US drops interim MX missele plan

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The Reagan administration has decided against placing 40 new MX missiles in superhardened existing silos, an official said Thursday.

An administration official, who requested anonymity, confirmed a report in the Washington Post that the administration is abandoning the ''interim'' deployment plan announced in October.

Under that $19 billion plan, the MX -- a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads -- was to be placed in silos that now house older, less powerful missiles.

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The administration official said the plan was dropped in large part because of a belief that because of the increased accuracy of Soviet missiles, hardening the silos would not ensure that the MX could survive a nuclear attack -- a criticism of the interim deployment plan leveled soon after it was announced.

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