Current Nuclear Weapons Development

Josh_TN

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was ironically sold to the United States under various non-proliferation programs that lasted into the early Putin era.
IIRC the Clinton administration bought 500 metric tons of weapons-grade U-235 from them and turned it into reactor-fuel.
The UK has a shedload of weapons grade plutonium due to THORP if the US needs some fast and cheap.
I believe Japan has a sizable stockpile as well.
And if Japan was so inclined they'd be capable of building a processing plant to purify the Plutonium to get rid of the Pu-238, 240, 241 and 242 to make super-grade Pu-239.
I thought they specifically built a plant for that purpose and there was some controversy over the decision?
 

Josh_TN

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Missiles in silos that’s unpossible

And I guarantee they won’t be for some piddling single warhead missile either.
I was a little surprised by this news - aren't their missiles already stored underground and are road mobile? The only advantage of silos I can think of is that they can be kept on a higher alert status. The US never deployed a road mobile ICBM and quite honestly I don't think it would be workable in this country from a security standpoint.
 

bobbymike

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Seeing that they probably “borrowed” and added/improved on any “super hard” silo research we’ve done decades ago my guess is they won’t be shy about ultra-hardening their brand new silos.
 

sferrin

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Missiles in silos that’s unpossible

And I guarantee they won’t be for some piddling single warhead missile either.
I was a little surprised by this news - aren't their missiles already stored underground and are road mobile? The only advantage of silos I can think of is that they can be kept on a higher alert status. The US never deployed a road mobile ICBM and quite honestly I don't think it would be workable in this country from a security standpoint.
If they roamed around on federal land it wouldn't be an issue. It's not like they've ever planned to drive ICBMs down the Vegas strip.
 

Josh_TN

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Seeing that they probably “borrowed” and added/improved on any “super hard” silo research we’ve done decades ago my guess is they won’t be shy about ultra-hardening their brand new silos.

I don't think there's any weird tech to hardening an ICBM silo. And the US and Russia probably have a lot more practical knowledge after all of their various above and below ground tests. At a certain point a big enough/close enough hit simply excavates the structure even if it could somehow otherwise go undamaged. AFAIK a W76 mod1 with the 'smart fuse' can still hold a US or Russian missile silo at risk with a high degree of confidence, just because of the low CEP and the ability of the fuse to compensate for an overshoot. If nothing else, a W88 will do the job.
 

sferrin

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Seeing that they probably “borrowed” and added/improved on any “super hard” silo research we’ve done decades ago my guess is they won’t be shy about ultra-hardening their brand new silos.

I don't think there's any weird tech to hardening an ICBM silo. And the US and Russia probably have a lot more practical knowledge after all of their various above and below ground tests. At a certain point a big enough/close enough hit simply excavates the structure even if it could somehow otherwise go undamaged. AFAIK a W76 mod1 with the 'smart fuse' can still hold a US or Russian missile silo at risk with a high degree of confidence, just because of the low CEP and the ability of the fuse to compensate for an overshoot. If nothing else, a W88 will do the job.
The US did specific testing back in the 70s/80s for superhardening silos and then did large tests. The silos were tough enough that they were sticking up out of the bottom of the crater the explosives had excavated.



There aren't nearly enough W88s. People always say "just use W88s" as if there is an infinite supply. (There would need to be to handle all the situations people claim they'll be used for.) Maybe we could buy some from China.
 
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bobbymike

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Like I’ve mentioned before the GBSD should get a new RV/warhead like the 800kt “Munster” developed as a peacekeeper alternative warhead. From the limited information I’ve read (very limited) it was well along in its development before they opted for the smaller yield W87.
 

sferrin

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Like I’ve mentioned before the GBSD should get a new RV/warhead like the 800kt “Munster” developed as a peacekeeper alternative warhead. From the limited information I’ve read (very limited) it was well along in its development before they opted for the smaller yield W87.
Better yet a BGV (or five) with a W83 ;)
 

Grey Havoc

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Missed this a couple of days ago:



Supposedly a pre-planned visit.
 

NMaude

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Like I’ve mentioned before the GBSD should get a new RV/warhead like the 800kt “Munster” developed as a peacekeeper alternative warhead. From the limited information I’ve read (very limited) it was well along in its development before they opted for the smaller yield W87.
Better yet a BGV (or five) with a W83 ;)
That would only work if the design had been ruggedised to take the acceleration and deceleration loads found in an RV.
 

bobbymike

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Like I’ve mentioned before the GBSD should get a new RV/warhead like the 800kt “Munster” developed as a peacekeeper alternative warhead.
Never heard of this before.

The W-87 was selected over three other options: the W78 used on the Minuteman III, and two higher yield warheads -- the 500-600 Kt CALMENDRO warhead (developed at LANL but transferred to LLNL), and the 800 Kt MUNSTER. The W-87 is more efficient than the W-78, using less fissile material for a similar yield
 

sferrin

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Like I’ve mentioned before the GBSD should get a new RV/warhead like the 800kt “Munster” developed as a peacekeeper alternative warhead. From the limited information I’ve read (very limited) it was well along in its development before they opted for the smaller yield W87.
Better yet a BGV (or five) with a W83 ;)
That would only work if the design had been ruggedised to take the acceleration and deceleration loads found in an RV.
Could be done. B53/W53 for example.

edit: Hell, don't know why I didn't think of this. The B83 can be dropped in a lay-down profile. It's already as tough as it would ever need to be:

"The heavy steel weapon case is subdivided by four internal bulkheads into four compartments. The forward case, behind the shock-mitigating nose, contains the heavy W-83 nuclear warhead. Immediately aft of this compartment is a bulkhead separating the mid-case from the forward case. The mid-case contains the electrical firing set and fuzing controls; these units are surrounded by fiberglas-reinforced phenolic honeycomb to minimize mechanical shock. Behind a following bulkhead is the aft case; separated by a final internal bulkhead is the afterbody. The aft case and afterbody house components that do not need to survive impact, including the weapon's arming system and power sources and the parachute system (the firing system is charged before impact).

The external case and internal support structures were designed to absorb shock and to keep the bomb intact after "laydown" delivery. The cross-sectional bulkheads presented a special problem, in that they had to be rigid enough to resist longitudinal displacement of components, but yet not so stiff that they would break through the casing during lateral (side-on) impacts.'
 
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bobbymike

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Now let’s build 1000 GBSD ICBMs ;)
 

Josh_TN

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B-83s were at least capable of a lay down attack. IIRC they were considered for the deep penetrator mission that ultimately the B-61 was developed into in the B-61 mod 11. I'm not sure why they picked the older design (perhaps just wanted something lighter?) but both weapons were hardened for deceleration enough to survive super sonic separations and lay down attacks. Though for now, Russia's ABM system is sufficiently localized I'm less concerned about equipping a missile with a hypersonic glider and more concerned that the US just manufacture new missiles and warheads. Given a large enough throw weight and diameter, other flavors of RV can be added to the new ICBM as needed.
 

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Yeah and i guess nothing actually prevent China from expanding.


and someone is angry.


I'm curious why the author insist on silo is for liquid fueled ICBM while.. Russians deploy Topol missiles in Both silo and road-mobile variant.
Silos have had solid rockets in them for donkey's years. Minuteman, Peacekeeper....
Yeah, which kinda makes me wonder why the defensive nature of the Globaltimes author.
 

Blitzo

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Yeah and i guess nothing actually prevent China from expanding.


and someone is angry.


I'm curious why the author insist on silo is for liquid fueled ICBM while.. Russians deploy Topol missiles in Both silo and road-mobile variant.
Silos have had solid rockets in them for donkey's years. Minuteman, Peacekeeper....
Yeah, which kinda makes me wonder why the defensive nature of the Globaltimes author.

Reading it, it seems like Hu is defensive because the article is being read as a way to put pressure on China in regards to whatever its nuclear strategy is, in context of the current overall disparity in nuclear balance between China and the US and Russia.


As for the silos themselves... I think both Lewis and Hu are right and wrong. Currently China's silo based ICBMs are the DF-5 variants (liquid fuelled). While DF-41 could be appropriate for an expansion of a new silo based ICBM fleet, at the end of the day, DF-41 is ultimately still primarily a road mobile system, and pursuing a robust silo strategy may better warrant a clean sheet design...
 

bobbymike

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History may not repeat itself in Asia but it will possibly rhyme.

Will China’s massive conventional and growing nuclear missile fleets cause Japan, Australia and maybe other Asian countries to rethink deploying IRBM ranged systems a la Pershing II/GLCM? Korea is boosting their missile ranges now.
 

bobbymike

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The silos appear designed to take the DF-41 missile, which has a maximum range of 9,300 miles and can carry 10 warheads apiece. The 145 silos, if fully stocked, would pack a punch against continental American targets.

“Just this deployment alone will provide China over one thousand new on-alert warheads—1,450—almost double the day-to-day U.S.A. on-alert force and by itself a nuclear force roughly equal to the entire current U.S. nuclear-deployed force of 1,490 sea- and land-based missile warheads,” said Peter Huessy of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies to 1945.
———————
We better rethink GBSD if it’s anything smaller than MX.
 

Josh_TN

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The pic I saw of PRC silo placement has them seemingly close together - are the employing the dense pack strategy?
 

bobbymike

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Again I ask why the deception or as time goes by is it safe to call it a flat out lie?
We are not spending $1.7 trillion on new nuclear weapons over the next 30 years. I believe the cost to not do anything and just maintain today’s arsenal is around $1.1 trillion.

Are they afraid to say modernization will cost around $20 billion per year for 30 years or around 25/100th of one percent of total government spending over that same time frame because people might say “hey that pretty cost effective way of defending the country”
 

bobbymike

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We should accelerate rebuilding and expanding the nuclear warhead infrastructure giving us the ability to ramp up new warhead production if needed due to future geostrategic developments.
 

sferrin

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Without China in the mix this is a waste of time, and actually detrimental to the US.
 

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