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LIM-49 Spartan

The Spartan, designation LIM-49A, was a United States Army anti-ballistic missile .It was a three-stage, solid-fuel surface-to-air missile capable of carrying a 5 megaton W71 nuclear weapon. The missile was launched from an underground Missile silo , and radio command guided. The warhead was designed to destroy incoming nuclear weapons by X-ray flux rather than by blast. The Spartan missile was in operational service for only a few months, from October, 1975 to early 1976. A combination of high costs and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks treaties made the missiles an unattractive bargain.

In June 1982, in response to an inquiry from OSD, the BMD program manager established the Spartan Defense System Task Force to determine the efficacy of the Spartan missile in defense of the MX ICBM deployed in a CSB mode. Using Spartan for this purpose was appealing since both the missile and its warhead had already been developed and thoroughly tested, and a number of both had been stockpiled when the Safeguard BMD system was deactivated. Using Spartan, however, required definition of a system to perform those functions previously done by other components of the Safeguard system. The task team defined such a system based on existing hardware, and it determined Spartan's effectiveness in defending the MX in a CSB mode against a number of plausible attack scenarios. Results were given to OSD in September 1982.




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