Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM - SRAM II)
The Boeing AGM-69 Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) was a nuclear-armed, supersonic (Mach 3), air-to-surface missile. It had an operational range of about 60-120 miles and, like its predecessor, the Hound Dog missile, was intended to enable USAF bombers to penetrate enemy airspace by neutralizing surface-to-air missile defenses. Unlike the Hound Dog however, the SRAM was so much smaller that more than just two could be carried, allowing a single bomber to take out multiple defensive sites, unassisted by other aircraft, and deliver its primary weapons on its assigned target(s). The SRAM entered service in 1972, before all Hound Dogs were retired, and was carried by a number of aircraft, including the B-52, FB-111A, and B-1. A new weapon, the AGM-131 SRAM II, designed specifically for the B-1B, began development in 1981 with a planned IOC of 1993. Also, the SRAM II air vehicle was the basis for a tactical nuclear variant, the SRAM T, which employed a different warhead with a selectable yield. It had a longer range than the baseline SRAM II, around 250 miles. As a NATO theater nuclear weapon, SRAM-T was to be carried by the F-15E and F-111, but it was also compatible with the F-16 and the Tornado. Deployment of SRAM-T was planned for 1995. Both SRAM II and SRAM-T were canceled in September 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, along with most of the U.S. Strategic Modernization effort (including Peacekeeper Rail-Garrison, the Small ICBM, and a Minuteman III modernization program), in an effort by the U.S. to ease nuclear pressure on the disintegrating Soviet Union. The SRAM was removed from service in 1993, by which time its mission was rendered obsolete by the introduction of the AGM-86 ALCM, which carried a more powerful warhead and could be launched from far outside the range of enemy weapons--meaning bombers no longer needed to penetrate air defenses and could be used as stand-off platforms for weapons deployment.