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Public Law No. 99-190 called for the Office of Technology Assessment to conduct a "comprehensive classified study . . . together with an unclassified version . . . to determine the technological feasibility and implications, and the ability to survive and function despite a preemptive attack by an aggressor possessing comparable technology, of the Strategic Defense Initiative Program." In addition, the accompanying Conference Report specified that "This study shall include an analysis of the feasibility of meeting SDI computer software requirements."
This unclassified report completes OTA's response to that mandate. It puts SDI technologies in context by reporting the kinds of ballistic missile defense (BMD) system architectures that the SDI organization has considered for "phased deployment." It reviews the status of the various SDI technologies and system components. It analyzes the feasibility of producing dependable software of the complexity that advanced BMD systems would require. Finally, it summarizes what is now known (and unknown) about the probable survivability of such systems against concerted enemy attacks of various kinds.