Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)

RLBH

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
495
Reaction score
502
Looks like even the missile designation system is broken now too.
Skipping from MQM-178 to AIM-260 did suggest that might already be the case, to be fair. It was at least possible that there were 80-odd classified designations, if unlikely.

Notwithstanding silly designations, the USAF illustrations are interesting if accurate. They suggest that the missile may be installed in new, hot-launch siloes, with new launch control centres. That's a significant step away from Minuteman, and indicates substantially different missile capability and survivability.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
15,341
Reaction score
4,632
Looks like even the missile designation system is broken now too.
Skipping from MQM-178 to AIM-260 did suggest that might already be the case, to be fair. It was at least possible that there were 80-odd classified designations, if unlikely.

Notwithstanding silly designations, the USAF illustrations are interesting if accurate. They suggest that the missile may be installed in new, hot-launch siloes, with new launch control centres. That's a significant step away from Minuteman, and indicates substantially different missile capability and survivability.
Minutemen are in hot-launch silos. It's EXTREMELY unlikely GBSD will be anything but a small, hot-launch missile using existing silos. I'd be surprised if it weren't intentionally sized so as to only be able to carry a single Mk21 RV.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
1,127
Looks like even the missile designation system is broken now too.
Skipping from MQM-178 to AIM-260 did suggest that might already be the case, to be fair. It was at least possible that there were 80-odd classified designations, if unlikely.

Notwithstanding silly designations, the USAF illustrations are interesting if accurate. They suggest that the missile may be installed in new, hot-launch siloes, with new launch control centres. That's a significant step away from Minuteman, and indicates substantially different missile capability and survivability.
As far as I know existing silos and control centers are being renovated. I haven't seen hot launch confirmed but it seemed likely. The missile appears to be more MMIII in size and arrangement than the MX, which was cold launched from MM silos because it was too large for a hot launch in the existing infrastructure.

It doesn't look like the new missile is a dramatic change in capability or throw weight to me.
 

RLBH

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
495
Reaction score
502
Minutemen are in hot-launch silos. It's EXTREMELY unlikely GBSD will be anything but a small, hot-launch missile using existing silos. I'd be surprised if it weren't intentionally sized so as to only be able to carry a single Mk21 RV.
Yeah, looking at the CGI again it does appear to closely match the Minuteman III silo; I'd mistakenly thought they had quite a different door configuration. The LCC does look to be a substantially new design, though - I'm sure I've seen assessments before that the LCCs are the least-hard part of the system, so that makes sense.

I'd agree wholeheartedly on the sizing; given that the Minuteman III is appreciably more capable than that, with older technology, I'd expect the new missile to be substantially smaller. Midgetman did a single Mk.21 in less than half the weight of a Minuteman thirty years ago, so that'd be my opening guess.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
1,127
It looks to be MMIII sized, but hopefully with mildly improved throw weight. My concern is that it doesn't seem substantial wider, which will always limit the total number of RVs and/or size of the RVs.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
15,341
Reaction score
4,632
It looks to be MMIII sized, but hopefully with mildly improved throw weight. My concern is that it doesn't seem substantial wider, which will always limit the total number of RVs and/or size of the RVs.
They really missed the ball here. I'm guessing they just wanted to check the box, so they could say they did, and weren't actually looking for useful capability.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
1,127
I think it is fair to say they were looking for a 1:1 replacement with the least upgrades to infrastructure, yes. It probably maintains the ICBM force as a fallback deterrent were SSBNs suddenly to become vulnerable, so it "checks the box" without bringing nothing new to the table. That's probably adequate for the foreseeable future, particularly given the problems Russia is going to have maintaining its current posture. At some point it may prove inadequate vis-a-vis China, and result in some kind of crash development program for an MX like weapon to increase capability. Time will tell.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
15,341
Reaction score
4,632
I think it is fair to say they were looking for a 1:1 replacement with the least upgrades to infrastructure, yes. It probably maintains the ICBM force as a fallback deterrent were SSBNs suddenly to become vulnerable, so it "checks the box" without bringing nothing new to the table. That's probably adequate for the foreseeable future, particularly given the problems Russia is going to have maintaining its current posture. At some point it may prove inadequate vis-a-vis China, and result in some kind of crash development program for an MX like weapon to increase capability. Time will tell.
Just a reminder:
Hysteria 2.jpg
 

Desertfox

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
351
Reaction score
203
ICBMs are missile sponges, you do not need them to be MIRVed. Single warhead ICBMs are stabilizing while MIRVed ones are destabilizing. That said, I'd be surprised if GBSD can't be uploaded to 3 Mk12As. If GBSD can deliver a single Mk21 accurately and reliably, it will be doing its job. Its alot more important that the infrastructure is upgraded and made more survivable.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
1,127
I'm well aware of the disposition of other nuclear powers. None of them have the number of SSBNs, sortie rates, tubes per SSBN, or RVs per SLBM of the United States. The US deterrent is largely sea based and as numerous as the nearest competitor, with the entire ICBM/SLBM force being capable of of more or less doubling in RV size if warheads in storage were uploaded to the existing missile base (if New START were ignored or expired). So while the Sentinal doesn't seem particularly impressive, it seems sufficient for the role ICBMs fill in the US nuclear triad: nuclear sponge and fallback position in the event SSBNs suddenly become less relevant.

As for mobile launchers, I wouldn't want to bet on that type of basing being safe in the medium to long term. The US Army is already experimenting with using AI to analyze commercial satellite imagery to identify targets for long range precision artillery. They have already tested this methodology in Project Convergence 2021 and apparently lowered engagement times to minutes or even seconds. It isn't that much of a leap for the same AI tech and satellite proliferation to be used to detect the uniquely massive mobile launchers used for ICBMs (along with the large security element that is necessary to deploy them in the field). I think getting into the mobile ICBM game now is too little too late; it is a deployment method that is going to face obsolescence as ISR becomes more low signature and more ubiquitous.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
15,341
Reaction score
4,632
I'm well aware of the disposition of other nuclear powers. None of them have the number of SSBNs, sortie rates, tubes per SSBN, or RVs per SLBM of the United States.

1. Not yet. 2. All your eggs in what, 7 baskets? Tops. 3. Less deterrent value than ICBMs.

The US deterrent is largely sea based and as numerous as the nearest competitor, with the entire ICBM/SLBM force being capable of of more or less doubling in RV size if warheads in storage were uploaded to the existing missile base (if New START were ignored or expired). So while the Sentinal doesn't seem particularly impressive, it seems sufficient for the role ICBMs fill in the US nuclear triad: nuclear sponge and fallback position in the event SSBNs suddenly become less relevant.

A sunk SSBN is less likely to elicit the same response as the equivalent number of warheads nuked on US soil. Likely they could sink one and get away with it completely.

As for mobile launchers, I wouldn't want to bet on that type of basing being safe in the medium to long term.

Far safer than static silos. If you want to keep silos at least defend them.

They have already tested this methodology in Project Convergence 2021 and apparently lowered engagement times to minutes or even seconds.

LOL. Unless you have a megawatt class laser overhead there's no way "seconds" is even remotely on the table. And if you think AI is going to make it easier to detect mobile ICBMs, imagine how easily it would detect an attack. Russian/Chinese TELs would be empty by the time an attacking warhead got there.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
1,127
Silo vs mobile: the mobile missiles are far more vulnerable to near hits. I was under the impression regiments still dispersed into batteries rather than individual launchers. In any case, a large detonation could knock out an unprotected launcher hundreds or even thousands of meters away from its impact point, so launcher separation would have to be quite distant to prevent multiple missiles from being engaged by a single aim point. The only security in mobile basing is the assumption that the deployment cannot be detected in real time. I don't think that will be the case by the end of the decade. Silo basing at least requires a certain amount of accuracy and/or warhead size to be countered and risks only one missile per aim point.

We'll agree to disagree on the relatively survivability of SSBNs; I consider a superior form of deployment to any land based scheme.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
15,341
Reaction score
4,632
Silo vs mobile: the mobile missiles are far more vulnerable to near hits.
Depends on the TEL. Midgetman, while not as hard as a silo, was much harder than your average TEL. A silo is more likely to suffer a incapacitating hit as they know exactly where it is. The reason silos have deterrent value is because you actually have attack the other guy's homeland. An SSBN sunk at sea doesn't have the same impact on the headlines. Mobile ICBMs give you the best of both worlds, which is why everybody else is using them (and why the US intended to use them before the "Peace Dividend".

 
Last edited:

Desertfox

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
351
Reaction score
203
Silo ICBMs require nukes to take out, mobile ICBMs do not, a conventional cruise missile can take them out. Also the Russian mobiles are not permanently deployed, only a handful of regiments are out at any one time. An entire mobile ICBM division can be taken out by just 1-3 warheads. Also the US has 400 silo targets, while Russia only has 150ish road-mobiles, less targets need less warheads.

If you want the best of road-mobiles, you need hardened individual shelters for the TELs with plenty of extra shelters to serve as decoys, and yes it will be alot more expensive than silos.

Don't forget, road-mobiles are Russians primary retaliatory means, land-based ICBMs are not the US primary nuclear force.
 

Similar threads

Top