President Reagan's "Star Wars" program, with its $26 billion research budget over the next five years, will be a "state-of-the-art cornucopia" for defense contractors, according to a brochure put out by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
"With the cooperation of the Department of Defense Strategic Defense Agency," the society is planning to hold a one-day conference next month for contractors: "Finding your role in Strategic Defense Initiative SDI , battle management/command, control and communications."
"This conference will help both companies and engineering professionals learn how to get in on the ground floor," the invitation says, adding that the "Strategic Defense Agency intends to award hundreds of initial-technology study contracts in all phases of battle management/command and control before narrowing down to specific hardware/software/system concepts."
The keynote address will be given by Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson, director of the agency, who will be followed by assistant directors responsible for battle-management programs.
The Pentagon regularly holds conferences for industry representatives on defense programs.
The society is charging $245 a person for the session, but notes in its invitation the Internal Revenue Service regulation that "permits an income tax deduction for educational expenses."