa
Island in 1986; Iran and Iraq engaged in intense missile warfare in the late 1980s; from 1988 to the present, over
1,000 Scud missiles have reportedly been launched in the Afghan civil war; Iraq fired _____ against Israel and
Saudi Arabia in the 1991 Gulf War; and a handful of Scud??? missiles were launched in the civil war in Yemen
This pattern of missile use is especially ominous when considering the possible proliferation of mass
destruction payloads in the region. Unconventionally armed missiles might be considered useable, rather than
as deterrents only.
43. R.J. Smith, "U.S. Urged to Cut 50% of A-Arms," Washington Post, 6 January 1992, p. 1.
44. "DOD Eyes Mini-Nukes, Ballistic Missiles for Counterproliferation," Inside the Pentagon, 16 December
1993, pp. 1, 8-10.
45. R. Holzer, "US Navy Targets Conventional Deterrence," Defense News, 10-16 May 1993, p. 6
46. R. Holzer and G. Leopold, "US Navy Girds for New Threats," Defense News, 8-14 March 1993, pp. 1, 28.
47. "Navy Offers Submarines for Conventional Deterrence," Defense Daily, 21 May 1993, p. 295.
48. R. Holzer and N. Munro, "US Navy Tests Non-Nuclear Trident," Defense News, 13-19 December 1993,
p. 4; J. Moag, "Navy to Test GPS-Guided D-5 Trident Missile Off SSBN Nebraska," Inside the Pentagon, 18
November 1993, pp. 1, 6.
49. Nolan, Missile Proliferation.
50. A. Ignatius, "Russian Lawmakers Opposed to Start II Pledge Fight as Hearings on Pact Begin," Wall Street
Journal, 3 March 1993, p. A11.
51. "Nuclear Notebook," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1993, p. 49.
52. "Russian Nuclear Modernization Plans Could Jeopardize Nunn-Lugar Aid," Inside the Pentagon, 14 January
1993, pp. 2-3; "CIA expects Russia to deploy three new ballistic missiles by 2000," Aerospace Daily, 4 February
1993, p. 195.
53. "New ICBM Tests Set for 1994," Kuranty, 8 April 1993, as translated in FBIS-SOV-93-067, p. 62.
54. Prepared testimony of R.J. Woolsey before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 24 June 1993.
55. "Experimental `START' Rocket Launched," ITAR-TASS, 25 March 1993, as translated in FBIS-SOV-93-057.
56. J.M. Lenorovitz, "US Entrepreneurs Seek Russian SLBMs," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 19 April
1993, p. 22-23; "Missiles may become satellite launchers," Jane's Defence Weekly, 15 May 1993, p. 11.
57. See P.S. Clark, "Converting Soviet Missiles into Russian Space Launchers," Jane's Intelligence Review,
September 1993, pp. 401-404.
58. A facile presumption that the declared end of the cold war has aborted any such race would need to be
supported by the actual cancellation of all related R&D projects and dispersal of the infrastructure for carrying
them out. Such an assumption also begs the question of whether the arms race was solely a product of
59. Depressed trajectory (DT) equals the minimum flight time for a given distance. This trajectory could be used
to achieve a first strike or to penetrate missile defenses. DT would necessitate new hardware---if not a new missile
at least a new RV, which would have to be tested.
60. L. Gronlund and D.C. Wright, "Depressed Trajectory SLBMs...," Science and Global Security, Vol. 3 No.
61. Again, this issue might be dismissed by some as irrelevant to the post cold war world. But as long as the great
powers retain, and continue to modernize, nuclear warfighting capabilities, we can only guess at how many
weeks of some `serious international crisis' it would take to get statesmen started again on `thinking the
62. Sherman, Arms Control Today, p. 9.
63. Slocombe also argued against a total ballistic missile flight test ban because it "would block important
programs needed to maintain stable deterrence, would present a number of verification problems, and would
divert the superpowers from pursuing more fruitful and effective arms control measures."
64. W.B. Slocombe, "A Flighty Idea," Arms Control Today, December 1987, pp. 14-15.
65. Chart with the prepared testimony of Rear Adm. J.T. Mitchell before the Subcommittee on Nuclear
Deterrence, Arms Control and Defense Intelligence, Senate Armed Services Committee, 11 May 1993.
66. See Flank, "Flight Test Restrictions and Reliability Analysis for Ballistic Missiles."
67. Hussain, Adelphi Papers, p. 28.
68. Hussain may have been referring specifically to the hardening of RVs against nuclear effects and the
development of other countermeasures to Soviet ABM systems, an active area of US research in the late 1960s
and early 1970s. Likewise the development of effective countermeasures to new ballistic missile defense systems
would probably depend on flight testing, though perhaps not as strongly as the development of complete new
missile systems. However, the hardening of silos is achieved through passive measures and the hiding of
submarines is also ensured through measures that do not involve missile flight testing. A ballistic missile sitting
in a silo or rising through the atmosphere is inherently a soft target and cannot be substantially hardened without
adding a prohibitive burden of dead weight.
69. See, for example, Martin Marrietta Corporation, Aerospace Division, Special Projects Technical Report (no.
TR-E-80-008), "Analysis of the Effects of Flight Test Limitations," Phase B - Final Report, December 1980, p. 57.
70. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 9-13.
71. Private communication, from M.C. Cleary, Chief, History Office, the Department of the Air Force,
Headquarters 45th Space Wing (AFSPACECOM), Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, 31 January 1994.
72. Chart with the prepared testimony of Rear Adm. J.T. Mitchell before the Subcommittee on Nuclear
Deterrence, Arms Control and Defense Intelligence, Senate Armed Services Committee, 11 May 1993.
75. US General Accounting Office, ICBM Modernization: Minuteman III Guidance Replacement Program Has
Not Been Adequately Justified, report no. GAO/NSIAD-93-181, June 1993; E. Grossman, "Butler: Delay in ICBM
Propulsion Replacement Adds `Significant Risk'," Inside the Pentagon, 22 October 1993, pp. 1, 10.
76. The M-4 is a three-stage SLBM with a range of up to 4,000 km. It underwent 14 developmental flight tests,
with only one failure. The last developmental test was completed on 29 February 1984, and the missile entered
into qualification/acceptance phase shortly thereafter.
77. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 22 June 1981, p. 23; Aviation Week & Space Technology, 9 April
1984, p. 65.
78. Le Monde, 17 February 1993, as translated in JPRS-TAC-93-006, p. 15.
80. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, p. 128, footnote 14.
81. "Britain's Trident Cuts Won't Affect Lockheed's D-5 Totals, Rifkind Says," Aerospace Daily, 18 November
1993, p. 289; "Britain Reduces Trident Firepower," Defense Daily, 18 November 1993, p. 257.
82. J.W. Lewis and Hua Di, "China's Ballistic Missile Programs: Technologies, Strategies, Goals," International
Security, Fall 1992 (Vol. 17, No. 2), p. 29.
83. Ibid., p. 30.
84. Prepared testimony of William Webster before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, 18 May 1989.
85. Although little discussed, restrictions on static testing of rockets could also be used as a verifiable measure
of compliance with a pledge to forgo missile development. Static tests of rocket motors, which generate vast
clouds of hot exhaust gases, are usually conducted in the open. Both infrared and chemical signatures, as well
as direct observation of test stand facilities, would make possible their detection. Hiding or camouflaging such
tests would not be impossible, but would require costly facilities that would be themselves vulnerable to detection
by reconnaissance or human intelligence. Implementation of such restrictions in combination with a flight test
ban could provide a useful confidence-building measure.
86. See J.M. Lenorovitz, "MSTI-1 Satellite Images Rocket Motor Test Fire," Aviation Week & Space Technology,
22 February 1993, p. 64.
87. Slocombe, for example, writes: "A ballistic missile flight test ban faces serious verification problems. A
considerable amount of information relevant to improving exiting ballistic missiles could be derived from tests
disguised as space tests of various kinds....[A]n extended development program using disguised tests could be
followed by a deliberate breakout, doing a quick series of openly violative tests to complete the work. Requiring
that space launchers be distinct from military missiles would entail very large costs, and even so would not
completely solve the problem, because of inevitable overlaps of the technology."
88. Slocombe, Arms Control Today.
89. Sherman, Arms Control Today, p. 9
90. See ibid., pp. 9-10; P. Zimmerman, "Verification of Ballistic Missile Activities: Problems and Possible
Solutions," Working Paper 18, Berkeley, CA: Nautilus Pacific, September 1993; J. Scheffran, "Verification of
Missile Bans/Monitoring of Space Launches," prepared for INESAP conference, Mühlheim, Germany, 27-31
91. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, p. xiv.
92. In addition, it may be possible to verify through national technical means the non-production of solid-fueled
93. See V. Thomas, "Monitoring Solid-Fueled Missile Production for Arms Control," Physics and Society, Vol.
17 No. 1 (January 1988), pp. 8-10.
94. S.D. Drell and T.J. Ralston, "Restrictions on Weapons Tests as Confidence-Building Measures," in B.
Blechman, ed. Preventing Nuclear War: A Realistic Approach, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1985.
95. Hussain, Adelphi Papers, pp. 29, 33.
96. Jane's Defence Weekly reported in its 1 May 1993 issue that during the late 1980s Russia developed a new
version of its Scud missile, the Scud-B Mod 2. The missile, which carries a conventional submunition warhead
and is "highly accurate," is believed to have entered into service with the Russian Army.
97. K. Adelman, "Curing Missile Measles," Washington Times, 17 April 1989, p.D1 and "How to Limit
Everybody's Missiles," New York Times, 7 April 1991; K.C. Bailey, "Rushing to Build Missiles," Washington Post,
6 April 1990, p. A15 and "Can Missile Proliferation Be Reversed?," Orbis, vol. 35 no. 1 (Winter 1991), pp. 5-14.
98. The continental United States is roughly 8,000-10,000 km from the Middle East and 8,000 km from the
99. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 122-123.
100. Sixteen countries deploy or have until recently deployed short range ballistic missiles (110-500 km):
Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, South Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Germany, Italy, the
Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Of these sixteen, six are European countries that have already or
will shortly demobilize their short-range Lance, Scud, SS-21 and SS-23 missiles. Of the remaining ten---all of
which are developing countries---four deploy only Scud missiles transferred from the Soviet Union in the 1970s-80s and have no known indigenous missile production capability or intent. Five of the remaining six imported
Scud or other short-range missiles and are now producing them or attempting to do so. Only India has
indigenously developed its short-range Prithvi missile.
Four additional countries deploy or have until recently deployed intermediate range (500-5,500 km)
ballistic missiles: Bulgaria (500 km), Czechoslovakia (500 km), Israel (1,450 km), and Saudi Arabia (1,850 km).
North Korea is working on a 600-1,000 km range missile, with only one successful flight test reported. India has
flight tested a 2,400 km range missile, the Agni, three times. Iraq previously deployed 600 km and possibly 800
km extended-range Scud missiles. These missiles have now been destroyed by the UN Special Commission
implementing the Gulf War cease-fire agreement.
Currently eight countries deploy intercontinental-range ballistic missiles: Belarus, China, France,
Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
101. "US Presses Mideast Missile Talks," Washington Post, 28 December 1988, p. 15.
102. White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Fact Sheet on Middle East Arms Control Initiative," 29 May
1991, p. 2.
103. MENA (Cairo), 5 August 1991, as translated in FBIS-NES-91-151, p. 20.
104. Prepared testimony of R.J. Woolsey before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 24 June 1993, p. 4.
105. See Gronlund and Wright, Science and Global Security.
106. Noticias Argentinas, 4 April 1989, as translated in FBIS-LAT 5 April 1989, p. 32.
107. M. Richardson, "Need a Missile Testing Range?," International Herald Tribune, 7-8 April 1990.
108. M.J. Collins, Evaluating the Military Potential of a Developing Nation's Space Program: A case study of
Brazil, September 1991, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
109. T. Prittie, "Bomb Shop in the Nile: Target Israel," Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 214 No. 2 (1964), p. 38.
110. In 1986 General Dynamics obtained permission from NASA and DOT to launch from Wallops Island. A
launch occurred in May 1993.
111. Flight International, 4-10 May 1994, p. 20.
112. International Defence Review, 9/1994, p. 14.
114. Aerospace Daily, 5 May 1994, p. 198.
115. To place a 1,000 kg satellite into 900 km polar sun synchronous orbit.
116. "Two Space Launches Planned for Current Year," All Delhi Radio Network, 9 May 1993, as translated in
FBIS-NES-93-088, p. 58; "ISRO Chairman on Details of Future Launches," Indian Express, 19 April 1993, as
translated in FBIS-NES-93-086, p. 38.
117. Aerospace Daily, 4 January 1994, p. 9.
118. Flight International, 12-18 January 1994, p. 19.
119. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 24 October 1994, p. 24; Flight International, 26 October-1 Novebmer
1994, p. 26; Express India, 21 October 1994, p. 1.
120. To place up to 2.5 ton satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
121. Flight International, 22-28 June 1994, p. 19; Defense Week, 5 July 1994, p. 6.
122. Hussain, Adelphi Papers, footnote 43.
123. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, p. 122.
124. US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements: Texts and
Histories of the Negotiations, Washington, DC: USGPO, 1990.
125. See Gronlund and Wright, Science & Global Security, pp. 133-135 for more on the history of proposals
to limit or ban DT flight testing.
126. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 123-128.
127. Wilkes et al., Chasing Gravity's Rainbow, p. 4 citing US ACDA, "Strategic Arms Reduction Talks," Issue
Brief, 29 July 1991.
128. Prepared testimony of R.J. Woolsey before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 24 June 1993.
129. White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Fact Sheet on Middle East Arms Control Initiative," 29 May
1991, p. 2.