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Questions on Response to Task 3657, Biological Warfare (BW) Employment


01/24/91  1000 SENT BY:  [ (b)(6) ]

Questions on Response to Task 3657, Biological Warfare (BW) 

1.           What happens to submunitions?  Are they scattered?  
Destroyed?  What?

A.             The Patriot doesn't detonate the missile.  It 
punches holes in the outside of the warhead.  This will release 
the submunitions, but over a much smaller area than if the warhead 
had functioned normally.  They are most likely not destroyed.  The 
Patriot isn't going to vaporize them, so they'll likely just fall 
to the ground.

2.           No effort is make to differentiate discrete effects 
on various agents.  Are there any?  Or are the effects similar on 
all warheads?

A.             This sort of technical specificity is the province 
of the Army. DIA and the rest of the Intelligence Community 
doesn't have models for agent dispersion.  Those are maintained by 
Army (CRDEC).  Suggest this question also be put to them.  There 
will definitely be different rates of deposition and evaporation 
for the agents likely to be in the warhead.  First response didn't 
attempt to give more than a general feel for what would happen, 
since accurate prediction by anybody is impossible.  We won't know 
until it happens what the intercept altitude will be, or the 
content of the warhead.  Generally, mustard will settle out a 
little more than nerve agent.  Among nerve agents, GF is the 
expected agent; GB could also be weaponized, but would be largely 
dissipated before hitting the ground.

3.          At one point the paper notes that intercepts do not 
destroy chemical agents, but states that at very high altitudes an 
intercept may result in no contamination.  What gives?

A.             Reread paragraph 5.c.  What happens is that at high 
altitudes the agent doesn't settle out, but is sucked into the 
upper atmosphere where it may kill a few birds but little else.  
The reason that there's no contamination is that the amount 
deposited is too small to be measured.

4.          What effect does the Patriot have on the warhead 
itself?  The paper implies it simply blasts holes in it, but CNN 
coverage clearly shows an explosion.  Does the SCUD explode or 
does the agent simply dribble out?

A.             Re-read paragraph 5.a.  The Patriot is not a flying 
furnace that would destroy the chemical or biological agent in the 
warhead.  Its effect would be much like puncturing a water 
balloon, with the contents not under pressure. The agent is not 
destroyed, but just released.

5.             The real question here seems to be should the 
missile be attacked with Patriot if we know it has a chemical or 
biological warhead.  Definitely yes, it should be prevented from 
normal function.  The Patriot will at a minimum reduce the effects 
of any type of warhead, but may not necessarily eliminate it.
Should consider asking the civil population to remain masked for a 
few minutes after destruction to be sure not chemical was 
deposited.  Also should confer with CRDEC to correlate intercept 
altitude with agent and weather information. Chemical monitors 
could be set up in the probable target areas to determine if any
deposition has taken place.

6.       POC is                 [ (b)(6) ]



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