As the first Trident submarines roll off the assembly line, their propects look better for an underwater Pentagon connection. Present methods require US subs to run near the surface to receive radio signals. That could be a vulnerable position for vessels of Trident's size. The Navy wants to beam messages to deep-sea subs by extremely low-frequency electronic waves (ELF) that could pass through the earth. This plan means burying a cable across the iron deposit of Michigan and Wisconsin. Candidate Jimmy Carter promised in 1976 not to do so without state approval. Public worries about radiation keep opposition high.
But a Reagan presidency is expected to give the go ahead. And Congress in October passed a law ordering ELF begun by next April.m