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Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)

Forest Green

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Silos are not "difficult" to build, they are "expensive" to build, two different things. Also we do NOT have any Peacekeeper silos left and the Peacekeeper motors are not usable for long-term silo use anymore. The Castor 120 is based on the Peacekeeper 1st stage but its not the same and would have to be modified for long-term silo use.

China is beating us in the IRBM and MRBM arena due primarily to INF. ICBMs they are just now getting close to what we've have for decades. Russia is merely updating their current inventory and replacing their Soviet era missiles. Topol -> Topol-M/Yars, Satan -> Sarmat, UR-100N -> Topol-M/Yars.

LEO trajectories are faster but they are less efficient -> less payload available.

If you are adding heavy decoys to the HGV, it has to carry them the whole way, making it even larger, and they will be useful for only a short amount of time, that's even if they can match the RCS of the HGV and its huge thermal signature.

So you now want to add sensors to the HGV to detect an ABM? More cost, more weight, more complexity. I don't know where you are getting this Mach 45, the HGV won't be doing Mach 20 in the terminal phase, Mach 5 might be closer, it takes energy to glide those ICBM range miles. Evasive maneuverability is a factor of G ratios. If the interceptor can pull 60 Gs, the HGV needs at least 20 Gs to escape, that is asking a lot for a vehicle that has been soaking heat up for a long time and is already thermally stressed. Note also the HGV is limited to aerodynamic control, while the interceptor can also use TVC.

We have to match Russia's overall strategic capability not specific tactical capabilities, and yes the SLBMs also play a part in that.
So, just do it.

So Russia is operating 4 ICBM types and 2 SLBM types, updated to carry 24 warheads and HGVs. Only for sanctions, they'd be building the RS-26 and a new missile train and missile too.

Only if you don't build a bigger missile.

You could have the sensors off board and communicate with it.

You're confusing g's with time response.

We ain't even close to matching it right now.
 

RanulfC

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Here is a question, what does the US actually need from the ICBM force?
Immediately responsive hyper accurate deterrent force whose very existence makes our adversaries think twice before contemplating aggression against us or our allies.
That's kind of vague - what type of deterrence? What level of aggression? You aren't going to go to ICBMs if China blows up a few US ships or Russia seizes Narva. Clearly we're talking something different.
Vague is pretty much standard for general policy and it actually 'sounds' about right. In reality we need an ICBM force that is a credible enough threat than ANY aggressor will hesitate to launch an offensive attack against us that might trigger a launch. China blows up a few US ships? The US is going to war with them and nuclear weapons are now on the table. Russia seizes Narva? Again they just went to war with both NATO and by definition the US with all that implies. If the US having a credible nuclear land based deterrent force in any way may prevent those acts then that's what we want. If it doesn't prevent such incidents then we want to be able to attack them our nuclear weapons should the conflict escelate that way.

The thing to keep in mind is that any time nuclear armed nations enter into conflict with each other the possibity of escelation to a nuclear exchanage level will always be there.. In either of the above cases conventional weapons and systems will be used first but, those other weapons will always be in the background as a threat.

Deterrence and MAD are not actually the same thing though people often think they are. Deterrence is the policy of keeping force elements between possible adversaries to level where noone has enough of an advantage or disadvantage at any point so that the other players feel that they are under overwhelming threat but they also never feel they have enough advantage to launch a first strike. Remember that historically it was initially assumed by many that conflict against a nation that had nuclear weapons would be unthinkable but this quickly proved to be false. Worse the main players in the Cold War soon realized that on the battefield level in an major conflict to come nuclear escelation was likely inevitable at some point and the only other question then becomes at what point does it become a full scale nuclear war and how close to that point can the conventional conflict be pushed. It was and still is a given that nuclear armed nations can and probably will still get into conflicts with each other and other non-nuclear nations but the deterrance gives everyone incentive to not escelate.

Deterrence depends on all participants adhering to and understanding certain "ground-rules" on which the policy is based which can be problematical with nations that have such weapons but do not follow those rules. Great examples being North Korea and Iran which have no credible ability to defeat or deter the larger armed nuclear nations but can do large amounts of local damage and possibly some damage to nations further away. The only means these nations have of 'deterrence' is the threat such weapons can have against some direct aggression against themselves, (attacking invading forces for example) or applying schorched Earth to deny the enemy a clean win. It is less "deterrence" than it is a verson of MAD.

MAD is actually a LOT easier to achieve but in most cases the deterrent value is low or non-existant. MAD simply means that if someone goes nuclear then everyone loses and getting to that point is frighteningly easy if anyone was willing to build a "Doomsday" system. In context to how it works currently the underlying concept is that if deterrence does not work and a full scale nuclear war begins then the US requires the capability that the majority of missiles launched with find thier target and anyone who attacks the US with nuclear weapons will themselves be destroyed by the US nuclear weapons.

Here is a question, what does the US actually need from the ICBM force?
Here is an answer: this thread is about the GBSD system, not policy. Take it to another thread.
But policy drives design so while an in-depth discussion should be in another thread the basic policy is very much applicable

Randy
 

sferrin

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But policy drives design so while an in-depth discussion should be in another thread the basic policy is very much applicable

Randy
By that rational so do industrial base, politics, work force, society, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. Let's not have a topic that's all over the map. If you want to talk policy re. ICBMs start a new thread. It's not difficult.
 

bobbymike

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But policy drives design so while an in-depth discussion should be in another thread the basic policy is very much applicable

Randy
By that rational so do industrial base, politics, work force, society, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. Let's not have a topic that's all over the map. If you want to talk policy re. ICBMs start a new thread. It's not difficult.
How about someone start a thread in The Bar called something like “Nuclear Modernization and Strategic Deterrence: Plans, Policies and Force Structure” (notice intentionally missing word Politics)

I’m at work or I’d do it myself :)
 

Desertfox

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So, just do it.

So Russia is operating 4 ICBM types and 2 SLBM types, updated to carry 24 warheads and HGVs. Only for sanctions, they'd be building the RS-26 and a new missile train and missile too.

Only if you don't build a bigger missile.

You could have the sensors off board and communicate with it.

You're confusing g's with time response.

We ain't even close to matching it right now.
"Just do it..." I would love to have a Tesla S but there is this thing called "economic reality" so I had to settle for a much cheaper Ford Focus which can use existing infrastructure, without having to spring extra for a home charging station and supercharger access, and at the end of the day the Focus does its job of getting me to work and back every day. The reality is that money is limited and its better to aim for something that will get the mission done, than for a more expensive project that might end up being canceled. Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

Russia will do what they think is best for them, we should not be trying to copy them, we have different requirements and operating conditions. Do note they are trying to replace 4 ICBMs with 2 ICBMs (Sarmat and Topol-M/Yars).

So if I understand correctly, you want off board sensors to detect ABM launches and then communicate with the HGV? You know how much cost and complexity you are adding to the system? Plus adding vulnerability by adding data transfer into the HGV.

What is this time response control lag? The ABM will maneuver when it sees the HGV move, this is a G problem, not a control problem.

We most definitely do match Russia's strategic capability at the moment when you look at the triad as a whole, same number of warheads for each side. Our SLBMs and bombers are better and our ICBMs worse but it is a wash at the end. We can destroy them and they can destroy us.
 

kaiserd

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But policy drives design so while an in-depth discussion should be in another thread the basic policy is very much applicable

Randy
By that rational so do industrial base, politics, work force, society, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. Let's not have a topic that's all over the map. If you want to talk policy re. ICBMs start a new thread. It's not difficult.
How about someone start a thread in The Bar called something like “Nuclear Modernization and Strategic Deterrence: Plans, Policies and Force Structure” (notice intentionally missing word Politics)

I’m at work or I’d do it myself :)
I thinks it’s a case of moderation and common sense; this topic clearly has related factors like policy, industrial, relationships to the rest of the triad etc.
Very clear example - many contributors here (probably including myself to some extent) make repeated reference to equivalent Russian land based ICBMs; aren’t they technically outside scope of this topic?
I think that as long as contributors are sticking to the forum rules, relating points back to topic and exercise reasonable moderation, self-discipline and consideration for other contributors re: not drifting too far off topic then this shouldn’t be a problem.
And I would note that some of the contributors who are now so keen to push anything not purely technical into another discussion have there own very mixed records in that regard.
I just hope this is not just being used to try to push out people with differing opinions and perspectives.
 

Forest Green

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So, just do it.

So Russia is operating 4 ICBM types and 2 SLBM types, updated to carry 24 warheads and HGVs. Only for sanctions, they'd be building the RS-26 and a new missile train and missile too.

Only if you don't build a bigger missile.

You could have the sensors off board and communicate with it.

You're confusing g's with time response.

We ain't even close to matching it right now.
"Just do it..." I would love to have a Tesla S but there is this thing called "economic reality" so I had to settle for a much cheaper Ford Focus which can use existing infrastructure, without having to spring extra for a home charging station and supercharger access, and at the end of the day the Focus does its job of getting me to work and back every day. The reality is that money is limited and its better to aim for something that will get the mission done, than for a more expensive project that might end up being canceled. Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

Russia will do what they think is best for them, we should not be trying to copy them, we have different requirements and operating conditions. Do note they are trying to replace 4 ICBMs with 2 ICBMs (Sarmat and Topol-M/Yars).

So if I understand correctly, you want off board sensors to detect ABM launches and then communicate with the HGV? You know how much cost and complexity you are adding to the system? Plus adding vulnerability by adding data transfer into the HGV.

What is this time response control lag? The ABM will maneuver when it sees the HGV move, this is a G problem, not a control problem.

We most definitely do match Russia's strategic capability at the moment when you look at the triad as a whole, same number of warheads for each side. Our SLBMs and bombers are better and our ICBMs worse but it is a wash at the end. We can destroy them and they can destroy us.
Given a $700bn/year defence budget, the extra funding for 100-200 $100m missiles over 10-20 years isn't a lot, especially when you take the delta between that and building lesser missiles in the same quantity. And being prepared is priceless.

The Yars and Topol-M are different. And the UR-100N with upgraded HGV is to be operational, plus R-29RMU2 and RSM-56 SLBMs. Meanwhile we have 1 ICBM and 1 SLBM.

SBIRS and related systems can already detect missile launches and already have outgoing comms, so the added cost is adding incoming comms to the HGV.

We have 400 ICBMs and 240 SLBMs capable of carrying a maximum of 1200 + 1920 = 3120 warheads. Russia have 318 ICBMs and 160 SLBMs capable of carrying 1809 + 1792 = 3601 warheads post upgrade and HGVs, and that upgrade is far closer. Then you have the need to counter the expanding Chinese threat too.
 

RanulfC

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[quoteI see no evidence that it was done prior to removal from service.
The entire history of development, production, deployment and retirment is publicly available it's all there in black and white.

Except they didn't stop at 100 missiles, 114 were built. So that makes no sense.
100 production missiles with 14 test missiles produced which went directly into 'long-term' storage to assess the effects of aging and storage on the various components. Fun fact is that a number of components are still in that warehouse today as they are still being used for that purpose. When Congerss cut the deployment to only 50, (48 actual) the rest were put into storage as backup missiles which is what is done in any normal operation. Some were at the actual bases and some were stored at the depot.

So going to the moon for the first time was easy but rebuilding Peacekeepers is too difficult, even with the first stages still being built for launch vehicles? Mm'kay.
Going to the Moon was not easy, never said it was but rebuilding the Peacekeeper from a commercial booster, (it's not the actual Peacekeeper stage, and then we have to rebuild the upper two stages and the warhead bus) and finding a place to deploy them when that didn't work out at all well the first time? Ya, it's less it's "hard" than it would be pretty silly to do something you know failed the last time instead of maybe something that will actually work?

Evidence?
That we only had 50 'active' missiles instead of 100? Every Peacekeeper information site points out Congress only allowed 50 to be deployed while the second batch of 50 were 'stored' until a viable deployment plan could be found. That they were deployed in converted MM3 silos? Again same sources. That they were all destroyed when the Peacekeeper was retired? Again it's part of the record, They were deployed to only one (1) base, F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, and only 50 of them of which 48 went into silos and two were put into ready storage at the base as replacement missiles. 14 went to Hill AFB and Vandenburg for static testing and training, and long term storage tests. As the next batch of 50 were produced they were sent to Hill AFB for storage until a basing scheme could be decided on which never happened. These were also used to swap out with silo missiles and the ready storage missiles for maintennance purposes.
Just a couple of links:

Yeah, but we had complete control of the skies above Iraq. There may be times where the location of a mobile launcher is known but most of the time it won't be and in 30 minutes it won't be where it was. The Midgetman also travelled in more of a mobile bunker.
First of all we should probably be clear that there is a HUGE difference between mobile TACTICAL/THEATRE missiles and mobile ICBM type missiles. Tactical/Theater missiles are smaller, faster to set up and of course limited in range which actually make targeting somewhat easier. (It's litterally a math problem more than any guidance technology) ICBMs however have to have both a very accurte launch position as compared to the target but must have a more sophisticated guidance and control system due to the longer distance they travel. Mobile ICBMs have an inherent accuracy problem that can only be solved with the use of certain specific methods I'll discuss in a bit. Meanwhile a tactical/theater mobile missile can actually be launched towards a specific target from a pretty big 'launch elipse' with specific post launch data updates to enhance the accuracy.

We didn't use nuclear weapons in Iraq and since the air patrols were being tracked by radar systems friendly to the Iraqies they were constantly informed of where we were looking. Spotting a non-moving launcher, (and most were stored in shelters which made it even more difficult) with a Mk1 eyeball, at night, at high speed was almost impossible. Even IR and low-light didn't help much. The only sure way to spot a mobile was with satellite or dedicated recon aircraft passes and that took time to get the information to those on site by which time the launcher would have either launched or moved on. In the case of a nuclear strike the time factors is greatly shorter and the nuke arrives long before the launcher can move significantly. Especially as it's likely a MIRV so there will be overlapping blast waves.

People tend to think that mobile launchers would drive all over the place but they don't and in fact can't and it has only been in the last few years that things like the GPS and geodetic survey's have gotten accurate enough to not require extensive pre-site surveying and selection for acceptable mobile accuracy. In practice a mobile can 'cruise' around a specific area and then when it gets the launch order it would make its way to a pre-surveyed spot to launch from. The missile has to know EXACTLY where it is starting from to have any chance of arriving where it is aimed and that's not as easy as you would think because while we have things like GPS today in an attack we're likely NOT to have that available or it could be compromised so your back to needing pre-surveyed launch points which limits your mobility options. Yes the Midgeman was hardned but not as much as one might hope and the thing was while people imagine a 'mobile launcher' being a single vehicle its not. The Hard Mobile Launcher was one of between three, (minimum) and five vehicles in the system per missile and they would only 'deploy' into secured federal lands (if you wanted to minimum) or open federal lands (where you'd need full security and maintenance crews) and it was likely the ONLY one that could survive a near miss.

Why can't it be used as a missile stage exactly?
Wrong propellant, the structure is too weak and needs reinforcing, and it does not have nor can it be fitted with the enhancments and subsystems that a military missile stage needs among other reasons. They took the Peacekeeper stage and pretty much gutted it to just a basic casing and commercial propellant and were pleasently surprised that it was actually lighter than they'd anticipated it would be, (the "120" was the estimated final all-up stage mass in thousands of pounds, it ended up being only a bit over 117,000lbs when all was said and done) in the end.

The only reason it opened up at all was because the collapse of the USSR pointed out that there were some things that had to change. Other than that, it's same old same old. Now it's fixed those things, there are no other changes in progress.
No it had started to open up so it could access the western markets as the older "Communism" didn't interface well with the open markets. Progress has been slow and that's to be expected given the situation but they are and have been moving away from Communism even though they kept the name. Like Russia it's not really open to democracty but its also not as all powerful as the older Communist systems were. To put it mildly both have moved more towards "Imperial" systems and one-man rule rather than what we'd consider "reprentative" governments. They still however have significant markets and trade open to the US so while not our friends, they aren't our enemies either.

Much as many American's like to talk about only dealing with and exporting 'democracy' and 'freedom' we've always been more about business and trade over government and that's not likley to change. In the very end we actually DID win the Cold War because "Communism" as it was then is pretty much gone and buried but out major mistake was thinking that once it was gone ONLY democracy was left and that has NEVER been true. China and Russia along with India, Japan, an organized Asia and South America all are pushing to become world leaders in their own right and conflict is pretty much inevitable given how humans work.

The goal should be matching the enemy. A small MM3 replacement is like continuing to build P-51s through to the 90s.
The F-15 was the 80s eqivilent of the P-51, the F-22 the 90s equivilent. Oddly enough we happen to know you can use the support systems and infrastructure for the F-15 with the F-22 and a P-51 can even use them with few issues. Meanwhile a new missile with modern technology and design that can use the majority of the MM3 infrastructure and support systems should be able to match pretty much all the enemy systems. Direct matching the enemy has never been the goal and never should be because it will always be playing catch up. We have to get a modern GBSD to at least update our deterrence but that should not and hopefully will not be the end of it because we can't assume that enemy will stop there either. So we move on and build another and hopefully complimentary system but we have to accept that's going to cost more and require more resources and support. We can't have both because at this point we can only do one and since we need capability NOW not two or more decades from now we need to focus on the one we know we can do and support.

So basically the Midgetman is almost as wide as the MM3 third stage.
Second and third stage and they based the design on it with a new build booster and optimized the stages for a single warhead and mobile launch.

The new missile proposed wouldn't be mobile though.
Doesn't need to be as the plan is to use it to replace our current silo based missiles with mobility as an option once that's been done. As I noted above mobility isn't as applicable for US planning as one might think. China and Russia are already invested in mobile systems so they don't have to make many changes and they tend to design for mobile and then put them in silos. Mobile systems require more personnel, more support systems and more and dispersed facilties for maintenancne and operations than silo basing which is why the US hasn't deployed them outside tactical systems. Mobile is harder to get into operation than silo basing and its also more expensive over the long run than fixed facilities.

Jeez, it's a wonder we even bothered building silos in the first place. What happened to the old Titan silos anyway? Surely they were big enough?
The history and execution of the US ICBM systems is fascinating and well worth getting into but in essence the US found early on that mobile basing had to many issues versus fixed sites. You can get around them with enough money and work, The Soviets tried to develope a mobile ICBM in the late 60s but they didn't get a working one until the mid-80s and even then it suffered from problems with accuracy and security. They still needed pre-surveyed launch sites and China has the same issue with their mobile launchers. (One reason not really 'fear' North Korean mobile launchers is we know EXACTLY where their launch sites are already) As of today there' a bit better due to advances in navigation technology but unless used in a first strike role, their accuracy will be less than that of a fixed launcher. To overcome this is one reason for the development of manuevering warheads which would allow a more accurate 'second' strike assuming the mobile launcher can survive the initial strike. The converse problem is that manuvering warheads, assuming reconissnce assets are still available, mean your mobile launchers are now vastly more vulnerable than previously.

The old Titan silos were destroyed, (imploded and filled with rubble) though many launch centers and mainenance anexs are still intact, They had a huge number of issues that would have been difficult to fix if we wanted to actually base the Peacekeeper in them but those pushing the initial idea weren't really interested in fixing those problems in the first place. They simply didn't want the proposed "racetrack" or "dense pack" bases in their states. (And on the other hand none of the alternate basing systems looked to be any cheaper or more survivable than silo conversions anyway)

The problem with the Titan silos was they were designed around a large liquid propellant missile in a compact arrangment.

One missile silo and one crewed mainteancen and launch control center all in one spot. They weren't really buried deep enough or hardened enough to survive a modern near-miss or set up for modern solid fueled missile operations.

It's a bit harder to see but this is a typical MM3 missile field where you have about 10 silos per one launch center which is vastly more efficent and survivable:

To fix the Titan II silos was going to not only take a lot of time and effort but it would limit the number that could every be deployed and frankly everyone was hoping Congress would refund the replacement effort. At the same time other suggestions such as putting half the deployment in rail or air based systems was gaining ground and the idea of using the Titan II silos became less and less viable.

Now I need to also point out that it was/is possible to fully gut a current silo location and rebuild a totally NEW silo into that spot but it won't be easy or cheap, (though actually easier and cheaper than trying to fit a larger missile into the existing silo) and would take the entire silo complex out of action for a year or more while you're doing it. On even more of a downside what you're doing will be clearly visible and obvious to anyone wanting to keep tabs on you and likely they could get a very good idea of what your hardening and countermeasures are pretty easy.
(Conversion took several months but was a lot more costly than originally anticipated and as noted it looked to have made the Peacekeeper silos less rather than more survivable)

After the missile is built, it sits in a silo.
For a while, then it's regularly pulled out and replaced with a spare and sent into extensive preventative maintenance and rotated back into ready storage. Take note that those 14 extra Peacekeeper's were specifically for long-term storage and preventative maintenance testing as we had no idea how long either would take for the missile. As these are so important they go through regular testing and mainteancen checks and functional testing is done all the time to ensure they are ready to go when needed. Missiles NEVER just 'sit' in the silos!

Randy
 

marauder2048

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LEO and depressed trajectories are less efficient that a minimum energy ballistic trajectory.
Which is why they fly MET until above the atmosphere and let stage III (already the most optimized stage in general)
do the heavy lifting on the depressed leg.

HTV-2 was an R&D payload. Operational HGVs will be closer to direct injection as you want to conserve as much energy as possible and HGVs have no control authority outside the atmosphere without adding a PBV.
The intermediate ranged ones will probably closer to direct injection. AHW and HTV-2 had control authority outside of the atmosphere
via small gas bottles which are negligible in terms of payload impact.

I doubt they'll fly operational HGVs one trajectories that are a major departure from testing trajectories.
 

Grey Havoc

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The Soviets tried to develope a mobile ICBM in the late 60s but they didn't get a working one until the mid-80s and even then it suffered from problems with accuracy and security.
Even earlier than that, though it got derailed for political rather than technical reasons:
 

RanulfC

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That is why I'm a proponent of the mobile MPS basing scheme. The goal being not to make the missiles disappear but to increase the number of targets beyond the enemy's ability to target them. Simply having 200 missiles with 4 shelters each doubles the number of targets to 800. You don't even have to increase your missile number to increase their survivability, you just have to build more shelters. Having 10 shelters increases the targets to 2,000, that's more than the current deployed warheads (~1500) available to Russia.

Would it be costly? Yes, it won't be able to use current MM3 infrastructure and will require new shelters (which will be a lot cheaper than new silos). But you could get it thru congress by passing it as a "denuclearization" (half as many missiles deployed) and the lost warheads could go on Trident IIs. The missiles to be road-mobile would likely be smaller than MM3 so you could always go back to MM3 silo basing if necessary.
This is kind of how we ended up with the Midgetman, (which oddly enough had more Democratic support than Republican who wanted the Peacekeeper :) ) It was the basis for the "racetrack" and "multiple shelter" concepts for basing... And was vehemently opposed by the governments and public of the state where they were to be set up :(

See the main problem is those shelters are not going to be very well spread out and therefore (since they are not as hardened) vulnerable to MIRV attack. Why not spread them out? They have to be secured so they will need to be fenced and guarded which means they will need a certain amount of land per shelter and access ways. At one point it was shown, (note by the people who opposed the plan but they did have a point) that this would incease federal land barred to the public in Nevada alone by about 40%. And keep in mind that this shelter plan would only work in most of the Western states since they have the most available Federal land to work with.

Likely a lot more costly than you'd think when you take into account the number of secured routes that would have to be built and guarded all the time along with each shelter complex having to have standing guards and patrols. (We don't have standing guards on the current missile silos because we don't really need them. A series of random patrols keeps the curious at bay but you'd have to prevent anyone from getting within 'sensor' range of a shelter as they could possibly tag or ID shelters without an actual missile in them)

As far as needing new "heavy" ICBMs, don't forget that the majority of new Russian ICBMs are the Topol-m/Yars family which is similar size to MM3. And with improved propellants and materials, you could get MM3 performance from a smaller missile. Anything with more than 3 warheads is a waste of resources, since politically we won't be going back to Cold War era 10,000 warhead forces.
I can see why people would like to have that extra capabilty and it might be useful in the future, but there is a reason no one is deploying heavy ICBMs in any significant numbers, They are of limited use and they cost a lot more so are not efficent to deploy in any number. In theory they are great thing with all those warheads but they also put a high number of warheads on a single plateform making them more vulnerable and less effective as actual coverage. "Heavy" ICBMs missions are usually for lofting massiv warheads for site specific attacks, (Cheyane Moutain, EMP attack or counter-value such as city-killer attacks) or for attacking using FOBS or non-optimal directional (coming from the South) attacks.

The main reason people seem to want them instead of something smaller is the number of warheads and the 'ability' to carry large, outsized payloads such as an HGV with a multi-megaton warhead.

Randy
 

marauder2048

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as of today there' a bit better due to advances in navigation technology but unless used in a first strike role, their accuracy will be less than that of a fixed launcher.
I'm not sure this really true anymore.

All of the investments in non-GPS based precision navigation and timing will naturally accrue in favor of the TEL.

"Stellar" sighting isn't anymore: it can sight on satellites, multiple celestial objects and in daylight.

Exquisite wind and atmospheric modeling that was computationally intractable isn't anymore

Pre-surveying isn't a cost or predictability issue anymore: Icesat II will have pre-surveyed most of the Earth to DTED Level 5;
there's no shortage of drones to do the higher fidelity work.
 

Desertfox

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Given a $700bn/year defence budget, the extra funding for 100-200 $100m missiles over 10-20 years isn't a lot, especially when you take the delta between that and building lesser missiles in the same quantity. And being prepared is priceless.

The Yars and Topol-M are different. And the UR-100N with upgraded HGV is to be operational, plus R-29RMU2 and RSM-56 SLBMs. Meanwhile we have 1 ICBM and 1 SLBM.

SBIRS and related systems can already detect missile launches and already have outgoing comms, so the added cost is adding incoming comms to the HGV.

We have 400 ICBMs and 240 SLBMs capable of carrying a maximum of 1200 + 1920 = 3120 warheads. Russia have 318 ICBMs and 160 SLBMs capable of carrying 1809 + 1792 = 3601 warheads post upgrade and HGVs, and that upgrade is far closer. Then you have the need to counter the expanding Chinese threat too.
You are making a HUGE assumption there about cost and the defense budget is already bloated and will have to come down eventually. Money doesn't just grow on trees. Like I said, my Focus can do everything I need it to do, I'd love that Tesla, but the added features are not worth the extra cost, since I don't need them. Both cars will do their mission very well which is to get me to work and back.

Yars is simply a MIRVed Topol-M. Russia has claimed they will only deploy 12 UR-100Ns with HGVs and they will probably be replaced by Sarmat with HGVs eventually. The R-29s will also likely get replaced by RSM-56s as new submarines finish, leaving Russia with 2 ICBMs and 1 SLBM. Yes, we only have 1 and 1 but that also is alot more cost efficient.

Its alot more complex that giving HGVs comms (which can get hacked btw) and the timelines need to be measured in seconds rather than minutes that SIBRS works on.

Don't forget to add the British and to a lesser extent French nuclear forces to the equation. And every Russian ICBM with an HGV is a significant drop in warhead number.

AHW and HTV-2 are very different, I don't know if there's any released information on AHW's trajectory which would be more relevant to a deployed weapon system.


See the main problem is those shelters are not going to be very well spread out and therefore (since they are not as hardened) vulnerable to MIRV attack. Why not spread them out? They have to be secured so they will need to be fenced and guarded which means they will need a certain amount of land per shelter and access ways. At one point it was shown, (note by the people who opposed the plan but they did have a point) that this would incease federal land barred to the public in Nevada alone by about 40%. And keep in mind that this shelter plan would only work in most of the Western states since they have the most available Federal land to work with.

Likely a lot more costly than you'd think when you take into account the number of secured routes that would have to be built and guarded all the time along with each shelter complex having to have standing guards and patrols. (We don't have standing guards on the current missile silos because we don't really need them. A series of random patrols keeps the curious at bay but you'd have to prevent anyone from getting within 'sensor' range of a shelter as they could possibly tag or ID shelters without an actual missile in them)
Well to be viable the shelters would have to be spread out and hardened enough to require 1 warhead per shelter, so no warhead could take 2 out at once. A way to reduce the amount of land required would be to place them in current missile bases using missile silo locations for some of the shelters. I would also put a decoy TEL in each empty shelter (yeah it would be more costly, unless the TELs where semi-trailers). They could be secured same way current silos are using sensors and random patrols.

But yes they would be more costly, especially to operate. The draw would be, that they could be passed as a way to reduce the nuclear force and that the majority of the cost would be later on in operations as the missiles could be cheaper and there would be less of them. And if the missile could be carried in a standard semi-trailer you could save money by using COTS components in the TEL.
 

sferrin

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So if I understand correctly, you want off board sensors to detect ABM launches and then communicate with the HGV? You know how much cost and complexity you are adding to the system? Plus adding vulnerability by adding data transfer into the HGV.
Better to use the HGV's terminal guidance on the lookout. It doesn't need to be very smart to dodge an ABM. It ain't like the movies. Hell, they could probably develop canned manuevers sophisticated enough to defeat ABMs.
 

sferrin

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Are you talking about HGVs or MARVs? There is a huge difference in how and when they are deployed. MIRVed MARVs has been done before but there has not been any MIRVed HGVs tested to date. You are talking about deploying multiple HGVs simultaneously at Mach 20, it is not an easy problem. As for putting multiple warheads into one HGV, that is going to be one big massive target.

Conical HGVs like BGRV. They're slim enough, and axially symmetrical so they'd take much less room under a shroud than a winged HGV. Spin up the "bus", blow off the shroud, and then release all of the HGVs at once, useing CF and aerodynamics to pull them away from each other. Might even be able to manage it with winged HGVs depending on their configuration.
 

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You're assuming the HGV has terminal guidance good enough to detect and categorize incoming threats (not what terminal guidance is designed to do), like say Sprint which had 100 G acceleration and would reach the intercept point in 5 seconds. Based on the 3 to 1 ratio, the HGV would have to be capable of pulling at least a 33 Gs using aerodynamic forces alone, in less than 5 seconds after ABM launch, after spending more than half an hour roasting in the atmosphere.

A conical axis-symmetric HGV would have a significantly lower L/D ratio, which would make it less efficient and possibly incapable of ICBM range. If you want it to go ICBM range it would basically be a MARV that can glide for longer and at that point you have given up it advantage of evading mid-course interceptors.

I'm not saying you can't do MIRVed winged HGVs, all I'm saying is it has not been done before and will not be an easy problem to solve. Somebody will likely do it soon, but its not easy.
 

RanulfC

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How about someone start a thread in The Bar called something like “Nuclear Modernization and Strategic Deterrence: Plans, Policies and Force Structure” (notice intentionally missing word Politics)

I’m at work or I’d do it myself :)
You are taking the obvious time from work to scan and answer posts on these forums? Why I am, I am... Well I'm supposing I should get back to work myself :)

Randy
 

sferrin

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You're assuming the HGV has terminal guidance good enough to detect and categorize incoming threats (not what terminal guidance is designed to do), like say Sprint which had 100 G acceleration and would reach the intercept point in 5 seconds. Based on the 3 to 1 ratio, the HGV would have to be capable of pulling at least a 33 Gs using aerodynamic forces alone, in less than 5 seconds after ABM launch, after spending more than half an hour roasting in the atmosphere.
All it has to be good enough to do is detect if guidance radar is viewing it. At that point it can just do canned manuevers. It doesn't need to actively "see" the incoming missile. Also, you're conflating a bunch of different specs there on Sprint. The 100Gs is axial acceleration, not lateral. It's not going to be doing much manuvering at all (and it will all be aerodynamic - with no wings) Not in the way you imagine it anyway. Certainly not to the degree an HGV would be capable of.

A conical axis-symmetric HGV would have a significantly lower L/D ratio, which would make it less efficient and possibly incapable of ICBM range. If you want it to go ICBM range it would basically be a MARV that can glide for longer and at that point you have given up it advantage of evading mid-course interceptors.
So fly it on a depressed trajectory. Atlas let go of BGRV at about 130,000 feet and it glided 5000 miles as the crow flies, with 2000 mile cross range capability. No wings Bump up the altitude so it flies on a low ballistic (100 miles >) trajectory for more range, dives back down to 130,000 feet at 5,000 miles out, and glides the rest of the way in. A midcourse ABM wouldn't be able to touch it.
If you really wanted to get crazy they talked about bringing this kind of thing down to the deck for the final run in. At Mach 10.

Capturebg.PNG
 

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You are still going Mach 5 with a lot of thermal stressed and limited to aerodynamic maneuvers. How many Gs are you pulling in those canned maneuvers? The more Gs you pull the faster you lose energy which makes you vulnerable to a second shot. And unless you are changing maneuvers less than 5 seconds apart the interceptor can still get you.

You can do a depressed trajectory then drop the HGV. But everything you mentioned takes energy which you only have so much off. You will have to sacrifice something to get it, whether its payload or size or performance or range. The drag and temperature rise on the deck would be insane at Mach 10, there would be a limit to how much you could do down there.
 

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The Soviets tried to develope a mobile ICBM in the late 60s but they didn't get a working one until the mid-80s and even then it suffered from problems with accuracy and security.
Even earlier than that, though it got derailed for political rather than technical reasons:
Ohhh! My favorite no less :) But no it wasn't all politcal a lot of the technical and operational difficulties are still there. And it still took them till the mid-80s just to get it working to a satsfactory level.

as of today there' a bit better due to advances in navigation technology but unless used in a first strike role, their accuracy will be less than that of a fixed launcher.
I'm not sure this really true anymore.
In reality the accuracy is comparable to early SLBM accuracy for general CEP. Which is why they have never been as much of a 'worry' to the military as it would seem. The Gulf War brought some of the operational assumptions into question which is why there was a push to find a way to ID and track them but they also are less survivable than a silo or fixed instillation so it was generally a wash.

All of the investments in non-GPS based precision navigation and timing will naturally accrue in favor of the TEL.
Generally true as long as you're assuming they would be used for a first strike or with a long prep time. In an actual war its not so clear because the GPS is the first thing going down. Having 'fixed' launching sites is always prefered.

"Stellar" sighting isn't anymore: it can sight on satellites, multiple celestial objects and in daylight.

Exquisite wind and atmospheric modeling that was computationally intractable isn't anymore
Which is why the accuracy has gotten better but still not as good as a fixed, (and well qualifed) launch site. As of now though the mobile launchers are mostly good for counter-value rather than counter force and the US ICBM force is supposed to be maintained as a counter-force deterrent. Which is why we don't do mobile launchers as a main system.

Pre-surveying isn't a cost or predictability issue anymore: Icesat II will have pre-surveyed most of the Earth to DTED Level 5;
there's no shortage of drones to do the higher fidelity work.
But pre-surveying can be discovered and targeted which is why nobody likes to depend on it. It's great if you've got the time and can afford the effort but it still means you essentially have to move to and fire from a 'fixed' (and likely known) position which reduces your actual mobility.

I'm not saying it doesn't have advantages and the technology isn't getting better which all adds into it, but as an operational system the advantages have yet to outweigh the disadvantages if you have not aready made a major commitment to the process. The US hasn't which is why it keeps coming up short when we examine it as a major part of the land-based leg.

Randy
 
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RanulfC

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Given a $700bn/year defence budget, the extra funding for 100-200 $100m missiles over 10-20 years isn't a lot, especially when you take the delta between that and building lesser missiles in the same quantity. And being prepared is priceless.
Ok, I see you don't know what the actual GBSD program is all about. Firstly it's full development and deployment in less than a decade to fully replace the MM3 force in place which is why its restricted to fitting into the MM3 silos. The program is to begin no later than 2020 and the missiles are supposed to begin deployment by no later than 2025 and be fully operational on or before the first part of 2030. Yes as long as the missiles don't cost much over $100 million per round and do not entail major logistics and operational costs, (which is where something like a new Peacemaker fails the bill) we can afford them and the timetable. Now keep in mind that during that same time we'll have programs such as our own HGV and other hypersonic weapons ongoing plus other new weapons systems that are currently budgeted and we can hope they put some effort towards another strategic missile system. But the bottom line is the current program is directly aimed at getting more effective ICBMs into the current silos to ensure parity with our adversary’s.

The Yars and Topol-M are different.
Yes but they are replacements for the current deployed missiles just like the GBSD program in the US.

And the UR-100N with upgraded HGV is to be operational,
The indications are they won't put the HGV on more than a few of the 30 UR-100Ns, and that's assuming they actually do deploy them.
The UR-100N and the HGV variant, the standard UR-100N is not the designated carrier but the returned Ukrainian NUTTH variant. (Likely because the upper stage and missile bus have to be totally redesigned to carry the HGVs) The Sarmet looks to be replacing the UR100 due to its age, again IF it gets deployed.

plus R-29RMU2 and RSM-56 SLBMs. Meanwhile we have 1 ICBM and 1 SLBM.
And we're replacing that ICBM which is the point and our 1 SLBM is still more effective than the two Russian SLBMs

SBIRS and related systems can already detect missile launches and already have outgoing comms, so the added cost is adding incoming comms to the HGV.
Comms to an HGV has always been a problem due to the plasma sheath, the Russians have specifically acknowledged they solved the structural problems but real-time comm ability is vastly different. Specifically you have to 'seed' the plasma to open a comm window and any maneuvering will shift the plasma sheath and wreck the window. So you have to start over and this isn't an easy or precise process. And this does not address the main issue which is with an HGV you just have to get 'close' and detonate a fragmentation warhead. Any damage and the HGV will destroy itself.

We have 400 ICBMs and 240 SLBMs capable of carrying a maximum of 1200 + 1920 = 3120 warheads. Russia have 318 ICBMs and 160 SLBMs capable of carrying 1809 + 1792 = 3601 warheads post upgrade and HGVs, and that upgrade is far closer. Then you have the need to counter the expanding Chinese threat too.
Keep in mind that one of the reasons Russia and China are wanting to boost their warhead count is to counter US ABM capability. Further one needs to keep in mind that they both would prefer if the US were to indicate a willingness to retain the New-START limitations and expanding the amount of warheads they COULD carry is always good method of applying incentive. A new US ICBM capable of carrying up to five warheads would increase the possible US warhead count by 800 warheads bringing our total up to near 4000 warheads with improvements in just one missile.

In reality the limits are currently 1500 total warheads over the entire triad, (discounting that bombers actually carry more than one) and no more than 700 total 'delivery' units. If the New-START isn't renewed or re-negotiated then Russia and China have a momentary advantage in warhead numbers BUT they also have construct and deploy those additional warheads before they can be used. Given that everyone has been playing nice for the last couple of decades, (and they have) which means the actual number of deployable warheads is pretty close which is actually more important than possible number of warheads all things being equal.


Randy
 

RanulfC

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So if I understand correctly, you want off board sensors to detect ABM launches and then communicate with the HGV? You know how much cost and complexity you are adding to the system? Plus adding vulnerability by adding data transfer into the HGV.
Better to use the HGV's terminal guidance on the lookout. It doesn't need to be very smart to dodge an ABM. It ain't like the movies. Hell, they could probably develop canned manuevers sophisticated enough to defeat ABMs.
Err, "terminal" guidance on an HGV would be unlikely unless it drops to around Mach-8-ish and that might be too generous for an onboard sensor in an atmosphere. And it needs to be 'smart' enough to isolate and identify the ABM against the background clutter and noise which is not likely to to easy. The ABM on the other hand is looking 'up' towards a reletivly uncluttered background and a SCREAMING IR target that really, really stands out.

I have no doubt that most of the manuevers WILL be canned as communications with the HGV will be difficult at best for most of the atmospheric phase. And again the counter is fairly straight foward because while the HGV can in theory 'dodge' an incoming ABM the ABM just has to throw a shrapnel cloud in the path and the HGV likely can't dodge ENOUGH to get clear,

Are you talking about HGVs or MARVs? There is a huge difference in how and when they are deployed. MIRVed MARVs has been done before but there has not been any MIRVed HGVs tested to date. You are talking about deploying multiple HGVs simultaneously at Mach 20, it is not an easy problem. As for putting multiple warheads into one HGV, that is going to be one big massive target.
Conical HGVs like BGRV. They're slim enough, and axially symmetrical so they'd take much less room under a shroud than a winged HGV. Spin up the "bus", blow off the shroud, and then release all of the HGVs at once, useing CF and aerodynamics to pull them away from each other. Might even be able to manage it with winged HGVs depending on their configuration.
Eh, it really depends on both the flight profile and the design. Bus seperation will likely occur as soon as boost ends, (reduces the chances of an interceptor getting the whole payload easily) but any seperation vectors have to be nulled out pretty quickly or your angle to target gets too big. Bonus for the HGV is they can actually manuever once they get into the atmosphere but then you have to keep enough onboard computing power and sensors to keep track of EXACTLY where you are in relation to the target because once you hit interface you lose your ability to locate yourself and track the target. You won't regain it till you drop below high hypersonic speed and lose the majority of your plasma sheath.

Winged HBVs trade off longer glide times whereas conic and biconic HGVs give you longer sustained speed and higher hypersonic L/D. The usual tradeoffs.

You're assuming the HGV has terminal guidance good enough to detect and categorize incoming threats (not what terminal guidance is designed to do), like say Sprint which had 100 G acceleration and would reach the intercept point in 5 seconds. Based on the 3 to 1 ratio, the HGV would have to be capable of pulling at least a 33 Gs using aerodynamic forces alone, in less than 5 seconds after ABM launch, after spending more than half an hour roasting in the atmosphere.

A conical axis-symmetric HGV would have a significantly lower L/D ratio, which would make it less efficient and possibly incapable of ICBM range. If you want it to go ICBM range it would basically be a MARV that can glide for longer and at that point you have given up it advantage of evading mid-course interceptors.

I'm not saying you can't do MIRVed winged HGVs, all I'm saying is it has not been done before and will not be an easy problem to solve. Somebody will likely do it soon, but its not easy.
And developing the Sprint again isn't out of the question if we get pushed to it. Of course the question is can you get the Sprint to do what modern HTK vehicles due because they cheated and used a nuke :)

Conical and biconical HGVs would be better on trajectories that stay higher and faster whereas winged HGV's get further and can manuver longer but arrive at lower speed and energy. Again it's a trade off to what you want in the mission profile. And I probably should mention that it won't be that hard for an adversary to figure out the most likely trajectories for the deployed HGV and counter them. It's take time and effort but it's not really an insoluable problem.

All it has to be good enough to do is detect if guidance radar is viewing it. At that point it can just do canned manuevers. It doesn't need to actively "see" the incoming missile. Also, you're conflating a bunch of different specs there on Sprint. The 100Gs is axial acceleration, not lateral. It's not going to be doing much manuvering at all (and it will all be aerodynamic - with no wings) Not in the way you imagine it anyway. Certainly not to the degree an HGV would be capable of.
Oh, so all we have to do is light off several different 'tracking' radar emitters and the HGV manuvers itself into the ground 20 or 30 miles short of its target? A radar detector has to have enough computing power to isolate and identify not just a tracking radar but that that particular tracking radar has a lock or is searching for it. Pile on top of that while the HGV is manuvering away from the tracking radar since it has no way of detecting the ABM it could in fact be flying right into it. The fact that there is an ABM radar out there does nothing to help the HGV avoid an ABM until the ABM is in within onboard tracking range and in this case it is VERY unlikely the ABM is using radar for terminal guidance anyway when the IR tracking would be vastly better.

Sprint actually had 'wings' and some very powerful manuever motors as well since it was going to be activily intercepting deep in the atmosphere. Putting thrusts on an ABM body isn't actually that difficult. And again the ABM against an HGV would have an actual warhead on it and not be dependent on HTK so once the warhead detonates the HGV has to be able to manuever a LOT more than you'd think to avoid getting killed and likely it won't be able to do it. And lest we forget nuclear ABM's are no longer NOT allowed and their warheads are NOT counted as offensive warheads under any definition in any treaty.

So fly it on a depressed trajectory. Atlas let go of BGRV at about 130,000 feet and it glided 5000 miles as the crow flies, with 2000 mile cross range capability. No wings Bump up the altitude so it flies on a low ballistic (100 miles >) trajectory for more range, dives back down to 130,000 feet at 5,000 miles out, and glides the rest of the way in. A midcourse ABM wouldn't be able to touch it.
If you really wanted to get crazy they talked about bringing this kind of thing down to the deck for the final run in. At Mach 10.
A depressed trajectory only gets you so much and it needs to get into the atmosphere to manuever. Outside the atmosphere it's pretty much a sitting duck and might as well be a ballistic warhead. And adapting a midcourse current ABM to such an intercept isn't trivial but it's not impossible either. And ya I'd agree that's crazy rather than practical. Mach 3 to 4 on the deck is hard enough trying Mach 10 is probably impossible with current tech for anything over a couple of miles. And you could litterally throw up a column of dirt as a defense against it with a 100% chance to kill it.

The entire rational for HGV and manuvering warheads is short reaction times and unanticipated directions but the problem is once you KNOW someone has deployed HGVs or manuevering warhead countering them becomes a simple game of number and willingness to spend money. Killing them is actually pretty easy.

Randy
 

marauder2048

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I'm not saying it doesn't have advantages and the technology isn't getting better which all adds into it, but as an operational system the advantages have yet to outweigh the disadvantages if you have not aready made a major commitment to the process. The US hasn't which is why it keeps coming up short when we examine it as a major part of the land-based leg.

Randy
The commitments to improving positional accuracy in a GPS-denied and hostile environment are definitely there:
(slide burke-11 for the munition flight duration and long endurance PNT).

Which is why of all of the arguments against mobile missiles, accuracy is the least compelling. You can ding it on many other counts :)burke-11.png
 

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Forest Green

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Given a $700bn/year defence budget, the extra funding for 100-200 $100m missiles over 10-20 years isn't a lot, especially when you take the delta between that and building lesser missiles in the same quantity. And being prepared is priceless.
Ok, I see you don't know what the actual GBSD program is all about. Firstly it's full development and deployment in less than a decade to fully replace the MM3 force in place which is why its restricted to fitting into the MM3 silos. The program is to begin no later than 2020 and the missiles are supposed to begin deployment by no later than 2025 and be fully operational on or before the first part of 2030. Yes as long as the missiles don't cost much over $100 million per round and do not entail major logistics and operational costs, (which is where something like a new Peacemaker fails the bill) we can afford them and the timetable. Now keep in mind that during that same time we'll have programs such as our own HGV and other hypersonic weapons ongoing plus other new weapons systems that are currently budgeted and we can hope they put some effort towards another strategic missile system. But the bottom line is the current program is directly aimed at getting more effective ICBMs into the current silos to ensure parity with our adversary’s.

The Yars and Topol-M are different.
Yes but they are replacements for the current deployed missiles just like the GBSD program in the US.

And the UR-100N with upgraded HGV is to be operational,
The indications are they won't put the HGV on more than a few of the 30 UR-100Ns, and that's assuming they actually do deploy them.
The UR-100N and the HGV variant, the standard UR-100N is not the designated carrier but the returned Ukrainian NUTTH variant. (Likely because the upper stage and missile bus have to be totally redesigned to carry the HGVs) The Sarmet looks to be replacing the UR100 due to its age, again IF it gets deployed.

plus R-29RMU2 and RSM-56 SLBMs. Meanwhile we have 1 ICBM and 1 SLBM.
And we're replacing that ICBM which is the point and our 1 SLBM is still more effective than the two Russian SLBMs

SBIRS and related systems can already detect missile launches and already have outgoing comms, so the added cost is adding incoming comms to the HGV.
Comms to an HGV has always been a problem due to the plasma sheath, the Russians have specifically acknowledged they solved the structural problems but real-time comm ability is vastly different. Specifically you have to 'seed' the plasma to open a comm window and any maneuvering will shift the plasma sheath and wreck the window. So you have to start over and this isn't an easy or precise process. And this does not address the main issue which is with an HGV you just have to get 'close' and detonate a fragmentation warhead. Any damage and the HGV will destroy itself.

We have 400 ICBMs and 240 SLBMs capable of carrying a maximum of 1200 + 1920 = 3120 warheads. Russia have 318 ICBMs and 160 SLBMs capable of carrying 1809 + 1792 = 3601 warheads post upgrade and HGVs, and that upgrade is far closer. Then you have the need to counter the expanding Chinese threat too.
Keep in mind that one of the reasons Russia and China are wanting to boost their warhead count is to counter US ABM capability. Further one needs to keep in mind that they both would prefer if the US were to indicate a willingness to retain the New-START limitations and expanding the amount of warheads they COULD carry is always good method of applying incentive. A new US ICBM capable of carrying up to five warheads would increase the possible US warhead count by 800 warheads bringing our total up to near 4000 warheads with improvements in just one missile.

In reality the limits are currently 1500 total warheads over the entire triad, (discounting that bombers actually carry more than one) and no more than 700 total 'delivery' units. If the New-START isn't renewed or re-negotiated then Russia and China have a momentary advantage in warhead numbers BUT they also have construct and deploy those additional warheads before they can be used. Given that everyone has been playing nice for the last couple of decades, (and they have) which means the actual number of deployable warheads is pretty close which is actually more important than possible number of warheads all things being equal.


Randy
The foreign aid budget alone would cover the cost several times over.

Yes but the Russians and Chinese already have heavy ICBMs.

If Sarmat replaces the UR-100 that's even worse. That means a missile that carries 6 RVs gets replaced with one that carries 24.

Umm no, the RMU2 carries 12 warheads and the RSM-56 carries 10,both with GLONASS guidance.

An RV travels at the same speed through the atmosphere, so the same is true for it, except it's easier too get close to and the defence radar gets more advanced warning for targeting. A HGV could also manoeuvre pre-emptively, it doesn't necessarily need comms. But I think the AMARV is a simpler solution.

US ABM capability? All of 44 missiles with a questionable Pk.

Where does your figure of 800 come from? Yars carries up to 6 and it's mobile.

Has China been playing nice, anyone counted their warheads?
 

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[quoteI see no evidence that it was done prior to removal from service.
The entire history of development, production, deployment and retirment is publicly available it's all there in black and white.

Except they didn't stop at 100 missiles, 114 were built. So that makes no sense.
100 production missiles with 14 test missiles produced which went directly into 'long-term' storage to assess the effects of aging and storage on the various components. Fun fact is that a number of components are still in that warehouse today as they are still being used for that purpose. When Congerss cut the deployment to only 50, (48 actual) the rest were put into storage as backup missiles which is what is done in any normal operation. Some were at the actual bases and some were stored at the depot.

So going to the moon for the first time was easy but rebuilding Peacekeepers is too difficult, even with the first stages still being built for launch vehicles? Mm'kay.
Going to the Moon was not easy, never said it was but rebuilding the Peacekeeper from a commercial booster, (it's not the actual Peacekeeper stage, and then we have to rebuild the upper two stages and the warhead bus) and finding a place to deploy them when that didn't work out at all well the first time? Ya, it's less it's "hard" than it would be pretty silly to do something you know failed the last time instead of maybe something that will actually work?

Evidence?
That we only had 50 'active' missiles instead of 100? Every Peacekeeper information site points out Congress only allowed 50 to be deployed while the second batch of 50 were 'stored' until a viable deployment plan could be found. That they were deployed in converted MM3 silos? Again same sources. That they were all destroyed when the Peacekeeper was retired? Again it's part of the record, They were deployed to only one (1) base, F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, and only 50 of them of which 48 went into silos and two were put into ready storage at the base as replacement missiles. 14 went to Hill AFB and Vandenburg for static testing and training, and long term storage tests. As the next batch of 50 were produced they were sent to Hill AFB for storage until a basing scheme could be decided on which never happened. These were also used to swap out with silo missiles and the ready storage missiles for maintennance purposes.
Just a couple of links:

Yeah, but we had complete control of the skies above Iraq. There may be times where the location of a mobile launcher is known but most of the time it won't be and in 30 minutes it won't be where it was. The Midgetman also travelled in more of a mobile bunker.
First of all we should probably be clear that there is a HUGE difference between mobile TACTICAL/THEATRE missiles and mobile ICBM type missiles. Tactical/Theater missiles are smaller, faster to set up and of course limited in range which actually make targeting somewhat easier. (It's litterally a math problem more than any guidance technology) ICBMs however have to have both a very accurte launch position as compared to the target but must have a more sophisticated guidance and control system due to the longer distance they travel. Mobile ICBMs have an inherent accuracy problem that can only be solved with the use of certain specific methods I'll discuss in a bit. Meanwhile a tactical/theater mobile missile can actually be launched towards a specific target from a pretty big 'launch elipse' with specific post launch data updates to enhance the accuracy.

We didn't use nuclear weapons in Iraq and since the air patrols were being tracked by radar systems friendly to the Iraqies they were constantly informed of where we were looking. Spotting a non-moving launcher, (and most were stored in shelters which made it even more difficult) with a Mk1 eyeball, at night, at high speed was almost impossible. Even IR and low-light didn't help much. The only sure way to spot a mobile was with satellite or dedicated recon aircraft passes and that took time to get the information to those on site by which time the launcher would have either launched or moved on. In the case of a nuclear strike the time factors is greatly shorter and the nuke arrives long before the launcher can move significantly. Especially as it's likely a MIRV so there will be overlapping blast waves.

People tend to think that mobile launchers would drive all over the place but they don't and in fact can't and it has only been in the last few years that things like the GPS and geodetic survey's have gotten accurate enough to not require extensive pre-site surveying and selection for acceptable mobile accuracy. In practice a mobile can 'cruise' around a specific area and then when it gets the launch order it would make its way to a pre-surveyed spot to launch from. The missile has to know EXACTLY where it is starting from to have any chance of arriving where it is aimed and that's not as easy as you would think because while we have things like GPS today in an attack we're likely NOT to have that available or it could be compromised so your back to needing pre-surveyed launch points which limits your mobility options. Yes the Midgeman was hardned but not as much as one might hope and the thing was while people imagine a 'mobile launcher' being a single vehicle its not. The Hard Mobile Launcher was one of between three, (minimum) and five vehicles in the system per missile and they would only 'deploy' into secured federal lands (if you wanted to minimum) or open federal lands (where you'd need full security and maintenance crews) and it was likely the ONLY one that could survive a near miss.

Why can't it be used as a missile stage exactly?
Wrong propellant, the structure is too weak and needs reinforcing, and it does not have nor can it be fitted with the enhancments and subsystems that a military missile stage needs among other reasons. They took the Peacekeeper stage and pretty much gutted it to just a basic casing and commercial propellant and were pleasently surprised that it was actually lighter than they'd anticipated it would be, (the "120" was the estimated final all-up stage mass in thousands of pounds, it ended up being only a bit over 117,000lbs when all was said and done) in the end.

The only reason it opened up at all was because the collapse of the USSR pointed out that there were some things that had to change. Other than that, it's same old same old. Now it's fixed those things, there are no other changes in progress.
No it had started to open up so it could access the western markets as the older "Communism" didn't interface well with the open markets. Progress has been slow and that's to be expected given the situation but they are and have been moving away from Communism even though they kept the name. Like Russia it's not really open to democracty but its also not as all powerful as the older Communist systems were. To put it mildly both have moved more towards "Imperial" systems and one-man rule rather than what we'd consider "reprentative" governments. They still however have significant markets and trade open to the US so while not our friends, they aren't our enemies either.

Much as many American's like to talk about only dealing with and exporting 'democracy' and 'freedom' we've always been more about business and trade over government and that's not likley to change. In the very end we actually DID win the Cold War because "Communism" as it was then is pretty much gone and buried but out major mistake was thinking that once it was gone ONLY democracy was left and that has NEVER been true. China and Russia along with India, Japan, an organized Asia and South America all are pushing to become world leaders in their own right and conflict is pretty much inevitable given how humans work.

The goal should be matching the enemy. A small MM3 replacement is like continuing to build P-51s through to the 90s.
The F-15 was the 80s eqivilent of the P-51, the F-22 the 90s equivilent. Oddly enough we happen to know you can use the support systems and infrastructure for the F-15 with the F-22 and a P-51 can even use them with few issues. Meanwhile a new missile with modern technology and design that can use the majority of the MM3 infrastructure and support systems should be able to match pretty much all the enemy systems. Direct matching the enemy has never been the goal and never should be because it will always be playing catch up. We have to get a modern GBSD to at least update our deterrence but that should not and hopefully will not be the end of it because we can't assume that enemy will stop there either. So we move on and build another and hopefully complimentary system but we have to accept that's going to cost more and require more resources and support. We can't have both because at this point we can only do one and since we need capability NOW not two or more decades from now we need to focus on the one we know we can do and support.

So basically the Midgetman is almost as wide as the MM3 third stage.
Second and third stage and they based the design on it with a new build booster and optimized the stages for a single warhead and mobile launch.

The new missile proposed wouldn't be mobile though.
Doesn't need to be as the plan is to use it to replace our current silo based missiles with mobility as an option once that's been done. As I noted above mobility isn't as applicable for US planning as one might think. China and Russia are already invested in mobile systems so they don't have to make many changes and they tend to design for mobile and then put them in silos. Mobile systems require more personnel, more support systems and more and dispersed facilties for maintenancne and operations than silo basing which is why the US hasn't deployed them outside tactical systems. Mobile is harder to get into operation than silo basing and its also more expensive over the long run than fixed facilities.

Jeez, it's a wonder we even bothered building silos in the first place. What happened to the old Titan silos anyway? Surely they were big enough?
The history and execution of the US ICBM systems is fascinating and well worth getting into but in essence the US found early on that mobile basing had to many issues versus fixed sites. You can get around them with enough money and work, The Soviets tried to develope a mobile ICBM in the late 60s but they didn't get a working one until the mid-80s and even then it suffered from problems with accuracy and security. They still needed pre-surveyed launch sites and China has the same issue with their mobile launchers. (One reason not really 'fear' North Korean mobile launchers is we know EXACTLY where their launch sites are already) As of today there' a bit better due to advances in navigation technology but unless used in a first strike role, their accuracy will be less than that of a fixed launcher. To overcome this is one reason for the development of manuevering warheads which would allow a more accurate 'second' strike assuming the mobile launcher can survive the initial strike. The converse problem is that manuvering warheads, assuming reconissnce assets are still available, mean your mobile launchers are now vastly more vulnerable than previously.

The old Titan silos were destroyed, (imploded and filled with rubble) though many launch centers and mainenance anexs are still intact, They had a huge number of issues that would have been difficult to fix if we wanted to actually base the Peacekeeper in them but those pushing the initial idea weren't really interested in fixing those problems in the first place. They simply didn't want the proposed "racetrack" or "dense pack" bases in their states. (And on the other hand none of the alternate basing systems looked to be any cheaper or more survivable than silo conversions anyway)

The problem with the Titan silos was they were designed around a large liquid propellant missile in a compact arrangment.

One missile silo and one crewed mainteancen and launch control center all in one spot. They weren't really buried deep enough or hardened enough to survive a modern near-miss or set up for modern solid fueled missile operations.

It's a bit harder to see but this is a typical MM3 missile field where you have about 10 silos per one launch center which is vastly more efficent and survivable:

To fix the Titan II silos was going to not only take a lot of time and effort but it would limit the number that could every be deployed and frankly everyone was hoping Congress would refund the replacement effort. At the same time other suggestions such as putting half the deployment in rail or air based systems was gaining ground and the idea of using the Titan II silos became less and less viable.

Now I need to also point out that it was/is possible to fully gut a current silo location and rebuild a totally NEW silo into that spot but it won't be easy or cheap, (though actually easier and cheaper than trying to fit a larger missile into the existing silo) and would take the entire silo complex out of action for a year or more while you're doing it. On even more of a downside what you're doing will be clearly visible and obvious to anyone wanting to keep tabs on you and likely they could get a very good idea of what your hardening and countermeasures are pretty easy.
(Conversion took several months but was a lot more costly than originally anticipated and as noted it looked to have made the Peacekeeper silos less rather than more survivable)

After the missile is built, it sits in a silo.
For a while, then it's regularly pulled out and replaced with a spare and sent into extensive preventative maintenance and rotated back into ready storage. Take note that those 14 extra Peacekeeper's were specifically for long-term storage and preventative maintenance testing as we had no idea how long either would take for the missile. As these are so important they go through regular testing and mainteancen checks and functional testing is done all the time to ensure they are ready to go when needed. Missiles NEVER just 'sit' in the silos!

Randy
Where?

Evidence?

Perhaps not but it proves beyond any doubt that the capability to build such missiles still exists.

Okay, but building silos isn't that hard.

The MGM-134 was accurate to 90m CEP even pre-GPS. You can also have decoy vehicles that drive around empty. Both the Chinese and Russians seem to see the advantage of this, as did we in 1990, so I think this is a case of sour grapes.

I'm sure the equipment is still the right size for producing Peacekeeper stages though.

We opened up our markets, gave them developing nation status in the WTO and they kept their markets fairly closed, e.g. a Playstation 4 only has 2 games available for it in China.

An F-22 uses P-51 support systems and infrastructure? Playing catch up is better than sitting in bed and pretending it isn't happening.

But less targetable than fixed silos.

They got two in the 1980s and a mobile IRBM in the late 70s.

I think sometimes easy and cheap and the enemies of progress.

I think they do actually spend quite a while just sitting there. That is their job.
 

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Given a $700bn/year defence budget, the extra funding for 100-200 $100m missiles over 10-20 years isn't a lot, especially when you take the delta between that and building lesser missiles in the same quantity. And being prepared is priceless.

The Yars and Topol-M are different. And the UR-100N with upgraded HGV is to be operational, plus R-29RMU2 and RSM-56 SLBMs. Meanwhile we have 1 ICBM and 1 SLBM.

SBIRS and related systems can already detect missile launches and already have outgoing comms, so the added cost is adding incoming comms to the HGV.

We have 400 ICBMs and 240 SLBMs capable of carrying a maximum of 1200 + 1920 = 3120 warheads. Russia have 318 ICBMs and 160 SLBMs capable of carrying 1809 + 1792 = 3601 warheads post upgrade and HGVs, and that upgrade is far closer. Then you have the need to counter the expanding Chinese threat too.
You are making a HUGE assumption there about cost and the defense budget is already bloated and will have to come down eventually. Money doesn't just grow on trees. Like I said, my Focus can do everything I need it to do, I'd love that Tesla, but the added features are not worth the extra cost, since I don't need them. Both cars will do their mission very well which is to get me to work and back.

Yars is simply a MIRVed Topol-M. Russia has claimed they will only deploy 12 UR-100Ns with HGVs and they will probably be replaced by Sarmat with HGVs eventually. The R-29s will also likely get replaced by RSM-56s as new submarines finish, leaving Russia with 2 ICBMs and 1 SLBM. Yes, we only have 1 and 1 but that also is alot more cost efficient.

Its alot more complex that giving HGVs comms (which can get hacked btw) and the timelines need to be measured in seconds rather than minutes that SIBRS works on.

Don't forget to add the British and to a lesser extent French nuclear forces to the equation. And every Russian ICBM with an HGV is a significant drop in warhead number.

AHW and HTV-2 are very different, I don't know if there's any released information on AHW's trajectory which would be more relevant to a deployed weapon system.


See the main problem is those shelters are not going to be very well spread out and therefore (since they are not as hardened) vulnerable to MIRV attack. Why not spread them out? They have to be secured so they will need to be fenced and guarded which means they will need a certain amount of land per shelter and access ways. At one point it was shown, (note by the people who opposed the plan but they did have a point) that this would incease federal land barred to the public in Nevada alone by about 40%. And keep in mind that this shelter plan would only work in most of the Western states since they have the most available Federal land to work with.

Likely a lot more costly than you'd think when you take into account the number of secured routes that would have to be built and guarded all the time along with each shelter complex having to have standing guards and patrols. (We don't have standing guards on the current missile silos because we don't really need them. A series of random patrols keeps the curious at bay but you'd have to prevent anyone from getting within 'sensor' range of a shelter as they could possibly tag or ID shelters without an actual missile in them)
Well to be viable the shelters would have to be spread out and hardened enough to require 1 warhead per shelter, so no warhead could take 2 out at once. A way to reduce the amount of land required would be to place them in current missile bases using missile silo locations for some of the shelters. I would also put a decoy TEL in each empty shelter (yeah it would be more costly, unless the TELs where semi-trailers). They could be secured same way current silos are using sensors and random patrols.

But yes they would be more costly, especially to operate. The draw would be, that they could be passed as a way to reduce the nuclear force and that the majority of the cost would be later on in operations as the missiles could be cheaper and there would be less of them. And if the missile could be carried in a standard semi-trailer you could save money by using COTS components in the TEL.
Russia has been spending 4-8% of GDP on defence over the last decade. The US is spending under 3.5%.

Same range and larger payload than Topol-M.

SBIRS very much works in seconds and encrypted comms is your friend. You can also pre-emptively manoeuvre.

Don't forget to add the 1,000+ warheads the Chinese likely have unofficially.

AMARV would be adequate as a start.
 

kaiserd

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I would suggest that contributors who keep asking for evidence for relatively well known facts shouldn’t throw around “facts” like China having 1,000 plus warheads....
 

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I would suggest that contributors who keep asking for evidence for relatively well known facts shouldn’t throw around “facts” like China having 1,000 plus warheads....
They have 3 ICBMs that are either new or new variants that carry 8-12 warheads. China is not a signatory of START. 20 missiles of each type fully loaded would be ~600 warheads, without including SLBMs (like the new JL-3), ALCMs, GLCMs, SRBMs, MRBMs or IRBMs. I do not for 1s buy that China has less warheads than France. Their ballistic missile and warhead count do not compute,
 
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kaiserd

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I would suggest that contributors who keep asking for evidence for relatively well known facts shouldn’t throw around “facts” like China having 1,000 plus warheads....
They have 3 ICBMs that are either new or new variants that carry 8-12 warheads. China is not a signatory of START. 20 missiles of each type fully loaded would be ~600 warheads, without including SLBMs (like the new JL-3), ALCMs, GLCMs, SRBMs, MRBMs or IRBMs. I do not for 1s buy that China has less warheads than France. Their ballistic missile and warhead count do not compute,
A belief not supported by any credible evidence.
An example of better sourced and evidenced estimates;
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists - Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2019

Best that opinions (and ultimately decisions) on the GBSD are based on credible information not poorly supported suppositions.
 

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It should be noted that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has a fair bit of a credibility problem these days, and even back in the heady days of the 1990s it's estimates of Chinese nuclear forces were considered optimistic at best. For example it has consistently ignored/downplayed the PRC's tactical nuclear capability over the years. However, from the Clinton era up through the Obama era, the Arms Control advocates in the State Department and elsewhere were in the driving seat, and concerns about the Bulletin's (and other such publications/organisations) methodology and conclusions were routinely swept aside in the name of the dogma that was the NPT's effectiveness. Admitting that Red China had far more strategic weapons & delivery systems, not to mention sub-strategic and tactical, than previously trumpeted by acolytes of 'Scrap the Nukes!', would be the same as admitting that the NPT, along with Arms Control in general, was increasingly failing. Which brings us to the situation in which the world finds itself now.
 

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I would suggest that contributors who keep asking for evidence for relatively well known facts shouldn’t throw around “facts” like China having 1,000 plus warheads....
They have 3 ICBMs that are either new or new variants that carry 8-12 warheads. China is not a signatory of START. 20 missiles of each type fully loaded would be ~600 warheads, without including SLBMs (like the new JL-3), ALCMs, GLCMs, SRBMs, MRBMs or IRBMs. I do not for 1s buy that China has less warheads than France. Their ballistic missile and warhead count do not compute,
A belief not supported by any credible evidence.
An example of better sourced and evidenced estimates;
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists - Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2019

Best that opinions (and ultimately decisions) on the GBSD are based on credible information not poorly supported suppositions.
100 land-based ICBMs and 48 SLBMs with variants like the DF-41 and DF-5C carrying 10-12 warheads and JL-3s also being MIRV equipped but only 290 warheads. Even that doesn't compute. Then you have the MRBMs, SRBMs and IRBMs and also ALCM and GLCMs where there is a huge knowledge black hole.

No mention of this in that report at all.

Meanwhile France has only 48 SLBMs and yet more warheads??? That report is horribly flawed.

The idea of investing in a new ICBM and SLBM and 2 upgraded ICBM variants just to carry 200+ warheads is also ridiculous. Have 3 different ICBM types and an SLBM and several cruise missiles, SRBMs, MRBMs and IRBMs just to carry 200 and something warheads?
 
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kaiserd

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Yet for all those comments above I note the complete absence of offering up alternative credible sources offering up other figures.
It is quite possible that the 300 figure is an under estimate.
But given that (1) you are offering no credible alternative figure, and (2) the US appears to have an order of magnitude more, then perhaps you can try to give that context and limit the histrionics, particularly as relates to consideration of the Chinese ICBM threat and its impact on the GBSD.
 

kaiserd

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It should be noted that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has a fair bit of a credibility problem these days, and even back in the heady days of the 1990s it's estimates of Chinese nuclear forces were considered optimistic at best. For example it has consistently ignored/downplayed the PRC's tactical nuclear capability over the years. However, from the Clinton era up through the Obama era, the Arms Control advocates in the State Department and elsewhere were in the driving seat, and concerns about the Bulletin's (and other such publications/organisations) methodology and conclusions were routinely swept aside in the name of the dogma that was the NPT's effectiveness. Admitting that Red China had far more strategic weapons & delivery systems, not to mention sub-strategic and tactical, than previously trumpeted by acolytes of 'Scrap the Nukes!', would be the same as admitting that the NPT, along with Arms Control in general, was increasingly failing. Which brings us to the situation in which the world finds itself now.
Russia’s insecurities and self-perceived weakness (both genuinely felt and exploited for political purposes) plus unintended (but somewhat predictable) consequences of US abandonment of the ABM Treaty are what have largely got us here.
And attacks on one alleged dogma tend to reflexively displaying ones own.
 

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Yet for all those comments above I note the complete absence of offering up alternative credible sources offering up other figures.
It is quite possible that the 300 figure is an under estimate.
But given that (1) you are offering no credible alternative figure, and (2) the US appears to have an order of magnitude more, then perhaps you can try to give that context and limit the histrionics, particularly as relates to consideration of the Chinese ICBM threat and its impact on the GBSD.
I am offering rational reasoning. If I bought a LaFerrari and told you it was for the weekly shop, would you feel you needed a source to dispute my claim? Yet that is exactly what we have here. We have 3 ICBMs variants developed to take 8-12 warheads, along with a new SLBM designed to carry a similar payload, plus multiple SRBM, MRBM and IRBM types, plus ALCMs and GLCMs, all to carry 290 warheads, or to do the weekly shop following the analogy. Meanwhile France and Britain, who officially have a similar number of warheads have only 1 SLBM type each and 1 ALCM type for France. Something does not add up here and you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes, Columbo or Poirot to know it.

The reason it's relevant is because Russia and China can be considered allies and certainly neither of them is our ally. So naturally both their arsenals need to be countered, yet so far we're failing to match Russia alone.
 

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Russia’s insecurities and self-perceived weakness (both genuinely felt and exploited for political purposes) plus unintended (but somewhat predictable) consequences of US abandonment of the ABM Treaty are what have largely got us here.
And attacks on one alleged dogma tend to reflexively displaying ones own.
Russia has more ICBM-capable ABMs deployed than the US, plus several hundred S-400 nuclear warheads stockpiled, so I guess this corresponds to your last sentence.
 

kaiserd

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Yet for all those comments above I note the complete absence of offering up alternative credible sources offering up other figures.
It is quite possible that the 300 figure is an under estimate.
But given that (1) you are offering no credible alternative figure, and (2) the US appears to have an order of magnitude more, then perhaps you can try to give that context and limit the histrionics, particularly as relates to consideration of the Chinese ICBM threat and its impact on the GBSD.
I am offering rational reasoning. If I bought a LaFerrari and told you it was for the weekly shop, would you feel you needed a source to dispute my claim? Yet that is exactly what we have here. We have 3 ICBMs variants developed to take 8-12 warheads, along with a new SLBM designed to carry a similar payload, plus multiple SRBM, MRBM and IRBM types, plus ALCMs and GLCMs, all to carry 290 warheads, or to do the weekly shop following the analogy. Meanwhile France and Britain, who officially have a similar number of warheads have only 1 SLBM type each and 1 ALCM type for France. Something does not add up here and you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes, Columbo or Poirot to know it.

The reason it's relevant is because Russia and China can be considered allies and certainly neither of them is our ally. So naturally both their arsenals need to be countered, yet so far we're failing to match Russia alone.
Your reasoning is full of very obvious holes that you are likely very aware of.
Random examples; Chinese ICBMs likely carry a very high proportion of decoys to defeat opponents missile defenses, a lot of those shorter range missiles are facing Taiwan so are highly unlikely to have nuclear weapons (doubt China planning to nuke what it considers its territory).

In addition if your harbor fantasies of matching combined Chinese & Russian nuclear forces then in current circumstances you are setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment. The US didn’t even manage that in the Cold War once the Soviet Union got proficient at building ICBMs.
But then again such a personal disappointment would not actually reflect an actual weakening of the US triad and it’s actual deterrent value.

Your scaremongering aside, as it stands the Chinese strategic forces are almost certainly a mere fraction on the size and capability of that of the US. And the US modernization of such forces currently underway (including the GBSD) will keep US forces at a level that China couldn’t reach for decades even if they wanted to.
 
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Your reasoning is full of very obvious holes that you are likely very aware of.
Random examples; Chinese ICBMs likely carry a very high proportion of decoys to defeat opponents missile defenses, a lot of those shorter range missiles are facing Taiwan so are highly unlikely to have nuclear weapons (doubt China planning to nuke what it considers its territory).

In addition if your harbor fantasies of matching combined Chinese & Russian nuclear forces then in current circumstances you are setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment.
But then again such a personal disappointment would not actually reflect an actual weakening of the US triad and it’s deterrent value.
Some very rosy assumptions there. When you already have MIRV ICBMS, adding decoys as treaties limit number is likely and new missiles retain that capacity. However, China is not a signatory to any such treaties and is building new MIRV missiles. The DF-41 is not remotely close to any existing missile they have and they would need decoys on a 10:1 ratio for your argument to hold.

Yes everything is too hard or costly isn't it. How much money was spent in Iraq and Afghanistan again? $5.9tr. Enough to build new Peacekeepers? Yep.
 

kaiserd

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Your reasoning is full of very obvious holes that you are likely very aware of.
Random examples; Chinese ICBMs likely carry a very high proportion of decoys to defeat opponents missile defenses, a lot of those shorter range missiles are facing Taiwan so are highly unlikely to have nuclear weapons (doubt China planning to nuke what it considers its territory).

In addition if your harbor fantasies of matching combined Chinese & Russian nuclear forces then in current circumstances you are setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment.
But then again such a personal disappointment would not actually reflect an actual weakening of the US triad and it’s deterrent value.
Some very rosy assumptions there. When you already have MIRV ICBMS, adding decoys as treaties limit number is likely and new missiles retain that capacity. However, China is not a signatory to any such treaties and is building new MIRV missiles. The DF-41 is not remotely close to any existing missile they have and they would need decoys on a 10:1 ratio for your argument to hold.

Yes everything is too hard or costly isn't it. How much money was spent in Iraq and Afghanistan again? $5.9tr. Enough to build new Peacekeepers? Yep.
I appreciate your opinions are genuinely held and I don’t think we are going to agree on significant aspects m.
If you are remotely interested in convincing anyone who doesn’t already 100 percent agree with you you’ll need a much better arguments than that.

And as relates to previous discussions around the GDSD the actual decisions will have to be made in the realm of what is actually possible in the real world rather than using fantasy spending plans and grossly exaggerated estimates of opponent numbers.
 

marauder2048

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Yet for all those comments above I note the complete absence of offering up alternative credible sources offering up other figures.
It is quite possible that the 300 figure is an under estimate.

That analysis was based on the amount of nuclear material that was thought to have been produced.
And less relevant as improved accuracy permits progressively smaller warheads and
greater payload fractionization as noted in the article.

For a system like GBSD which is envisioned to have a 50 year life, projections and trends are what you have
to work with.


; Chinese ICBMs likely carry a very high proportion of decoys to defeat opponents missile defense
Given the paucity of PRC ICBM tests involving decoys (I can think of one) this really needs some justification.
 
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