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Author Topic: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.  (Read 74030 times)

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2009, 04:25:07 pm »
True, but Midgetman's launcher was built to ride out a near miss.  Throw that kind of weight on an LCAC and will it even be able to get off the ground?

Mostly through shaping not mass. The hovercraft platform with its large plenum is inherently well suited to being shaped for a low upper profile to resit being flipped by the blast effects of a nuclear bomb.

Not only that, look at it from a maintenance / toughness perspective.  One is an offroad truck, the other is effectively an aircraft. 

Hovercraft are actually built to marine standards. The LCAC serve daily in one of the toughest environments in the world; littoral amphibious operations. Dry desert outbacks should be easy compared to this...

The best arguments for a truck based mobile launcher system are low cost and ease of camouflage. For a country like the USA with a massive omni directional rail system the train based mobile system was one of the most attractive land, mobile basing options.
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Online sferrin

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2009, 05:29:56 pm »
True, but Midgetman's launcher was built to ride out a near miss.  Throw that kind of weight on an LCAC and will it even be able to get off the ground?

Mostly through shaping not mass. The hovercraft platform with its large plenum is inherently well suited to being shaped for a low upper profile to resit being flipped by the blast effects of a nuclear bomb.

Right, the trailer could dig into the terrain taking advantage of the venturi effect.  Not sure how an ACV could be designed to do the same.  The Midgetman trailer actually had a plow on the front of it so they could lower it down and dig into the terrain, making a better seal around the bottom.


Hovercraft are actually built to marine standards. The LCAC serve daily in one of the toughest environments in the world; littoral amphibious operations. Dry desert outbacks should be easy compared to this...

I'm not talking about corrosion issues so much as durability and toughness.  Also what are the fuel requirements for an LCAC-type vehicle compared to a diesel-powered wheeled vehicle?


The best arguments for a truck based mobile launcher system are low cost and ease of camouflage. For a country like the USA with a massive omni directional rail system the train based mobile system was one of the most attractive land, mobile basing options.


I don't know why they didn't do that.  The rail system has been kicked around since the Minuteman days.
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Offline F-14D

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2009, 10:41:30 pm »
True, but Midgetman's launcher was built to ride out a near miss.  Throw that kind of weight on an LCAC and will it even be able to get off the ground?  Not only that, look at it from a maintenance / toughness perspective.  One is an offroad truck, the other is effectively an aircraft.  And the Midgetman's launcher wouldn't be limited to dirt roads either as there is a lot of terrain out West that is flat enough for it to drive on.

Depends on your definition of a "near miss".  There were any number of questions regarding the ability to climb out through the shock waves and debris clouds following detonations of enemy missiles.   Although much of the West is flat, there's still the problem of the range of the missile and you still have the fact that there are areas that restrict your mobility.  Plus, what if you wanted to base your missiles other than in the Western desert?  The LCAC idea could be put anywhere, including snow.  Another factor is that the LCAC ride is m,uch "gentler" than bouncing the missile over uneven terrain in a wheeled vehicle, with the consequent results to the missile's electronics. 

I note that Michale Van listed in his excellent summary the arguments raised against an air cushion vehicle (although those objections at the time also costed in the development of a vehicle, ignoring the fact that LCAC R&D was already paid for).  Those were actually straw men.    Logistics were not a problem since the LCACS would be at a fully equipped base, and would only "take off" when ICBMs were believed inbound.  Communication problems were a not particularly troublesome.  .  Radios worked at least as well as they would with bombers, and a similar check procedure would be in place.  On receipt of a coded alert mesage all the LCAC crew had to do was open their orders which would basically say "Go to one of the preplotted locations within travel range, tell the MXwhere it is, and prepare to receive the launch command".   Soviet spysats were a non-issue.  You actually wanted then to see the LCACs, in order to comply with SALT requirements.  The thing is, once the Soviets launched their ICBMs, the spysats were useless.  After launch, where the missile was going to go is fixed.  Even if there was a way to update where the LCACs had moved to during the flight of the launched Soviet ICBMs (there wasn't), once the missile was on its way its impact point was fixed and the LCAC is no longer there. 

The LCAC option would have been much cheaper than any other concept except the one that was actually chosen: stick them in silos just like all previous missiles and give up on the survivability issues. 

As far as the weight issues go, an unmodified LCAC can carry 75 tons in an overload operation.   Remove the maritime features and a lot of the fuel, as well as the armor, and with upgraded engines you could reach the payload needed to transport Peacekeeper for a limited distance, which is all you need.  Midgetman was a different missile, never developed.  Had it been, unmodified LCACs had sufficient payload (though not room) to carry five of them.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2009, 12:48:20 am »
Right, the trailer could dig into the terrain taking advantage of the venturi effect.  Not sure how an ACV could be designed to do the same.  The Midgetman trailer actually had a plow on the front of it so they could lower it down and dig into the terrain, making a better seal around the bottom.

The big issue for a Midgetman trailer is height to surface area in touch with the ground. It has to dig itself in because otherwise it has very little stability. A big wide and long hovercraft would still have about the same height as a trailer as it is determined by the missile. So for the hovercraft the side slopes are much more acute and it is a lot more stable on the ground. If it needs to dig itself in it can do something similar to the Midgetman with a plough. It would have the advantage of a lot more mass (a Peackepper carrier not a little Midgetman carrier) and a lot more speed to provide it the momentum to dig.

I'm not talking about corrosion issues so much as durability and toughness. 

I wasn't talking about corrosion either. The LCAC is a very strong beast and absorbs a lot of bumps when it goes over waves.

I don't know why they didn't do that.  The rail system has been kicked around since the Minuteman days.

I would imagine a strong argument against the rail system is it would encourage the Soviets to target the US rail system in particular junctions in an attempt to defeat it. Since most of these are co-located with regional towns it would significantly force up the megadeath count for the US in a nuclear war. Better to isolate the nuclear weapons from the population in hope that a Soviet strike wouldn't kill everyone.
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Offline F-14D

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2009, 01:42:16 pm »


I would imagine a strong argument against the rail system is it would encourage the Soviets to target the US rail system in particular junctions in an attempt to defeat it. Since most of these are co-located with regional towns it would significantly force up the megadeath count for the US in a nuclear war. Better to isolate the nuclear weapons from the population in hope that a Soviet strike wouldn't kill everyone.

It was said at the time that we could put missiles on Amtrak trains, but that was   a double edged sword.  On the one hand, the Soviets would never know where the missiles were.   On the other hand, though, neither would we!  :D

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2009, 12:47:11 am »
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Michel Van

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2009, 01:52:40 am »
on the video

those ood jets of liquit is this a hydraulic malfuntion ?

or this are Waterjets to keep the ICBM clean as is push true soil ?

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Online sferrin

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2009, 03:27:59 am »


That's the short version of the one I posted a few pages ago.  ;)
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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2009, 03:32:02 am »
aha!
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2009, 09:37:31 pm »
After the short Youtube video of the "MX breakout" there is another selection that pops up. A video called MX and Midgetman with their numerical missile designations. It sure sounds like a short part of a longer documentary - anyone know what it might be?
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Online flateric

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2009, 10:58:07 pm »
it's from Modern Missiles & Rockets aka Modern Missiles - old documentary, contionously re-issued, that can be found on eBay
BTW, text was written by Bill Gunston
to my sorrow that's the only ICBM piece in this docu
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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2009, 10:08:24 pm »
Since the previous links appear to be dead:

MX Missile Basing, Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, September 1981
Link:http://www.fas.org/ota/reports/8116.pdf


Artist's impression of locomotive and rail cars that constitute the missile train of the Peacekeeper Rail Garrison.
Source:http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/smc_hist/SMCHOV8.HTM

Artist's impression of Peacekeeper Rail Garrison rail yard.
Source:http://www.talkingproud.us/Military100705A.html
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 08:40:42 pm by Triton »

Offline Michel Van

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2009, 12:12:08 am »
THX for Info Triton

here short Video  of Minuteman I  Air Launch after drop from a C-5 Galaxy !
on October 24. 1974 as part for MX ICBM study



http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/icbm/mm2-3.jpg
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/icbm/lgm-30a.jpg
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/icbm/minuteman1_airlaunch_1.jpg
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 12:48:33 pm by Michel Van »
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Online Triton

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2009, 10:54:05 am »
Found another upload of the video referenced by sferrin in a previous post.

The episode "Missile Experimental" part of The Nuclear Age television series produced by Central Independent Television and WGBH Boston from 1989.

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« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 09:01:53 pm by Triton »

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Re: MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2009, 08:57:41 pm »
Sea-Based Deployment of Floating-Launch Missiles (Near-Term and Far-Term Design Concepts for Sea-Based Surface Mobile MX Missile Deployment) by John E Draim, Hydra Corporation, December 15, 1980

Abstract:
Quote
This report presents systems concept descriptions for sea-based MX missiles, using surface ships as transporters. Near-term (1985-1990) and far-term (1990-2000) systems are described. Floating-launch methods are proposed, using either encapsulated missiles or the simpler (bare) HYDRA-type vertical floating launch. Parameters described include: force composition, missile jettison techniques, port facilities, deployment areas, personnel requirements, system costs, vulnerability, countermeasures, and C3 considerations.
http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA101587