MX (Peacekeeper) deployment concepts.

ICBM Survivability Aid Studied
Two concepts that would allow orbital, aerodynamic cruise loiter of Minuteman weighed to counter preemptive strike
By CLARENCE A. ROBINSON
Source: Aviation Week, February 25th, 1980, pages 16-18
Link: http://archive.aviationweek.com/issue/19800225#!&pid=16
 

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The hardest basing options I've seen for the MX were the various super hard silos, I believe 3,500 atm hard silos were actually built, or otherwise considered "certainly achievable", and 7,000 atm were considered "possible"; the Deep Base, where MX missiles would be stationed about half a mile and change underground along with Air Force crewmen, base personnel, and a team of tunnel bore crews, after the bombs fell the crews would dig themselves out egress tubes over several months, eventually break the surface, and fire their missiles; and the Deep Silo/Hard Rock basing, of which LANL's "Pencil Pusher" could resist surface bursts up to 100 megatons, while Boeing's "Sand Silo" could resist 25 megatons, both presumably direct impacts.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Zz8rAAAAYAAJ
https://books.google.com/books?id=VD8rAAAAYAAJ
https://books.google.com/books?id=PJf2jZbIPjcC&pg=PA267&lpg=PA267&dq=super+hard+silo+50,000+psi&source=bl&ots=N2DI3yPUb3&sig=zQ5N2zx2C6zgCxWfWUT1XOE9XNQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXtdOdjbzRAhXJ7YMKHRpKDDwQ6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=super%20hard%20silo%2050%2C000%20psi&f=false

I'm not sure how good these Google book scans are, what's omitted I mean, but they contain enough info for what I talked about.
 
I've done a lot of reading on these topics over the years, my personal interest being ABMs but that often pushes over to counterforce issues. Some of the studies I've seen are truly hair-raising.

One of the earliest is the PSAC report on Nike Zeus. They note that even if the system worked perfectly, the Soviets could simply drop their warheads upwind of the cities, just out of range of the missiles. These would cause so much fallout that it would kill almost as many people as a direct attack. With a few thousand warheads, 90% of the US population would die. Now later descriptions of such wars never seem to mention this, and I'm curious why. Does anyone know of changes to the understanding of fallout that might explain this?
 
Maury Markowitz said:
I've done a lot of reading on these topics over the years, my personal interest being ABMs but that often pushes over to counterforce issues. Some of the studies I've seen are truly hair-raising.

One of the earliest is the PSAC report on Nike Zeus. They note that even if the system worked perfectly, the Soviets could simply drop their warheads upwind of the cities, just out of range of the missiles. These would cause so much fallout that it would kill almost as many people as a direct attack. With a few thousand warheads, 90% of the US population would die. Now later descriptions of such wars never seem to mention this, and I'm curious why. Does anyone know of changes to the understanding of fallout that might explain this?
This comment relates to Peacekeeper deployment concepts how?
 
One of the earliest is the PSAC report on Nike Zeus. They note that even if the system worked perfectly, the Soviets could simply drop their warheads upwind of the cities, just out of range of the missiles. These would cause so much fallout that it would kill almost as many people as a direct attack. With a few thousand warheads, 90% of the US population would die. Now later descriptions of such wars never seem to mention this, and I'm curious why. Does anyone know of changes to the understanding of fallout that might explain this?

So, NIKE ZEUS forces the soviets to move from direct casualties (Blast/Thermal Pulse) which are somewhat hard to defend against, to indirect attacks such as down wind radio logical dirty bursts; which can be defeated with relatively cheap fallout shelters, and this is a failure, how?
 
Maury Markowitz said:
Now later descriptions of such wars never seem to mention this, and I'm curious why. Does anyone know of changes to the understanding of fallout that might explain this?

If we are talking about the same PSAC report: it used the earlier Everett and Pugh (WSEG-5) fallout model which
did not have the benefit of US and Soviet atmospheric testing which resumed in the early 60's.

IIRC, that model could overpredict fallout by a factor a five.
 
Also, NIKE ZEUS is pretty much equivalent to SM-3 today in vBO. (Burnout Velocity). That is the major determinant of defended footprint radius (next to how far in front of you your tracking radar is)
 
marauder2048 said:
If we are talking about the same PSAC report: it used the earlier Everett and Pugh (WSEG-5) fallout model which
did not have the benefit of US and Soviet atmospheric testing which resumed in the early 60's.

IIRC, that model could overpredict fallout by a factor a five.
Ahh, this sounds like the likely culprit.

Do you have any pointers to material that compare these models?
 
RyanC said:
So, NIKE ZEUS forces the soviets to move from direct casualties (Blast/Thermal Pulse) which are somewhat hard to defend against, to indirect attacks such as down wind radio logical dirty bursts; which can be defeated with relatively cheap fallout shelters, and this is a failure, how?
I don't recall saying anything about "failure"? I do recall that this was the primary reason that McNamara stated he would not fund any deployment of an ABM that didn't also include funding for fallout shelters, and further, that they should go ahead with fallout shelters in any event.

This attack mode was only one of many the PSAC considered. They also noted that due to the limited traffic handling capabilities of Zeus, there was a 90% chance that a direct attack by 4 warheads within one minute would allow one to hit the Zeus, thereby destroying 100 missiles. They also noted that a single warhead with a small number of credible decoys would do the same. Thus an initial attack on the Zeus sites would basically render them useless, and they could see no way around that.

Thus Nike-X.
 
bobbymike said:
This comment relates to Peacekeeper deployment concepts how?
Apparently the third para of my post never made it.

I wanted to go on to say that these early reports were similar to the ones prepared during the MX debates. Specifically, there are calculations that show rail-basing could be countered by attacking the entire US rail network, while air-basing suffered from a similar problem due to the relative softness of aircraft. Long and short, by the 1970s there were so many warheads available that massive checkerboard attacks like those considered in the original PSAC report were now relatively straightforward.

That's why I thought Sentinel was so clever. The presence of a single short-range missile means the Soviets have to use 13 more of their own (or 26 depending on their profile).
 
Maury Markowitz said:
That's why I thought Sentinel was so clever. The presence of a single short-range missile means the Soviets have to use 13 more of their own (or 26 depending on their profile).

Could you elaborate? ???
 
sferrin said:
Could you elaborate? ???

Sure!

Consider a deployment of 10 MX missiles in silos situated in a set of 100 silos. The silos are spread out so you have to use a separate warhead against each one, no "two-fers". Let's further assume the Soviet warheads are good enough to hit these silos without needing a backup RV just in case.

So in this case you need 100 warheads in order to attack the field. But that's totally worth it, because you likely have 10 warheads on each of your missiles, so it's a straight up exchange of 10 of your missiles for 10 of theirs.

But now let's add a single ABM for each MX. Here's the trick - I know where my MX is and the Soviets don't. That means I can watch the attack as it unfolds, and find the one that's going to hit the silo where the MX is that I'm assigned to protect. And then I shoot down that one RV. The other nine fall on empty silos.

In order to counter this, the Soviets have to add a second RV to every silo. And if I add another ABM, a third. This is a huge force multiplier. Sure, SALT limits the US to only 100 interceptors, but if each one of them is protecting a field of 10 silos, or 23 I think was the real number, you end up being able to soak up about half of the entire Soviet fleet before you lose even one MX.

It's not that such a system eliminates the possibility of your MX fleet being destroyed, but it makes it SO expensive that the very idea of counterforce becomes meaningless.

The same basic idea applied to Sprint II and Hardsite, but in that case it was the inaccuracy of the Soviet RVs that worked in their favour. With a CEP around 2 miles, they needed to shoot about three RVs at every silo, so the Sprint would pick off the one that was going to land close enough and let the other two hit the empty ground. That, however, was rendered moot by improved INS.
 
Maury Markowitz said:
sferrin said:
Could you elaborate? ???

Sure!

Consider a deployment of 10 MX missiles in silos situated in a set of 100 silos. The silos are spread out so you have to use a separate warhead against each one, no "two-fers". Let's further assume the Soviet warheads are good enough to hit these silos without needing a backup RV just in case.

So in this case you need 100 warheads in order to attack the field. But that's totally worth it, because you likely have 10 warheads on each of your missiles, so it's a straight up exchange of 10 of your missiles for 10 of theirs.

But now let's add a single ABM for each MX. Here's the trick - I know where my MX is and the Soviets don't. That means I can watch the attack as it unfolds, and find the one that's going to hit the silo where the MX is that I'm assigned to protect. And then I shoot down that one RV. The other nine fall on empty silos.

In order to counter this, the Soviets have to add a second RV to every silo. And if I add another ABM, a third. This is a huge force multiplier. Sure, SALT limits the US to only 100 interceptors, but if each one of them is protecting a field of 10 silos, or 23 I think was the real number, you end up being able to soak up about half of the entire Soviet fleet before you lose even one MX.

It's not that such a system eliminates the possibility of your MX fleet being destroyed, but it makes it SO expensive that the very idea of counterforce becomes meaningless.

The same basic idea applied to Sprint II and Hardsite, but in that case it was the inaccuracy of the Soviet RVs that worked in their favour. With a CEP around 2 miles, they needed to shoot about three RVs at every silo, so the Sprint would pick off the one that was going to land close enough and let the other two hit the empty ground. That, however, was rendered moot by improved INS.

I was talking about elaborate on Sentinal. (It sounded like you meant a different "Sentinal" than the Safeguard precursor. What you're describing sounds like LoADS (for protecting MX / Peacekeeper)):



And I agree, it's an awesome way to make the other guy have to spend through the nose to ensure the target is killed. Thought I saw somewhere where Russian ICBM silos are protected by something like Trophy on a larger scale.
 
Maury Markowitz said:
Sorry, I meant Sentry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentry_program

Yeah, that was a pretty sweet concept. Much cheaper to add a few more ABMs, and force the other guy to up his ICBM force, than to keep expanding one's own ICBM force.
 
1998 MX report from Forecast International

https://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/disp_old_pdf.cfm?ARC_ID=1089

Includes very brief description of the Munster and Calmendro alternate WHs
 
Found two picture of TEREX MX-Carrier prototype
Seems that vehicle is based on two modified big Haul trucks
 

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Only one I could find that hadn't been posted already. . .as far as I can tell. I can't help but wonder why this needed to be so damn big when the TEL that was looked at to carry the Soviet equivalent (basically), the SS-24 Scalpel, was so much smaller.

https://www.autoevolution.com/news/maz-7907-the-24-wheeled-russian-truck-designed-to-carry-100-ton-nuclear-rockets-93665.html
 

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Were these TELs or just transporter erectors for the MX/MPS scheme?
 
Looking through the earlier parts of the thread, I think this is the TEL for the trench scheme. If so, it's designed to erect a hardened launch tube through several feet of soil.
 
sferrin said:
Only one I could find that hadn't been posted already. . .as far as I can tell. I can't help but wonder why this needed to be so damn big when the TEL that was looked at to carry the Soviet equivalent (basically), the SS-24 Scalpel, was so much smaller.

I dunno, the Soviet transporter is bigger than it looks. It's 4.1 meters wide, the Terex is based on the Terex 33-11 offroad dumper, which is 4.7 m wide. http://www.ritchiespecs.com/specification?type=Con&category=Rock+Truck&make=Terex&model=33-11C&modelid=104237
 
MX wind tunnel test.
 

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Some pictures I stumbled across supposedly related to MX superhard silos / Dense Pack.
 

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MX tunnel basing concept - tests of tunnel transporter/launcher breaking concrete
Source: D. Hobbes "An Illustrated Guide to Space Warfare" Salamander Books Ltd. ISBN 0-86101-204-6
Holy crap! Now it makes sense. I always wondered what happened if the tunnel got blocked but I guess it didn't need to care.
 
ECO9-MXUYAAzFnB.jpg:large


:D Dense Pack cartoon or ad

 
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A couple of reports on the MX Deep basing concept. There is slight variation in how the system is layed out, but It is likely that is result of further development as opposed a new system. However, there is one pattern that consists of a wheel shape complex (one such depiction shown here), which likely is a variant of the Golden Arrow design
1.PNG
 
I never fully understood or liked dense pack as an idea. Much of its pros also seemed to be cons.
Oh yes, it made no sense whatsoever. At least not when it was proposed, in the 1960s it was a fine idea.

The underlying idea was that whichever RV arrived first would do two things:

1) explode at low altitude and give off a shockwave
2) throw massive amounts of dirt into the air

(1) was supposed to wipe out any other RVs that were "close", although I no longer remember how close was close. but within seconds
(2) would sandpaper anything further back, about 10 seconds to 5 minutes, into dust

(2) had long been offered as an alternative to ABMs. There had been proposals to bury small warheads around the silos to create a "dust defense". However, this would have poisoned the entire east coast, so not so much uptake. But in this case, the Sovs were the ones causing the dust, so you might as well use it.

Now it's a dumb idea because by the 1980s most of those RVs are being tossed by MIRV, so they're all arriving at basically the same time. With a LITTLE work, you can make them go off within a millisecond or so, during which time the shock wave hasn't reached the silo beside it and the second RV sees nothing. This was the primary reason they gave up.

I thought the best idea was the bed-of-nails, which consisted of tall rebars sticking out of the ground that would smush enough of the RVs to make sure the "golden arrows" survived in enough numbers. Now that relies on them not air-triggering, but they were planning on addressing that by jamming their radar altimeters.

BTW, post-wall-fall document searches in the fUSSR demonstrated all of this was complete BS anyway, their CEP's were nowhere near enough to take out even Minuteman in any great numbers, let alone MX in superhard shelters, let alone Trident. The AF and CIA continually overestimated their INS.
 
BTW, post-wall-fall document searches in the fUSSR demonstrated all of this was complete BS anyway, their CEP's were nowhere near enough to take out even Minuteman in any great numbers, let alone MX in superhard shelters, let alone Trident. The AF and CIA continually overestimated their INS.

I'd rather be wrong that way than the other way.
 
With a LITTLE work, you can make them go off within a millisecond or so,

My understanding is that this is harder than it seems; you are radar fuzing or contact fuzing your MIRVs, not putting them on a timer. If you airburst half of them because they were on a timer... mission accomplished. Airbursts aren't quite as good as groundbursts for that sort of thing. And you can forget about super fuzing.
 
With a LITTLE work, you can make them go off within a millisecond or so,

My understanding is that this is harder than it seems; you are radar fuzing or contact fuzing your MIRVs, not putting them on a timer.
After the 9Mm of INS, which is ultimately a timer adjusted for the randomness of actual rocket firing.

Assume a MX like CEP of 100m (which is what the US did). RVs are going around 5km/s so that CEP is 0.02 seconds of flight. So that’s the accuracy of the “timer”. The shock wave is still far away at that point.

This was well known from the start, it was covered in the original MX studies and rejected as unworkable even with 1960s CEP. I’ll find the URL but I’m sure you can google it.
 
That source is wrong or quoting the wrong number. I have seen a similar number in other sources, but never good ones. For instance:

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a451527.pdf - page 40, "...with CEP of 400 feet"
https://www.lasg.org/Modernization/Postol_Trident_2Feb1998.pdf - slide 43 "...supposed to have an overall CEP of 100 meters"
Appendix I Weapon Systemslink.springer.com › content › pdf › bbm:978-1-349-08505-7 › 1.pdf "... < 130m"

That, of course, assumes it worked at all. The AINS didn't exactly have a stellar record. I seem to recall parts being found in a dumpster by one of the news shows?
 
That source is wrong or quoting the wrong number. I have seen a similar number in other sources, but never good ones. For instance:

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a451527.pdf - page 40, "...with CEP of 400 feet"
https://www.lasg.org/Modernization/Postol_Trident_2Feb1998.pdf - slide 43 "...supposed to have an overall CEP of 100 meters"
Appendix I Weapon Systemslink.springer.com › content › pdf › bbm:978-1-349-08505-7 › 1.pdf "... < 130m"

That, of course, assumes it worked at all. The AINS didn't exactly have a stellar record. I seem to recall parts being found in a dumpster by one of the news shows?

One USAF general back in the day described Peacekeeper's accuracy as, "absolutely eye-watering". And there isn't a program out there that doesn't have scrap.
 

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