Defense: 200 on Target

The Strategic Air Command last week took control of a new squadron of twelve Atlas missiles at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in upstate New York—bringing to 200 the total of U.S. combat-ready intercontinental ballistic missiles. The nuclear-tipped arsenal includes 126 liquid-fueled Atlases; 54 Titans, a bigger and heavier liquid-fueled missile; and 20 quick-firing, solid-fueled Minutemen. Each has a range of 6,000 miles or more, and each is zeroed in on an assigned target in the Soviet Union. The present total is at least twice the estimated strength of the Russian missile force. The longer-term U.S. aim: upwards of 1,000 ICBMs.


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