There is no indication of design flaws in any of the 50 MX missiles under the command of F.E. Warren Air Force Base, U.S. Sen. Malcolm Wallop said Friday.
Wallop, in an interview with the Wyoming State Tribune newspaper, said that after two briefings with Air Force officials he is confident the MX missiles are not flawed.Rumors about design problems with the missiles have circulated following an incident in which an electrical cord was disconnected from a missile in its silo.
Also Friday, a Cheyenne television station quoting unidentified sources reported the missile shifted inside its silo, possibly the result of faulty installation.
KGWN said the missile may have dropped as much as 4 feet once in the silo because of the installation error. The station quoted an unidentified Air Force source as confirming the missile had dropped within its silo near Chugwater.
The report said the problem may be in the missile's first stage, which has been returned to Morton-Thiokol, its manufacturer, for examination.
Officials at F.E. Warren said Friday that because the incident is still under investigation, they could not comment on the report.
In June the Air Force reported an electrical cable had become disconnected from the missile, but did not provide further details.
A Denver television station, quoting unnamed sources, reported part of the missile had collapsed because of structural flaws.
The missile has been removed from its silo and its four stages have been sent to their various manufacturers, including Morton-Thiokol.
Wallop stressed the Air Force is continuing its investigation into the incident and said he has seen no indication of any design or flaws in other missiles.
"They haven't finished the structural examination, so at a moment in time I suppose there may be a change, but at this point in time there is absolutely no indication of it," he said.
The Air Force had denied a request from the Deseret News for information on the investigation, indicating the information had been classified and that the investigation was complete.
F.E. Warren officials said Friday the study is not complete but would not comment on the possibility of releasing the information.
Wallop said he would encourage the Air Force to declassify its report on the missile.