Retired Air Force Col. Robert Winfield Vining, 49, who was a specialist in analytical studies of heavy strategic systems, died Wednesday at Mount Vernon Hospital after a heart attack.

He retired in 1976 from the planning and programming unit in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since then, he had been manager of the Washington Research Center of Systems, Science and Software in Alexandria.

Col. Vining was born in Palestine, Tex. He attended Henderson Junior College in Texas and then entered the Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1952.

He earned a master's degree from East Carolina University in North Carolina in 1960 while teaching air science there. He was at the Pentagon from 1965 to 1971 while serving as an operations staff officer in the office of the assistant chief of staff for studies and analysis.

Col. Vining was at headquarters, European Command, in Stuttgart, Germany, for two years before returning to the Pentagon on his final assignment.

He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Simmons, a daughter, Suzanne, and two sons, Robert Winfield and Edwin Martin, all of the home in Alexandria; a brother, Frank P., of La Jolla, Calif., and two sisters, Mrs. Stanley Sewall, of Palestine, Tex., and Mrs. Chester Jasenski, of San Diego, Calif.