US drops interim MX missele plan

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.

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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