Inside Report (4)

I fired a Pershing into the air, it fell to earth . . .

Things didn't go quite as well with the Army's test launch of a Pershing II missile last week as was first claimed. Following two earlier failures, Army officials were relieved to report that the third test was a success and that the intermediate-range missile had landed within the target area.

Now, however, officials admit the Pershing II's guidance systems failed and the missile missed (or, in Army parlance,''did not achieve the desired accuracy'').

This may mean trouble for the Pershing on Capitol Hill, where the House defense appropriations subcommittee recently cut $498 million for production of the missile.

It could also mean trouble for NATO's ''two-track decision.'' The allies have vowed to deploy the Pershing II in Europe starting late next year if the Soviet Union does not agree to dismantle the SS-20 nuclear missiles now targeted against western Europe.m

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.