AIR FORCE BALLISTIC MISSILE
AIR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
P.O. BOX 262
9 December 1958
MEMORANDUM FOR - (See Distribution)
SUBJECT: Cancellation of the Light Minuteman Re-entry Vehicle
1. Since the inception of the Minuteman program two re-entry vehicles have been planned, one weighting 550 lbs, the other 790 lbs. On 4 December Avco was directed to discontinue work on the light R/V. Effort will now be concentrated on the heavier 790 lb vehicle.
2. This decision was based on the following considerations:
a. The lesser yield available from the light warhead.
b. Lack of an adequate SAC requirement for the light R/V.
c. Complications (and consequently, additional costs) introduced into the missile test program by different combinations of R/V and airframe.
d. The cost savings possible on the Avco contract by the elimination of one design effort.
3. The warhead for this 790 lb. vehicle is expected to weigh 600 lbs and probably will have an O.D. of about 18". Further information on estimates of length, c.g. location, and yield should be available during January, 1959. December 1959 is considered to be the latest acceptable date for the availability of external design release information on this warhead.
4. A C.C.M. to Avco's present Minuteman contract will be issued shortly to reflect the above changes. An additional paragraph will also be added to Phase VII, "Supplemental Investigations", as follows:
Para: 3.7.4 Sub-phase 7.4
Perform design studies of additional Minuteman re-entry vehicles as directed by AFBMD. These studies shall be based on parameters supplied by AFBMD/STL for each particular study.
5. Upon implementation of this C.C.M. Avco will be directed to continue parametric studies on the 550 lb. R/V on a low priority basis under the above provision.
JOHN A. DODGE, COL, USAF
Chief, Nose Cone Division
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