Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 31, 2007
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Publication Date: 
October 6, 1964
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PDF icon CIA-RDP80B01676R001400050014-9.pdf192.8 KB
0 3 11[)`l 25X1 THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE .6 OCT 1964 Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80BO1676R001400050014-9 Honorable Eugene 0. Fubini Assistant Secretary of Defense (Deputy Director, Research and Engineerin Washington, D. C. Dear Gene: This letter is in reference to yours of September 11th, which discusses at some considerable length the development of a reseau capability in our CORONA camera. I am informed that this subject was raised at the NRO Executive Committee meeting on September 29 by proposal that contracts be let to modify the CORONA to accommodate a Stellar Index camera. As you and I have discussed, the mapping program of the Depart- ment of Defense is both of vital importance and extremely expensive. Hence, it is obvious that if by the use of a Stellar Index camera the CORONA photography produced can be made useful for mapping purposes, not only would economies result, but our inventory of information essen- tial to the preparation of useful maps would be greatly increased. I therefore feel it would be useful to explore every possible means of utilizing satellite photographic reconnaissance to supplement our map- ping effort. I have two concerns about utilizing the CORONA satellite for this purpose. They are the following: OSD review completed. In your letter you refer to the priority we have given to reconnaissance in our overhead program. This we must continue and recent developments in the Soviet Union observed through photographic reconnaissance, i. e. , the single silo ICBM launchers and the unexplained developments in Soviet Air Defense Systems must be kept under constant surveillance. Moreover, the fact that the single silo complexes are appearing in locations removed from railroad facilities requires a careful and repetitive aerial photographic survey of all of the Soviet Union. Only yesterday General LeM::ay expressed to me his very deep concern over the possible existence of undetected single silo ICBM's 25X1 NRO review(s) completed. Copy .Z Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80BO1676R001400050014-9 Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80B01676R001400050014-9 25X1 and be stated that his feeling that the oxtent of the search of the Soviet Union was inadequate had given hi:n serious misgivings concerning the accuracy of our cur"at estimates of Soviet ICBM capabilities. While I do not personally share General Le-May's misgivings as I hold a high degree of confidence in our current estimates, nevertheless, the fact that he so expressed himself indicates the need for continuing a dynamic satellite photographic reconnaissance program directed exclusively towards the gathering of intelligence on the strategic threat to the United States. Therefore, if the Stellar Index camera is to be incorporated into the CORONA payload and proves useful for mapping purposes, the mapping mission must at no time take precedence over the intelligence mission or compete with the intelligence mission for funds, available launchers and payloads. Secondly, it is my understanding that the incorporation of the Stellar Index camera requires extensive modification to the CORONA and adds significantly to the complexity of an already complex system. The NRO has admirably overcome the difficulties with the CORONA which led to a succession of failures in the first half of this year. Intelligence needs cannot permit a repetition of this experience which might be the consequence of a drastic modification. Therefore any decision involving the introduction of a Stellar Index camera must, in my opinion, be accomplished as a research and development project, using a vehicle and payload outside of the CORONA coverage needs to meet the established USIB requirements for intelligence collection, as well as the established standby requirements. Once the system is proven, which I assume will require three or four launchings, the camera could be incorporated into the CORONA pro- gram, assuming that doing so would produce information useful for mapping in areas confined to the geography of particular interest from an intelligence collection viewpoint. I would be pleased to discuss this matter further with you at your convenience. Sincerely, Top John A. McCone Director Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80B01676R001400050014-9 Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80B01676R001400050014-9 ? ? Drafted by DCI:JAM:mcm Minor revisions and. final form: DDCI:MSC:blh Distribution: Cy 1 - Dr. Fubini (DCI took to meeting 6 Oct) Cy2-DDCI Cys 3 & 4 - DCI w/cy 2 basic Cy 5'- DD/S&T Cy 6 - D/NIPE Cy 7 - ER via Ex Dir Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80B01676R001400050014-9 Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80BO1676R001400050014-9 Approved For Release 2007/08/04: CIA-RDP80BO1676R001400050014-9