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Current Nuclear Weapons Development

bobbymike

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Air Force Gen. John Hyten, speaking in a Center for Strategic and International Studies online forum, said “we need [to] have a strategic deterrence review” that examines “our strategic capabilities as an integrated whole” to address the threats posed by these four nations.
The deterrence review, in his estimation, would encompass sensors, command and control and other areas usually not considered in the existing required “stovepiped” Pentagon studies.
For example, “we don’t have an integrated sensor architecture” for hypersonic missile defense, but “the common thread for all missile defense systems is, can I see the threat, can I see the threat coming at me,” he said. Hyten added that “the big piece is not shooters but sensors. [However,] we just love to talk about the interceptors.”
As it stands now, the Pentagon is producing separate reviews on nuclear posture, space and missiles – and they often do not align easily. “We have to figure out what our priorities are,” he said.
During the forum, Hyten often returned to the need for integrated sensors in all domains, command and control and the development of “appropriate defeat technology,” including the Next Generation Interceptor
 

Grey Havoc

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The nuclear enterprise, which received a major focus increase under the Trump administration and saw the creation of two low-yield nuclear warheads. While it is unlikely the Biden administration would remove the low-yield W76-2 from service (it was first deployed in late 2019), future warhead developments could be paused or curtailed. There is also a major fight brewing about the future of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD, the replacement for the legacy Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.

During their respective confirmation hearings, both Hicks and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin showed support for the nuclear triad and overall modernization of the nuclear arsenal, but they both stopped short of offering support for GBSD or other specific programs.
 

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Grey Havoc

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With the way that Biden and Co. have been driving US-UK relations into the toilet....
 

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bobbymike

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Yes Heritage is “right wing” other perspectives are welcome on this thread.

 

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Hmmm....start way back under Blair various work and tests were conducted. Presumably validating refined modelling.

I like how this piece jumps to the classic 'uk not independent' in nukes but avoids the obvious implications that US efforts are equally 'not independent'.

And as I've been saying for decades, things can be done here beyond the scrutiny of the US politicians.

Intriguing.....
 

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More stories


 

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Another thought.....

I thought the new Dreadnoughts will have 12 tubes and each missile has upto 8 RVs, resulting in 96 at maximum available per SSBN.
Assuming double that number to sustain, implies 192.

While 260...... either implies more RVs per missile (10), more missiles per SSBN (16) or more SSBN (5?)or.....some other delivery system......presumably using the same nuclear device.

So what could that alternative system be?
 

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Another thought.....

I thought the new Dreadnoughts will have 12 tubes and each missile has upto 8 RVs, resulting in 96 at maximum available per SSBN.
Assuming double that number to sustain, implies 192.

While 260...... either implies more RVs per missile (10), more missiles per SSBN (16) or more SSBN (5?)or.....some other delivery system......presumably using the same nuclear device.

So what could that alternative system be?

The D5 can take up to 14 Mk4A reentry vehicles, which is the type used by the RN. So that's potentially 336 embarked warheads (assuming 2 SSBNs operational) -- obviously they still plan to download at least some missiles.
 
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zen

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Another thought.....

I thought the new Dreadnoughts will have 12 tubes and each missile has upto 8 RVs, resulting in 96 at maximum available per SSBN.
Assuming double that number to sustain, implies 192.

While 260...... either implies more RVs per missile (10), more missiles per SSBN (16) or more SSBN (5?)or.....some other delivery system......presumably using the same nuclear device.

So what could that alternative system be?

The D5 can take up to 14 Mk4A reentry vehicles, which is the type used by the RN. So that's potentially 336 embarked warheads (assuming 2 SSBNs operational) -- obviously they still plan to download at least some missiles.
Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14, so I wonder why? The obvious is not needing it, but not able to cut missile and tube numbers down. Due to target dispersion.
The next is that there's a rumour of one missile having only one RV. Possibly there is a spectrum of load outs and only a few are fully loaded.
Another is to maximise range, expanding the possible launch locations.
And yet another is to further reduce flight time on a depressed trajectory to try to get under the Moscow ABM defence.
Then there could be differences in the RV body. Or additional decoys.....
 

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Another thought.....

I thought the new Dreadnoughts will have 12 tubes and each missile has upto 8 RVs, resulting in 96 at maximum available per SSBN.
Assuming double that number to sustain, implies 192.

While 260...... either implies more RVs per missile (10), more missiles per SSBN (16) or more SSBN (5?)or.....some other delivery system......presumably using the same nuclear device.

So what could that alternative system be?

The D5 can take up to 14 Mk4A reentry vehicles, which is the type used by the RN. So that's potentially 336 embarked warheads (assuming 2 SSBNs operational) -- obviously they still plan to download at least some missiles.
Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14, so I wonder why? The obvious is not needing it, but not able to cut missile and tube numbers down. Due to target dispersion.
The next is that there's a rumour of one missile having only one RV. Possibly there is a spectrum of load outs and only a few are fully loaded.
Another is to maximise range, expanding the possible launch locations.
And yet another is to further reduce flight time on a depressed trajectory to try to get under the Moscow ABM defence.
Then there could be differences in the RV body. Or additional decoys.....
I wonder if the UK will adapt the Mk-7 RV body with warhead modernization?
 

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Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14

Yeah, so I may be wrong on that figure. It came from Wiki and the footnotes don't match what the text says.

Grr...
 

zen

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Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14

Yeah, so I may be wrong on that figure. It came from Wiki and the footnotes don't match what the text says.

Grr...
I think it's 12 from what I see online, and 12 being four sets of three would make sense. As previously with Polaris three were used to straddle the target.
Hang on....Wikipedia now says 8?
Is someone messing that around?

Wish I had my books on me but they are all going to storage.
 
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Josh_TN

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Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14

Yeah, so I may be wrong on that figure. It came from Wiki and the footnotes don't match what the text says.

Grr...

It’s generally quoted as eight mk4/mk5 RVs, though some sources indicate it might be as high as twelve mk4s, which I believe are smaller/lighter (W76 vs W88 in US service). I think the official number is eight, and IIRC there was some arms control controversy over that number.
 

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Hmmm.....
I've not heard of using all 14

Yeah, so I may be wrong on that figure. It came from Wiki and the footnotes don't match what the text says.

Grr...

It’s generally quoted as eight mk4/mk5 RVs, though some sources indicate it might be as high as twelve mk4s, which I believe are smaller/lighter (W76 vs W88 in US service). I think the official number is eight, and IIRC there was some arms control controversy over that number.

Yeah, I see that 8 is the number in one of the START understandings, which is probably where the idea arose that this limit applies to the UK missiles as well, even though the UK is not a signatory. (Since the Trident missiles are pooled, having different numbers of warheads for the US and UK missiles would be a treaty verification problem).

To go back to the original question, my guess is that raising the max number of warheads is more intended to imply that the RN could load up a third SSBN in an emergency than to suggest the existence of some unknown non-SLBM delivery platform.
 

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