Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)

bobbymike

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  • A prohibition on funding for the Air Force’s nascent Ground Based Strategic Deterrent — a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile and its warhead, the W87-1 — from Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
Democrat of course.
Try and understand that mindset after seeing 200+ new Chinese ICBM silos under construction?
 

sferrin

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  • A prohibition on funding for the Air Force’s nascent Ground Based Strategic Deterrent — a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile and its warhead, the W87-1 — from Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
Democrat of course.
Try and understand that mindset after seeing 200+ new Chinese ICBM silos under construction?
Not difficult to understand, but if I were to say it it would no doubt trigger the usual suspects into fleeing to the mods for a shoulder to cry on.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin

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Pictures all look like a new Minuteman sized missile what a waste of an opportunity
Yep. I'm sure the conversation was something like, "what's the absolute bare assed minimum we can do and still look like we're doing something?" Russia and China obviously aren't so constrained. Like both countries, we should be producing a light and heavy ICBM. Light for numbers, heavy for versatility. They got it right with Peacekeeper and Midgetman only to throw it all away.
 

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bobbymike

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.

EDITED TO ADD: This lame attempt to try and appease everyone (Arms Controllers, USAF Strategic People) by a warmed over ICBM constrained to Minuteman III Silo dimensions and aging silos will not really be that great.
 

sferrin

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.
Also halving the number of targets the other guy needs to worry about. I'd agree with 200 Peacekeeper (or better) class with something like LoADS in order to require the other guy to invest more warheads per silo though. They bump their force, we add a couple more defenders at each silo.
 

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.
Also halving the number of targets the other guy needs to worry about. I'd agree with 200 Peacekeeper (or better) class with something like LoADS in order to require the other guy to invest more warheads per silo though. They bump their force, we add a couple more defenders at each silo.
Forget LoADs.

We're gonna need a bigger rocket, something capable of engaging incoming RVs high enough that even a salvage fuzed RV won't cause significant fallout.
 

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The thing is; the USN and USAF have been constantly at each other's throats since 1958 at least over ballistic missiles and who would control them.


USN Special Projects Office in January 1961 compared Polaris and Minuteman using Titan II yield/accuracy and slanted heavily in favor of Polaris.

This continued through the late 1960s and early 1970s:


The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Policy 1969–1972

JSOP 71-78 contained a familiar type of Air Force-Navy split. Admiral Moorer proposed limiting the Advanced ICBM to research and development, pending a determination of whether Tridents alone might satisfy this whole requirement. But General McConnell argued that SLBMs, stationed outside US territory, could be considered provocative because they might stimulate a Soviet-American confrontation when vital US interests were not at stake. So, pending a response to NSSM 3, he wanted the Trident program limited to research and development

... ... ... ... ... ...

Unfortunately, a plethora of service dissents undermined the JSOP’s influence. General Westmoreland wanted 16 Safeguard sites rather than 12, claiming that greater emphasis upon defense would produce a more cost-effective force. Also, he argued, availability of the first B-1s should be postponed from FY 1977 until FY 1980. He maintained also that the Polaris/Poseidon fleet’s vulnerability had not been Strategic Forces 41 “defined” and that design uncertainties about the Trident system could radically affect its cost and availability

Admiral Zumwalt, on the other hand, wanted an ever-increasing share of resources committed to sea-based systems. He challenged the very concept of a strategic triad, contending that “a point has been reached where attempts to maintain several fully redundant systems are no longer justified.” Major efforts to maintain the survivability of land-based systems, he said, could be offset by relatively minor advances in offensive capabilities. Moreover, according to Admiral Zumwalt, sea-basing a larger proportion of US forces would reduce the enemy’s incentive to strike first; emphasizing land-based systems could have the opposite effect. JSOP 73-80 had listed one Trident boat in FY 1979, three in FY 1980; Admiral Zumwalt wanted one boat in FY 1978 and seven more in FY 1980. But General Ryan proposed adding another 250 Minuteman IIIs by FY 1976, while deferring a decision to deploy Trident.22


... ... ... ... ... ...

In December 1971, through JSOP 74-81, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended attaining the following force levels by 30 June 1981: 277 B-52, 58 FB-111, and 150 B-1 bombers; 150 Minuteman II, 800 Minuteman III, and 300 Advanced ICBMs; 144 on-line Polaris, 352 on-line Poseidon, and 264 on-line Trident SLBMs. Once again, there were major dissents. General Westmoreland wanted the Trident and the Advanced ICBM limited to development only; instead, 250 Minuteman IIs should be converted into MIRVed Minuteman IIIs. To do more, he said, would go beyond the President’s four criteria for strategic sufficiency. General Ryan also urged deferring a decision about Trident, for the same reasons he had given in JSOP 73-80. Admiral Zumwalt again argued that maintaining several fully redundant systems was “no longer feasible.” He proposed holding the Advanced ICBM at the “research”—not even the “development”—stage. Further, Admiral Zumwalt suggested confining the B-1 to research and development. He felt confident that B-52s would remain effective penetrators during the mid-term, if they were equipped with good-guidance short-range attack missiles and subsonic cruise armed decoys.30

----------------------------------------


Le Sigh.

It just seems like everyone involved (USAF/USN) is trying to keep their share of the cake the same; even with changed strategic realities.


The USAF is ignoring the fact that everyone and their uncle has increasingly precision weapons; making a large silo force more of a liability than an asset. Meanwhile, there's this hard fact -- enemy ASW has completely collapsed since the end of the Cold War; and is only slowly making a come back -- Tridents have enough range to hang out and launch from weird places; and the Chinese or Russians don't have the ASW assets to cover every possible location that a Trident can launch from.

EDIT: I just realised why US strategic defenses have been the butt of jokes for so long -- it's because they've long been the provenance of the US Army -- so it was the USN and USAF ganging up on the Army, lest the Army's programs endanger their own programs (Polaris, Minuteman etc)
 
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sferrin

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.
Also halving the number of targets the other guy needs to worry about. I'd agree with 200 Peacekeeper (or better) class with something like LoADS in order to require the other guy to invest more warheads per silo though. They bump their force, we add a couple more defenders at each silo.
Forget LoADs.

We're gonna need a bigger rocket, something capable of engaging incoming RVs high enough that even a salvage fuzed RV won't cause significant fallout.
You'd need something like a THAAD KKV on a Sprint booster.
 

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.

EDITED TO ADD: This lame attempt to try and appease everyone (Arms Controllers, USAF Strategic People) by a warmed over ICBM constrained to Minuteman III Silo dimensions and aging silos will not really be that great.
What you really want is say 200 road-mobile GBSDs each with 5-10 hardened shelters, and just move them between shelters constantly. You end up with half the missiles, keeping arms control people happy, but 2-5 times the number of targets the Russians have to hit. And you have the ability in time of a major crisis to disperse a few out on the interstate system.
 

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And hope some punk driving it decides a Blue/Red State needs an accident?
 

bobbymike

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TBH, I'd rather go from 400 x Minuteman III built in 1960s silos using 1960s effects modeling to 200 x GBSD (Unconstrained) built in modern silos using modern computer modelling -- you'd have a more reliable deterrent that way that keeps a lot of people "honest", while shrinking the "footprint" of land based ICBMs in the triad.

EDITED TO ADD: This lame attempt to try and appease everyone (Arms Controllers, USAF Strategic People) by a warmed over ICBM constrained to Minuteman III Silo dimensions and aging silos will not really be that great.
What you really want is say 200 road-mobile GBSDs each with 5-10 hardened shelters, and just move them between shelters constantly. You end up with half the missiles, keeping arms control people happy, but 2-5 times the number of targets the Russians have to hit. And you have the ability in time of a major crisis to disperse a few out on the interstate system.
The defense of the nation should not entail any thought to “keeping arms control people happy” but more along the lines of “new nuclear systems have “so-called” arms controllers in tears”
 

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Because the solution to everything is 10,000 strategic nuclear systems for everyone? We should be moving towards the minimum required for deterrence and that means arms control, it worked in the Cold War and it can work again, because no one, not even the Chinese want an expensive arms race.
 

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Because the solution to everything is 10,000 strategic nuclear systems for everyone? We should be moving towards the minimum required for deterrence and that means arms control, it worked in the Cold War and it can work again, because no one, not even the Chinese want an expensive arms race.

Once we start putting a lot more IRBMs in the SW Pacific, China may change their tune. Or they may not, they may place hundreds of IRBMs within range of the United States via Latin America & South America. China is a completely different animal than the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, or the Empire of Japan.

This is a country that is full capable of going head-to-head with the United States down the line. The question is how to incentivize a historically deceptive country that's experiencing unprecedented growth into an arms control agreement?
 

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The solution is the same. Deter for as long as possible and wait for internal faults to manifest. I’ll admit China is a much more prosperous nation than the USSR, but that also means it has more to loose when it hits the wall. Xi is rebalancing the economy as we speak. Even the most successful execution will involve a dramatic downturn in GDP.
 

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Have they given out any sense of throw weight or diameter yet?
Well if this picture is any indicator, and it's really the first stage, it's pretty friggin' tiny. Think Midgetman tiny. Sadly, about what I expected. The very absolute minimum that could be considered a "replacement" for the MM3. I fear we'll be looking back to "the good old days" when we had the higher throw weight of the MM3. Meanwhile both Russia and China's "small" missile will outclass it, let alone their heavy ICBMs already in production.

Northrop+Grumman+Meets+First-Stage+Rocket+Motor+Milestone+for+Ground+Based+Strategic+Deterrent...jpg
 

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Well if this picture is any indicator, and it's really the first stage, it's pretty friggin' tiny. Think Midgetman tiny. Sadly, about what I expected. The very absolute minimum that could be considered a "replacement" for the MM3. I fear we'll be looking back to "the good old days" when we had the higher throw weight of the MM3. Meanwhile both Russia and China's "small" missile will outclass it, let alone their heavy ICBMs already in production.
Maybe it's planned as road-mobile (at least potentially)?
 

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Have they given out any sense of throw weight or diameter yet?
Well if this picture is any indicator, and it's really the first stage, it's pretty friggin' tiny. Think Midgetman tiny. Sadly, about what I expected. The very absolute minimum that could be considered a "replacement" for the MM3. I fear we'll be looking back to "the good old days" when we had the higher throw weight of the MM3. Meanwhile both Russia and China's "small" missile will outclass it, let alone their heavy ICBMs already in production.

View attachment 668529
We’ll be sorry we didn’t build Peacekeepers
 

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Gnom might have been the smallest true ICBM being an air-breathing solid. I have often wondered about autophage rockets combining with jacketed thrust. FOOF and dicyano-acetylene would melt metal combustion chambers-but if the combustion chamber is itself an annular thrust stream with waste heat sloughing off with an autophage solid/ablative combo-perhaps ICBMs could shrink more?
 

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We’ll be sorry we didn’t build Peacekeepers

Amen. Our politicians, think tanks, and military leaders are clueless today.

8183687976_b49fd4dec4_b.jpg
 

bobbymike

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The Defense Department asked the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to study "alternatives as they relate to options for the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad" and in January submit a report to the secretary of defense, according to the project proposal
__________
Are you serious? We should be looking to possibly double our fleet with heavy ICBMs in new ultra-hard silos.
 

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The Defense Department asked the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to study "alternatives as they relate to options for the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad" and in January submit a report to the secretary of defense, according to the project proposal
__________
Are you serious? We should be looking to possibly double our fleet with heavy ICBMs in new ultra-hard silos.
I'm sure it's just imaginary.
 

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