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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 14, 1967

INTELLIGENCE NOTE 669 FROM THOMAS L. HUGHES TO THE SECRETARY, 'TESTS OF SOVIET FRACTIONAL ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT SYSTEM (FOBS)'

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    Soviet tests of a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) attracted the interest of the US intelligence community because of the unique challenges it posed to defenses. At that point, August 1967, the US had no means to detect a FOBs attack but INR noted that a satellite detection system would be operational during 1970. This was a reference to the secret Defense Support Program (DSP), which would use infrared technology to detect missile launches and reduce any surprise advantage from the FOBs. The Soviets recognized this and later retired their twenty or so ICBMs with FOBs capabilities in 1983.
    "Intelligence Note 669 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Tests of Soviet Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS)'," August 14, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RG 59, Entry UD-UP 141, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Reports Coordination and Review Staff, Intelligence Reports, 1961, 1963-67, box 7, Chron/August 1967 INs https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134075
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