• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

A peek on future american SLBMs and ICBMs

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,177
Reaction score
1,393
Very interesting, thanks for sharing!
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
They do a lot of ICBM research at a base near here (they even have three missilo silos). (Hill AFB).
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
I wonder if documents like this come out when nobody thinks they will ever be built so who cares. I hope not as the ICBM component of the triad needs immediate modernization.

I would build 500 maximum throw weight missiles that would carry one or two large warheads, like the LLNL Munster (800 kt for superhard underground targets) but would be able to carry a dozen or so 1000 lbs conventional RV for the prompt global strike mission.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,253
Reaction score
1,922
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
bobbymike said:
I would build 500 maximum throw weight missiles that would carry one or two large warheads, like the LLNL Munster (800 kt for superhard underground targets) but would be able to carry a dozen or so 1000 lbs conventional RV for the prompt global strike mission.

Using ICBMs for anything other than World War V would be a very bad idea. An ICBM packing 500 pounds of conventional explosives looks no different to missile launch detection systems than one packing an H-Bomb.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
The National Academy Press put out a prompt global strike report that details a lot of these issues. A simple solution is a coastal US launch with an inspection regime allowing China or Russia to see that these were conventional weapons. A coastal launch has a completely different launch profile than from, say, North Dakota.

If you look at the DTIC documents they are exploring missiles with 20,000+ km range so you don not even have to overfly Russia and can trajectory shape with "Common Aero Vehicle" technology.

If Iran or North Korea was fueling a missile with a nuke, I would like a 30 min to 1hr conventional response capability. Right now the ability to hit targets like this are with nuclear tipped missiles.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
Bobby, yes, in theory, but in practice you'd need have inspectors on site permanently to guarantee that warheads would not be changed overnight (yes, it is paranoid, but everything when you look at ICBMs tends to veer into paranoia realm). More on the point since post-Cold War revelations have unveiled the capability of hiding such activities if done properly. As for the CAV, it could be used to attack Russia (or whoever else) using diversionary routes .. there were some (probably a lot) of projects during the Cold War just to do that (FOBS and the US "recallable ICBM" just to mention two). Third, you are assuming that a "real" attack would have the same preparations steps of an experimental test of an ICBM: putting the missile on an open-air launch pad, checking, fueling veeery slooowly, re-check, and launch. What about a storable fuel ICBM hidden in an hangar with an opening roof ? Or one aboard a civilian cargo ship ? North Korean has SS-N-6-like technology (better, one of an unbuilt competitor on SS-N-6, fully developed but not gone in series construction). Not to mention that satelites can do a lot (although not ALL is thought possible) but cannot do everything, for example guaranteeing a 1.5 hour warning time on an ICBM being readied for launch (look at what happened with the India's nuclear test in late '90s...).
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Orionblamblam said:
bobbymike said:
I would build 500 maximum throw weight missiles that would carry one or two large warheads, like the LLNL Munster (800 kt for superhard underground targets) but would be able to carry a dozen or so 1000 lbs conventional RV for the prompt global strike mission.

Using ICBMs for anything other than World War V would be a very bad idea. An ICBM packing 500 pounds of conventional explosives looks no different to missile launch detection systems than one packing an H-Bomb.

A TLAM-N looks no different than a TLAM-C but it doesn't seem to have started WWIII. A nuclear-armed Iskander doesn't look any different than a conventionally-armed one. A B-52 carrying JDAMs doesn't look any different than one carrying B83s. Not sure why ICBMs would be any different. Certainly China isn't being held back by the possibility given that it's deploying several types of ballistic missiles with multi-thousand mile ranges with conventional warheads.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
bobbymike said:
The National Academy Press put out a prompt global strike report that details a lot of these issues. A simple solution is a coastal US launch with an inspection regime allowing China or Russia to see that these were conventional weapons.

ONLY provided they let us inspect their forces.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,253
Reaction score
1,922
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
sferrin said:
A TLAM-N looks no different than a TLAM-C but it doesn't seem to have started WWIII.

Stalin already did that, decades ago.

A nuclear-armed Iskander doesn't look any different than a conventionally-armed one. A B-52 carrying JDAMs doesn't look any different than one carrying B83s. Not sure why ICBMs would be any different.


The difference is that ICBMs have been for more than forty years a single-use system. ICBM-derived space launch vehicles have so far prevented World War IV (until it was started by the Islamofascists) and World War V, but space launches very rarely occur at a moments notice, but instead with a *lot* of warning. B-52's have been trucking conventional bombs around for decades. The Iskander is smaller than an ICBM, but is pretty provacative. And keep in mind that Yelstin damn near hit the button over the launch of a Norwegian sounding rocket.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
A TLAM-N looks no different than a TLAM-C but it doesn't seem to have started WWIII.

Stalin already did that, decades ago.

A nuclear-armed Iskander doesn't look any different than a conventionally-armed one. A B-52 carrying JDAMs doesn't look any different than one carrying B83s. Not sure why ICBMs would be any different.


The difference is that ICBMs have been for more than forty years a single-use system. ICBM-derived space launch vehicles have so far prevented World War IV (until it was started by the Islamofascists) and World War V, but space launches very rarely occur at a moments notice, but instead with a *lot* of warning. B-52's have been trucking conventional bombs around for decades. The Iskander is smaller than an ICBM, but is pretty provacative. And keep in mind that Yelstin damn near hit the button over the launch of a Norwegian sounding rocket.


Yeah, I don't know. For the most part I think an ICBM is a damn expensive way to deliver a JDAM but it does have that short reponse time that really, nothing else gets you. I know China doesn't seem to be too worried about the prospect of being nuked by having long-range conventionally armed ballistic missiles as they're already deploying them. To arbitrarily deny ourselves that kind of quick response doesn't seem like a great idea IMO. Now if you did something like a Mach 10-12 air-breather launched from a forward-stationed SSGN that might get you similar response times but it would probably be even more expensive and we only have four of those anyway.
 
A

avatar

Guest
http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:LeMPushvAUoJ:digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/permalink/meta-crs-8683:1+CRS+report+on+conventional+tridents&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in&client=firefox-a
Basing Measures. The Air Force has stated that it would deploy ballistic
missiles armed with CAVs orother conventional warheads for PGS mission at bases
far from missiles armed with nuclear warheads and far from bases with storage
facilities for nuclear warheads.
42
The two potential sites include Vandenberg Air
Force base in California and Cape Canaveral in Florida. According to the Air Force,
“the new coastal basing sites would have no nuclear capability or association”
43
as
they would lack the facilities and equipment needed to handle or store nuclear
weapons. The coastal basing plan would also address concerns about debris from
missile launches falling on populated areas in the United States or Canada. If the
missiles were launched from the U.S. coast, rather than from bases in northern,
central states, then the debris would likelyfall over the oceans rather than over land.
The Air Force has also stated that it could deploy Minotaur missiles on mobile
launchers, horizontally in earthen berms, or above ground, rather than in the
hardened, vertical silos used at nuclear ICBM bases. The United States could then
declare, to Russia or other nations, that these new, modified launchers were equipped
Page 22
CRS-19
44
The United States uses a similar formula with its B-1 bombers. Although they were
originally equipped to carry nuclear weapons, they have been deployed at bases that do not
house nuclear weapons and redesignated as conventional bombers. Hence, their weapons
delivery status is determined by basing and declaration, rather than by their original nuclear
capabilities.
45
Air Force Space Command. Common Aero Vehicle White Paper. p. 8.
46
Ibid. p. 7.
47
Report to Congress on the “Concept of Operations” for the Common Aero Vehicle.
Submitted in response to Congressional Reporting Requirements, by Peter B. Teets, Under
Secretary of the Air Force. February 24, 2004. p. 4.
with conventional-only delivery vehicles. This declaration would further
demonstrate that the missiles at the two coastal bases were different from nuclear
ICBMs, even though it would not preclude the possible covert deployment of nuclear
warheads on the missiles.
44
Further, their deployment with a CAV reentry vehicle,
rather than a standard post-boost vehicle and warhead present on a nuclear-armed
missile, would reinforce this designation.
45
Cooperative Measures. The Air Force has proposed that the United States
institute a number of cooperative measures with other nations to add confidence to
the U.S. declaration that the Minotaur missiles deployed atcoastalbases would carry
conventional warheads. These measurescould include military-to-militarycontacts,
high level political consultations, and ongoing discussions to keep Russia and other
nations informed about U.S. plans for these missiles and to make them aware of the
observable differences between conventional and nuclear ballistic missiles. The Air
Force has referred to this process as a “strategic dialogue” that might, over time,
answer questions and ease concerns about the plans for and capabilities of long-range
ballistic missiles armed with conventional warheads.
46
The United States could also invite other nations to observe test launches of
these missiles or to participate in exercises that include simulations with these
missiles. This might allow nations such as Russia to become familiar with the
operational procedures associated with ballistic missiles armed with conventional
warheads and to distinguish between these procedures and those associated with
nuclear-armed missiles. Further, the United States could allow Russia to conduct
short-notice inspections at the Minotaur bases, similar to, or even more intrusive
than, the inspections permitted at nuclear missile bases under the START Treaty, to
confirm the absence of nuclear weapons either on the missiles or in the storage
facilities.
47
Over time, these measures would not onlyprovide information about the
missiles and their missions, but might also build confidence and understanding
between the parties. The increased level of cooperation, and possiblydecreased level
of suspicion, might then reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation if the United
States were to launch ballistic missiles with conventional warheads.
The United States could also provide Russia with prior notification of planned
launches of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, or the two nations could
set up a dedicated “hot line” for use after a launch, so the United States could inform
Russia of the launch and assure it that the missiledid notcarrya nuclear warhead and
Page 23
CRS-20
48
Air Force Space Command. Common Aero Vehicle White Paper. p. 11.
was not headed for targets in Russia. Further, as has been discussed on many
occasions over the years, the United States and Russia could share early-warningdata
at a joint facility so that Russia would have the information it needed to distinguish
between the launch of a nuclear-armed ballistic missile from a northern base and the
launch of a conventional-armed ballistic missile from a coastal base.
Mission Planning and Operational Measures. The Air Force has also
indicated that it could alter the trajectory of ballistic missiles armed with
conventional warheads so that they would not resemble the trajectories that would
be followed by nuclear-armed ballistic missiles on course for targets in Russia or
China.
48
As was noted above, CAV is have the capability to travel 3,000 miles
downrange and 3,000 miles cross-range, after release from its ballistic missile
delivery system. Hence, according to the Air Force, the missile could travel on a
“shaped trajectory” or, if launched from the East Coast towards the Middle East, a
southern trajectory,so that it would not flyover Russia or China, and make up for the
added distance by using the flight range of the CAV. The missile could also launch
with a “depressed trajectory,” then use the aerodynamic lift of the CAV to achieve
the range it would need to reach around the globe without flying over Russia.
Taken together, these three types of measures might help reduce the risks of
misunderstandings. But the accumulation of information during peacetime and
frequent communications during crises may not be sufficient address problems that
could come up in an atmosphere of confusion and incomplete information during a
conflict. Specifically, theargument in favor of usinglong-rangeballisticmissiles for
the PGS mission assumes that the United States might have little warning before the
start a conflict and might need to launch its missiles promptly at that time. This
scenario would allow littletimefor theUnited States to consult with, or even inform,
other nations about its intentions. If other nations are caught by surprise and fear
they might be under nuclear attack, they might also decide to respond promptly,
before the United States had the opportunity to convince them that the missiles
carried conventional warheads.
Further, routine data exchanges and on-site inspections can provide confidence
in the absence of nuclear warheads on the missiles on a day-to-day basis in
peacetime, but they cannot provide assurances that the warheads could not be
changed in a relatively short period of time or that the warheads were not actually
changed in the days or weeks since the last inspection. In addition, changing the
basing patterns or launch patterns of missiles to draw a sharper distinction between
conventional and nuclear-armedmissiles assumes both that othernationscanobserve
the differences and that they believe the different appearances indicate different
warheads. Finally, these measures would do nothing to alleviate concerns among
nations that did not participate in the cooperative programs. As a result, while the
measures described above can reduce the possibility of misunderstandings, they
probably cannot eliminate them.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
Let's go point by point.

1) Need inspectors permanently - I did not realize that the US and the Russians have inspectors at every possible bomber site, submarine base and ICBM silo (active and decommissioned) 365/24/7 to verify Start I, Start II and SORT and make sure there is nothing untoward going on like uploading Voevoda's with more warheads or whatever. I think if you can monitor nukes with periodic surprise inspections the two or three or ten or so missiles based at Vandenberg should not be a problem.
2) Since the end of the Cold War.........capability to hide activities - You just gave a rationale for not having any arms control agreement on anything, or that the one's we have in place are useless so why worry about conventional ICBM's if we can't even verify enemy nukes.
3) CAV could be used to attack Russia - just like our weapons today, the US had nuclear capable B-2's flying all around Russia's southern border.
4) Third, you are assuming that a "real" attack would have the same preparations steps of an experimental test of an ICBM: putting the missile on an open-air launch pad, checking, fueling veeery slooowly - I agree but what if the rocket was ready and then they attach the payload and "surprise" it is a nuke, we have one hour. Like I said the conventional ICBM would just be a tool in the tool box. A future president would use it as a last ditch "no other choice" weapon instead of today where his options are only nuclear.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Bottom line is China is DOING it regardless of if we think it may or may not be wise. Are we going to automatically nuke them if they use them? Then why should anybody think they'd be less rational if we had them? We were launching formations of Tomahawks that could have easily been TLAM-Ns (Tomahawks with nukes) during Desert Storm (we had TLAM-Ns back then), with plenty of range to strike Russia yet they did nothing. They didn't even voice a protest.
 
A

avatar

Guest
this whole conventional vs nuke issue boys down to the cruise missile question. why aren't cruise missiles seen in the same light as ICBMs? what about massed launches etc?


ultimately the question of verifiability seems less of an issue in the case of sub- sonic CMs. it would be interesting to see when hypersonic CMs start getting deployed in significant numbers.


BTW India has similar problems vis a vis China. remember aside from Taiwan the chinese have a whole lot nuke and conventional IRBMs based on the tibetan plateau quite mixed up and aimed at us.
 
A

avatar

Guest
The Israelis have of course sought to get round this problem vis a vis the Iranians by developing the bluebird system.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
If you Google "new underwater launched missile system" you get a couple hits on the USN exploring a SLBM missile tube for a possible Trident replacement with a diameter of 120" (the D5 is 87" in diameter). This is basically the diameter of the Russian R-36M although it would not be nearly as tall based on internal limitations of the sub. Has anyone else seen or heard anything about this. ATK is working on a 40" diameter intermediate range sub launched missile so will some tubes be multiple missiles per tube?

Does this all tie together with future reductions in nuclear weapons? There is speculation that the Trident replacement will be a modified Virginia class boat with a "missile plug" giving it more overall length than the SSN but considerably cheaper than a totally new SSBN design.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Is ATK still working on the 40" missile? The removed it from their site several years ago. They also removed mention of a surface to surface version of KEI. (Same missile different warhead obviously.)
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
I can still find it on their website, takes some fiddling around and a Chinese hacker (just kidding) Go to ATK site click on capabilities, space systems and then missiles and you should find it. Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. The KEI version is there as well Forward Based Conventional Strike.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
There is speculation that the Trident replacement will be a modified Virginia class boat with a "missile plug" giving it more overall length than the SSN but considerably cheaper than a totally new SSBN design.

Deja vu....
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Skybolt said:
There is speculation that the Trident replacement will be a modified Virginia class boat with a "missile plug" giving it more overall length than the SSN but considerably cheaper than a totally new SSBN design.

Deja vu....

Skipjack/George Washington. I'd rather they stretched a Seawolf but oh well.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
Pure "informed" speculation on my part but I'm guessing that current arms control negotiations want to go down to 500 or so deployed warheads. 250 on ICBM's 250 on subs in theory. So Trident is much too big a system. You can go down to 1 warhead per D5 but that would be pretty wasteful use of space. However, you will go down to one warhead/D5 until they are replaced. So eight 120" tubes per modified Virgina carrying 3 missiles each or 24 single warhead missiles per sub X 10 subs = 240 warheads?

Since the Virginia is meant to be more stealthy in the littorals than an intermediate range SLBM might be all you will need unless the Russians or Chinese develop the ability to track them and then it will be too late. My point being that 500 warheads no matter how you deploy them does not give me confidence that the nuclear deterrent is safe from a counter-force attack.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
120 inches, mmmmm, am I wrong or that was precisely the diameter of the Naval Jupiter ?
BTW, a 37 inches missile or a 120 inches one is a rather different thing in term of what you want to do.
BTW2, the more you decline in numbers of DELIVERY SYSTEMS, the more you are prone to a successfull first strike. But this only IF the adversary has MIRVs. That's why START started (pun intended) to count warheads too.

My uninformed speculation is that 500 warheads are much too low a number, expecially with an ABM treaty no more in existance.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Skybolt said:
My uninformed speculation is that 500 warheads are much too low a number, expecially with an ABM treaty no more in existance.

Especially with warheads being smaller and smaller. Even with high accuracy some targets require more BANG or will end up soaking up multiple warheads which further reduces the effectiveness of a small arsenal.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
I agree that 500 is too small a number just wait for "zero nukes" policy ??? There is absolutely no strategic rationale to go below the SORT limit of 1700 to 2200 deployed warheads. Russia will only agree if missile defenses are limited which given the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who knows.

SORT still allows enough flexibility to keep the traditional Triad while deterring future peer competition IMO (China). If defense spending continues to be under the gun the easiest thing to cut will be nukes. I can hear the cries of "who needs them anyway", now.
 

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,177
Reaction score
1,393
don't forget of our southwest comrades...we need some pile to sleep good...just in case...nothing offensive
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
From Crosslinks magazine published by The Aerospace Corporation:

The most effective approach arose through Aerospace studies in 1966 of a new missile system, WS 120A, conceived as the successor to the Minuteman and planned as a major deterrent for the late 1970s and beyond. The WS 120A would be a large missile packed with 10 to 20 reentry vehicles

Anyone hear of this missile and what its dimensions might have been? As large as the SS-9 or SS-18?
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
Eheheh, everyone arrives at that Crosslink article, sooner or later. There is a brief description of WS-120 in "designation systems" website by Andreas Parsch. WS-120 was more a concept for an heavy solid fuel ICBM than a precise design, or better, there were various different designs. From what was published in aerospace magazine around the end of the '60s (AW&ST, but not only that) the average configuration was for something intermediate between a Titan II and an MX. I have a grahic from AW&ST from a later time, during the early planning phases of MX, and the chosen configuration wasn't the largest (to the contrary). WS-120 floundered for budgetary reasons during the early Nixon-era budget crisis and for uncertainity on, guess what, basing modes. I'll start a separate topic on this, though.
BTW, but this is yet another story, the US did a grave misjudgement in not developing MIRV for the Titan II.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
Skybolt said:
Eheheh, everyone arrives at that Crosslink article, sooner or later. There is a brief description of WS-120 in "designation systems" website by Andreas Parsch. WS-120 was more a concept for an heavy solid fuel ICBM than a precise design, or better, there were various different designs. From what was published in aerospace magazine around the end of the '60s (AW&ST, but not only that) the average configuration was for something intermediate between a Titan II and an MX. I have a grahic from AW&ST from a later time, during the early planning phases of MX, and the chosen configuration wasn't the largest (to the contrary). WS-120 floundered for budgetary reasons during the early Nixon-era budget crisis and for uncertainity on, guess what, basing modes. I'll start a separate topic on this, though.
BTW, but this is yet another story, the US did a grave misjudgement in not developing MIRV for the Titan II.

I haven't heard much about ANY Titan II developements other than a notional 35Mt warhead for it that they decided they didn't need. Don't know why, as you pointed out, it had a lot of potential.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
A MIRV concept was envisaged both for Atlas and Titan I (Mk-14) and Titan II (Mk-13). Both were cancelled in 1963, Mk-14 because the two carrier missile were obsolescent, and Mk-13 due to the low number on Titan in operation (54). Nevertheless, the idea was still considered in 1964: the Mk-12 design criteria of that year states tha a version of Mk-12 could be deployed aboard a Titan II.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
Thank you gentlemen for your input, this site is great, the knowledge base here is outstanding. In the late 70's and 80's I followed the MX debate closely and started researching ICBM's, SLBM's and bombers. My research was limited to my high school library and the books "US Military Power" and "Soviet Military Power". Later I purchased "Weapons of World War III". In that book I looked fearfully at the page of Soviet ICBMs, they were massive compared to ours. (I had not yet gotten to the more esoteric accuracy/throw weight data) and this book had designations of even larger missiles under "Future Soviet 5th Generation ICBM's".

That is why I am fascinated with the political discussions and research into "heavy" US ICBM's and why none were ever deployed (54 Titan II's notwithstanding) I would have been quite concerned during intelligence briefing sessions being told about the SS-19 and SS-18 and future follow on Soviet systems. IMO the unwillingness of the US to deploy such systems probably prolonged the Cold War arms race for 15 plus years or until MX was being deployed. I would still like the US to develop and deploy a "heavy" conventional ICBM that could deliver possibly dozens of warheads at Mach 15 onto Kim Jong Il lap in about 30 minutes.

Question, I remember reading 20 or so years ago an article about the MMIII and that the Air Force wanted 5000 of them until McNamara capped ICBM deployment at 1054, anyone?
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,018
Reaction score
2,444
bobbymike said:
Thank you gentlemen for your input, this site is great, the knowledge base here is outstanding. In the late 70's and 80's I followed the MX debate closely and started researching ICBM's, SLBM's and bombers. My research was limited to my high school library and the books "US Military Power" and "Soviet Military Power". Later I purchased "Weapons of World War III".

I use to have them too. In fact the second edition is where I heard the first peep about what would end up being the F-22. Whoops, I was thinking of "The US War Machine" and "The Soviet War Machine" although I had the ones you mentioned as well.

Here are the two I was thinking of (first and second editions of each).
 

Attachments

  • wm.jpg
    wm.jpg
    64.8 KB · Views: 262

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
Although I do not agree with their politics the Natural Resources Defense Council's "Nuclear Weapons Databook" series had tremendous information on US and Soviet warheads and delivery systems. Back in my high school and university days I knew this stuff inside and out. A got an "A-" on a first year political science paper titled "MX vs. Midgetman: A Question of Stability". I concluded the most stable force was to deploy 100 MX missiles for counter-force (fixed silo basing) and 500 Midgetman (mobile) for second strike and counter-value. The funny thing was I think it was something my professor knew so little about that he couldn't really refute my arguments.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
178
And, BTW, it was exactly a version of that strategy that was finally adopted by US Gov (though not fully implemented due to the end of all that fuss with Russia).
Numbers: the highest number (AFAIK) that was actually asked for Minutemen (July 3rd 1961, "Package Plans for Strategic Retaliatory Force Program") comprised 2500 fixed Minutemen and 415 rail-mobile Minuteman, so the total number was just shy of 3000 (BTW, 275 Titans were asked, too, and 45 Polaris submarines with 720 missiles). I the early phases of Minteman development a lt of weird schemes were devised, for example the concept to build factories of Minutemen near the silos to uithomaticaly manufacture and deploy them, launch random missile for test and substituting. So, tere was not a fixed "maximum number". All in all, the best source for the complex gyrations regading US missile force sizing during the late Eisenhower admnistration and the Kennedy's and Johnsons's ones is still "Politics and Force Levels", by Desmond Ball, who effectively reveal that the numbers decided by McNamara were purely "political" numbers, not related to a strategic objective whatsover (actually, the military planning docs for targets and subsequent force levels required are still cassified, and then there is the embarassing affair of the early SIOPs targeting practice).
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,966
Reaction score
2,223
Just released Defense Science Board report on time critical strategic strike. Sorry I don't know how to embed the link. Just started reading the report myself.
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
189
Reaction score
2
War of the Worlds? Star Wars? Intercontinental Gun?

Is this a serious report? Or a list of fantasy weapons? :D ;D
 
Top