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Effectiveness of the Rolling Thunder Program in North Vietnam : 1 January - 30 September 1966
Date of Creation:
November 1966
Date of Declassification:
April 1, 1986
Type of Document:
Intelligence memorandum
Level of Classification:
Status of Copy:
Pagination, Illustration:
62 p.
The Rolling Thunder air offensive against North Vietnam has been accelerated sharply in 1966, compared with operations in 1965. The 59,000 attack sorties in the first 9 months of 1966 against targets in North Vietnam were about 2.3 times of the 1965 effort; the 90,000 tons of ordnance dropped was 2.6 times the ordnance delivered on targets in 1965. The 1966 air operations have also been carried out more efficiently than the 1965 campaign. The average bomb load per attack sortie has increased, and the rate of aircraft losses has been some 58% of the 1965 rate. In spite of these improvements, it is estimated that the cost effectiveness of the air campaign diminished in 1966. The direct operating cost of inflicting a dollar's worth of damage in North Vietnam has increased by about 28%--from an estimated $6.80 in 1965 to about --- in 1966. The major determinants of this decrease in cost effectiveness have been the far greater proportion of attack sorties accounted for by armed reconnaissance strikes (as opposed to initial strikes on fixed targets) and the geographic concentration of the air effort against logistic targets in the southern areas of North Vietnam, principally Military Region IV.
Declassified Documents Reference System Location: