A peek on future american SLBMs and ICBMs

bobbymike

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Just an FYI for everyone, I have had a brief discussion with my contact in Global Strike Command and budget issues notwithstanding the Air Force wants to pursue a new ICBM design incorporating new technologies.
 

sferrin

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RyanCrierie said:
We went through all this in the 1970s and early 1980s with MX. Why are we returning to it now? It kind of says to me that the USAF thinks that the prospect of a new ICBM is not feasible, and wants to kill it by study.
Same reason we "restudy" things every time we make a new fill-in-the-blank. What it says to me is, 1. The people who did the previous studies have moved on and we've forgotten some things. 2. Conditions and requirements have changed so maybe there is a better fit today than 35 years ago. Personally, I think the most stupidly obvious solution is a combination of a relatively small quantity of heavier, superhard silo-based ICBMs combined with a modern Midgetman. But no, they'll find a way to squander millions. . .
 

bobbymike

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Next Generation Ground Based Strategic Deterrent AoA;

The Air Force in July plans to commence the analysis of alternatives for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, the system meant to succeed the nation's nuclear-tipped Minuteman III missiles, according to Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command. "The study is about to begin. It will take about a year and we'll report out next year," Kowalski told the Senate Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel on April 17. Kowalski said he's "confident" Minuteman missiles can remain viable out to 2030 with the upgrade programs already in place or planned in coming years, such as replacing the propulsion and fitting a new guidance set. After that, the Air Force intends to transition to the GBSD. Kowalski said the Air Force plans "to dovetail" any new subsystems added to Minuteman missiles on to the GBSD "so that we're not paying for the same thing twice with the follow-on." Last October, the Air Force Chief of Staff approved the GBSD capabilities-based assessment that laid the foundation for the upcoming analysis, said Kowalski. "We're comfortable that we have a very sound and structured plan to go forward with this analysis" and identify the GBSD's attributes, he said. (Kowalski's written testimony) (See also Input Sought on Future ICBM Concepts.)
 

bobbymike

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https://csis.org/print/32582

.....Like many other triad pessimists, Reid Pauly, Research Assistant for Scott Sagan at Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, argues [6]that the U.S. should move to a smaller arsenal rather than commit $216 billion over the next 40 years ($33 billion for replacing the ICBM leg) to upgrade the nuclear triad in an era of fiscal austerity......

The quote from the article just drives me nuts. $216 billion over 40 years, the federal government will spend probably $300 TRILLION over the next 40 years so this represents 5 one 100ths of 1% to ensure a modern deterrent force. That is so cheap as to defy description.

Secondly it annoys me to no end when they talk about 'cutting' the nuclear arsenal NEVER mentioning that we have already gone from 12000 deployed strategic warheads to around 1700 today.
 

bobbymike

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USAF requests proposals for a next-generation ICBMBy Doug Richardson1/29/2013

The US Air Force (USAF) Nuclear Weapons Center, Intelligence, Program Development & Integration Directorate (AFNWC/XZ) is soliciting white papers and proposals for concepts that could modernise or replace the ground-based leg of the existing US nuclear triad.

These concepts are intended to address identified and validated gaps or shortfalls based on conditions in which a future land-based strategic system will need to operate. A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) released on 7 January and updated a week later in response to questions submitted by US industry called for submissions to be made by 8 February. Companies responding to the BAA are expected to adopt a 'system-of-systems' approach, covering areas such as the payload delivery vehicle, warhead integration, basing, and nuclear command, control and communications. A modular, open-systems architecture is requested, offering commonality with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), any Prompt Global Strike/Conventional Strike Missile that may enter service, and space launch vehicles. An operational life covering the 2025-2075 timeframe is anticipated
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Bolding mine - I personally like this approach, we need a new ICBM, SLBM and PGS missile let's explore all three concepts and figure out the best solution to each mission and at the same time ensure any new missile is a modern, robust design employing the latest technologies.
 

Vahe Demirjian

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The development of a new ICBM and new SLBM in the US will depend on many internal and external factors ---- the geopolitical situation in North Korea (whether or not North Korea ever collapses), would-be Chinese aggression in East Asia, economics, et cetera. The LGM-118 Peacekeeper was the last time that the US fielded a replacement for the LGM-30 Minuteman, but the START 1 treaty meant that the USAF had to retire the Peacekeeper and keep the Minuteman in deployment because the cost of replacing all Minuteman missiles with Peacekeepers would have been staggering. We'll see if a new American ICBM program is ever successful in leading to the replacement of all Minuteman ICBMs with a new ICBM (MGM-X or LGM-X). I wouldn't be surprised if some pacifist group in the US successfully lobbied the Pentagon not to go ahead with a new Minuteman replacement on ethical and moral grounds.
 

sferrin

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Vahe Demirjian said:
The development of a new ICBM and new SLBM in the US will depend on many internal and external factors ---- the geopolitical situation in North Korea (whether or not North Korea ever collapses), would-be Chinese aggression in East Asia, economics, et cetera. The LGM-118 Peacekeeper was the last time that the US fielded a replacement for the LGM-30 Minuteman, but the START 1 treaty meant that the USAF had to retire the Peacekeeper and keep the Minuteman in deployment because the cost of replacing all Minuteman missiles with Peacekeepers would have been staggering. We'll see if a new American ICBM program is ever successful in leading to the replacement of all Minuteman ICBMs with a new ICBM (MGM-X or LGM-X). I wouldn't be surprised if some pacifist group in the US successfully lobbied the Pentagon not to go ahead with a new Minuteman replacement on ethical and moral grounds.
They wouldn't lobby the Pentagon (the Pentagon doesn't make those decisions). They'd pay off the pols. Besides, the Pentagon is intelligent enough to see how asinine crippling yourself in the name of PC is and send them packing.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
Vahe Demirjian said:
The development of a new ICBM and new SLBM in the US will depend on many internal and external factors ---- the geopolitical situation in North Korea (whether or not North Korea ever collapses), would-be Chinese aggression in East Asia, economics, et cetera. The LGM-118 Peacekeeper was the last time that the US fielded a replacement for the LGM-30 Minuteman, but the START 1 treaty meant that the USAF had to retire the Peacekeeper and keep the Minuteman in deployment because the cost of replacing all Minuteman missiles with Peacekeepers would have been staggering. We'll see if a new American ICBM program is ever successful in leading to the replacement of all Minuteman ICBMs with a new ICBM (MGM-X or LGM-X). I wouldn't be surprised if some pacifist group in the US successfully lobbied the Pentagon not to go ahead with a new Minuteman replacement on ethical and moral grounds.
They wouldn't lobby the Pentagon (the Pentagon doesn't make those decisions). They'd pay off the pols. Besides, the Pentagon is intelligent enough to see how asinine crippling yourself in the name of PC is and send them packing.
It is interesting to speculate that due to an expanded target set if you include countries like N Korea, China and Iran the MMIII replacement might have to be larger than the MMIII. The first post on this thread says a range up to 26,000km is needed for truly global reach. Combined with the 'desire' to have D5 replacement commonality are we going to get an 83" diameter ICBM?
 

quellish

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bobbymike said:
It is interesting to speculate that due to an expanded target set if you include countries like N Korea, China and Iran the MMIII replacement might have to be larger than the MMIII. The first post on this thread says a range up to 26,000km is needed for truly global reach. Combined with the 'desire' to have D5 replacement commonality are we going to get an 83" diameter ICBM?
There are targets in the current portfolio that can only be held at risk by nuclear weapons - and many of those targets are not worth crossing that threshold. This is one of the (many) reasons that DoD wants alternatives like conventional prompt global strike. Given the current political climate that alone may push the US to develop new ballistic missiles, with conventional warheads as well as high precision unconventional warheads. As it is now, a conventional strike capability could be had in the near term by tail kit upgrades to Trident and Minuteman, but politics is not letting that happen.

So instead we may get a conventional strike missile, and *possibly* a new ICBM. If the SSBN-X gets enough momentum, a new SLBM is also possible.
 

Vahe Demirjian

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quellish said:
bobbymike said:
It is interesting to speculate that due to an expanded target set if you include countries like N Korea, China and Iran the MMIII replacement might have to be larger than the MMIII. The first post on this thread says a range up to 26,000km is needed for truly global reach. Combined with the 'desire' to have D5 replacement commonality are we going to get an 83" diameter ICBM?
There are targets in the current portfolio that can only be held at risk by nuclear weapons - and many of those targets are not worth crossing that threshold. This is one of the (many) reasons that DoD wants alternatives like conventional prompt global strike. Given the current political climate that alone may push the US to develop new ballistic missiles, with conventional warheads as well as high precision unconventional warheads. As it is now, a conventional strike capability could be had in the near term by tail kit upgrades to Trident and Minuteman, but politics is not letting that happen.

So instead we may get a conventional strike missile, and *possibly* a new ICBM. If the SSBN-X gets enough momentum, a new SLBM is also possible.
Do we really need to speculate on a future SLBM? The UGM-133 has been in service for 23 years and the current engineering analysis suggests that the UGM-133 could stay in service until 2045. Regardless of whether or not the US will ever replace the entire Minuteman fleet with a new ICBM armed with conventional warheads, I can guarantee you that the US will retire its Minuteman fleet and give up its ICBM capability only if Korean reunification happens and we see pacifist leaders in France, the UK, and Russia who advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons on ethical and moral grounds (contamination of the environment with radiation).
 

bobbymike

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Vahe Demirjian said:
quellish said:
bobbymike said:
It is interesting to speculate that due to an expanded target set if you include countries like N Korea, China and Iran the MMIII replacement might have to be larger than the MMIII. The first post on this thread says a range up to 26,000km is needed for truly global reach. Combined with the 'desire' to have D5 replacement commonality are we going to get an 83" diameter ICBM?
There are targets in the current portfolio that can only be held at risk by nuclear weapons - and many of those targets are not worth crossing that threshold. This is one of the (many) reasons that DoD wants alternatives like conventional prompt global strike. Given the current political climate that alone may push the US to develop new ballistic missiles, with conventional warheads as well as high precision unconventional warheads. As it is now, a conventional strike capability could be had in the near term by tail kit upgrades to Trident and Minuteman, but politics is not letting that happen.

So instead we may get a conventional strike missile, and *possibly* a new ICBM. If the SSBN-X gets enough momentum, a new SLBM is also possible.
Do we really need to speculate on a future SLBM? The UGM-133 has been in service for 23 years and the current engineering analysis suggests that the UGM-133 could stay in service until 2045. Regardless of whether or not the US will ever replace the entire Minuteman fleet with a new ICBM armed with conventional warheads, I can guarantee you that the US will retire its Minuteman fleet and give up its ICBM capability only if Korean reunification happens and we see pacifist leaders in France, the UK, and Russia who advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons on ethical and moral grounds (contamination of the environment with radiation).
Please don't tell me what I 'need' do or not do thank you! I need and want to speculate on the future of ALL nuclear Triad and warhead programs don't post if you don't feel it is necessary. If you haven't noticed there are threads on Next Generation Bombers and 6th generation fighters that may not be deployed until mid-century as well. One of the great things about this sight is that you have many experts who can offer informed speculation based on their knowledge and experience.

Lower Ohio-Class Replacement Cost Tied To VA-Class Multiyear Deal
The Navy must have a multiyear contracting arrangement involving both the Virginia-class submarine and Ohio-class replacement submarine programs in order to achieve significant cost savings across both ship classes, particularly if the service expects to hit a $4.9-billion target for the Ohio replacement effort, a service official told Inside the Navy last week.
 

sferrin

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Vahe Demirjian said:
quellish said:
bobbymike said:
It is interesting to speculate that due to an expanded target set if you include countries like N Korea, China and Iran the MMIII replacement might have to be larger than the MMIII. The first post on this thread says a range up to 26,000km is needed for truly global reach. Combined with the 'desire' to have D5 replacement commonality are we going to get an 83" diameter ICBM?
There are targets in the current portfolio that can only be held at risk by nuclear weapons - and many of those targets are not worth crossing that threshold. This is one of the (many) reasons that DoD wants alternatives like conventional prompt global strike. Given the current political climate that alone may push the US to develop new ballistic missiles, with conventional warheads as well as high precision unconventional warheads. As it is now, a conventional strike capability could be had in the near term by tail kit upgrades to Trident and Minuteman, but politics is not letting that happen.

So instead we may get a conventional strike missile, and *possibly* a new ICBM. If the SSBN-X gets enough momentum, a new SLBM is also possible.
Do we really need to speculate on a future SLBM?
If you don't like it nobody is forcing you to read it are they? ::)
 

quellish

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Vahe Demirjian said:
Regardless of whether or not the US will ever replace the entire Minuteman fleet with a new ICBM armed with conventional warheads,
I do not believe anyone is suggesting that all of the Minutemen be replaced with conventional strike missiles. Again, because of political reasons the conventional strike missile will be very different than an ICBM. The legislature *wants* it that way.

However, as a side effect of conventional strike development some Minuteman could be retired. Accuracy upgrades developed for conventional strike may be applied to the Minuteman force and allow the overall number of missiles to shrink.

Vahe Demirjian said:
I can guarantee you that the US will retire its Minuteman fleet and give up its ICBM capability only if Korean reunification happens and we see pacifist leaders in France, the UK, and Russia who advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons on ethical and moral grounds (contamination of the environment with radiation).
Even if those things did happen it is very unlikely that the US would retire it's land based ICBM force.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Well all I can say is the world will get interesting once we create an unmanned sub with full autonomy that can launch cruise missiles and ICBM's...
 

bobbymike

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RAND study working title - Future ICBM Finding Stability With A New Land Based Deterrent Force has a publication number MG1210 meaning it will be published soon. ;D
 

Grey Havoc

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KJ_Lesnick said:
Well all I can say is the world will get interesting once we create an unmanned sub with full autonomy that can launch cruise missiles and ICBM's...

There may well be a downside to that....
 

bobbymike

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/05/08/rocket-motors-on-nuclear-missiles-become-a-test-case-for-trump-industrial-policy/#557148fc2cf4

The Minuteman III replacement, officially known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, will require hundreds of large SRMs and thus drive domestic demand for such systems through 2030. It is the last opportunity for Aerojet Rocketdyne, one of two surviving U.S. manufacturers of large solid rocket motors, to stay in the business. Orbital ATK, the other source, has gradually won the right to supply all other domestic users, meaning that if Aerojet doesn't get a piece of the action on the new Air Force missiles, it is done with large SRMs.
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/05/08/rocket-motors-on-nuclear-missiles-become-a-test-case-for-trump-industrial-policy/#557148fc2cf4

The Minuteman III replacement, officially known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, will require hundreds of large SRMs and thus drive domestic demand for such systems through 2030. It is the last opportunity for Aerojet Rocketdyne, one of two surviving U.S. manufacturers of large solid rocket motors, to stay in the business. Orbital ATK, the other source, has gradually won the right to supply all other domestic users, meaning that if Aerojet doesn't get a piece of the action on the new Air Force missiles, it is done with large SRMs.
The DoD needs several other systems that might create a demand. GBI follow on, IRBM, ALBM, etc. are all possibilities. The key is to move forward BEFORE Aerojet goes out of the business. Aerojet should look at the commercial market too. Why aren't they offering alternatives to ATKs motors?
 

marauder2048

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All of the above is why I argued for the government to block the acquisition.

Is there really that big of a commercial market for large SRMs?
Another issue is that it's the large motors that tend to subsidize the small ones.
 
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