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The Origins of MIRV

Publisher: Almqvist & Wiksell
August, 1973

A crucial problem in the field of disarmament is the control of the momentum of weapon technology. Generally speaking, the development of major weapons could be prevented at any stage if only the political leaders were sufficiently strong and, of course, willing to overcome the internal domestic pressure for such developments. However, there are also special situations, and the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) is one such, where the particular development is so tightly woven into the entire fabric of the arms race that it may be very difficult to control it short of slowing down the arms race as a whole.

This report, which describes the development of MIRVs, is, therefore, of topical interest to those interested in arms control and disarmament.


I. Introduction

II. Multiple re-entry vehicles (MRVs)

III. The evolution of MIRV-related technologies

IV. The initiation of MIRV development programmes

V. The decision to deploy

VI. Summary