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Newsweek Magazine 5/4/70
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On 4 October 1968 the Soviet Union launched an SS-9 Scarp (Mod-4) ICBM with three warheads. This was their initial entry into the world of Multiple Re-entry Vehicles (MRV / "Merv"). Up until that time their ICBMs carried only one warhead. Introduction of a multiple warhead ICBM by the Soviet Union in 1968 started a whole new ball game for everyone. When the big event occured on that fateful day in October.... Team-2 was on alert.... in place and ready for action.

The photo shown above was taken by Rivet Ball's Team-2 Signal Monitor (King Hawes) on 4 October 1968 with the Ballistic Streak Camera (BSC). This image along with film from several tracking cameras controlled by the Manual Tracker (Bob Brown) and infared autotracker provided the first conclusive evidence of a Soviet capability to launch Multiple Reentry Vehicles (MRVs). The flight path of three separate Reentry Vehicles (RVs) can be seen in the center portion of the photo as three fine lines. The broader streaks are booster and tankage debris.

Click on the following links for related articles published in May 1970: 1, 2, 3

Click Here for a recent letter (11/30/2012) from retired Maj. Edward S. Steffen (Special Reconnaissance Group, AFRDA) that tells an interesting story about the BSC photo taken on 4 October 1968 and how it was used by Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, to influence congress in 1970.

Thanks to Ed Steffen, I am now in possession of this very famous photo.

Thanks Ed..... much appreciated.
King Hawes

Click Here and read a very interesting story by Ed Steffen about his involvement with Rivet Ball and Rivet Amber while assigned to the Pentagon. You will not be disappointed.

Kingdon R. Hawes (Webmaster)

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