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Subject: Global Strike Tactical Weapon
Softwar    6/19/2007 8:39:16 AM
Aviation Week, June 18 2007, page 49 - Northrup Grumman has been contracted to design a weapon - using the Minotaur launch vehicle and an unspecified delivery device - that can destroy targets at a global range in less than an hour's flight time. The submunitions are to be a number of BLU-108B/B sensor-fused weapons that use an active laser sensor, multimission warhead and large footprint for searching out targets. Each submunition is to carry four explosively formed penetrator projectiles that can detect a vehicle's shape and heat signature. It also can provide direct attack capabilities against command and control centers.
 
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DragonReborn       6/19/2007 9:45:36 AM

So if I understand correct the implications of this are that once developed the US would have the ability to wipe out large military formations any where in the world while still based from US soil?

How many BLU-108B/Bs and skeets will the Minotaur launch vehicle be able to carry? The B-1 can carry 30 sensor fused bombs, with each bomb carrying 40 skeets, enough to destroy 1200 tanks!

h**p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzfl3CnFy5M

Is the strategy behind this to reduce the dependency on locally based (either local US Airbase or Aircraft Carrier) US air assets? Thus in some types of conflict reducing the US footprint in a conflict area to Special Forces or satellite/UAV surveillance who can call in the skeets?

What scenarios do you think the US could use the weapon? North Korea?

Could the skeets target landing craft and small boats in say the Taiwan straits or the Strait of Hormuz? 

 
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Softwar       6/19/2007 10:55:34 AM

So if I understand correct the implications of this are that once developed the US would have the ability to wipe out large military formations any where in the world while still based from US soil?


How many BLU-108B/Bs and skeets will the Minotaur launch vehicle be able to carry? The B-1 can carry 30 sensor fused bombs, with each bomb carrying 40 skeets, enough to destroy 1200 tanks!


h**p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzfl3CnFy5M


Is the strategy behind this to reduce the dependency on locally based (either local US Airbase or Aircraft Carrier) US air assets? Thus in some types of conflict reducing the US footprint in a conflict area to Special Forces or satellite/UAV surveillance who can call in the skeets?


What scenarios do you think the US could use the weapon? North Korea?


Could the skeets target landing craft and small boats in say the Taiwan straits or the Strait of Hormuz? 



I am not sure how many the vehicle will carry but it won't match a B-1 in payload.  I think 5 or 6 launch vehicles may match a single B-1 thus the payload may be in the 4 to 5 BLU units per launch.
 
The idea is to be able to reach time-sensitive targets.  The lessons from Gulf-1, Gulf-2 and the hunt for Osama noted that the faster the iron can be put on target the better.  15 to 30 minutes between detection and arrival of iron is best.
 
Targets can range from mobile missile TEL or ASAT launcher as well as OBL in his Mercedes or SUV.  I am sure it could also target amphib. units, small boats or ships.  Friendly forces will have to be clear of the targeted area so putting this into a mix of blue/red may not be the best idea.  Clearly, one or two of these could badly damage an assault on Taiwan.
 
The weapon should not replace carrier or land based aircraft but it seems designed to reach or distant points before the target moves.  If it takes a B-1 a couple of hours to sortie and get to delivery point - and the target is high value - send the hypersonic kill vehicle.  If a carrier will take two days to reach launch point - pop a couple of these babies and let the carrier mop up what's left.
 
Applications can be in Afghanistan, China, North Korea, Iran or other similar conflict scenarios.
 
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Jeff_F_F    The bottom line   6/22/2007 11:34:07 AM
This is deterrence. It means that there is no way for any enemy to guarantee that they can prevent a US response to their aggression. You can't stop it by politically denying us bases or overflight. You can't stop it even if you prevent deployment of our carrier groups, or attack an area which the carriers are too far away from for a quick response.
 
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doggtag    another thing cluster warheads guarantee...   6/22/2007 12:02:05 PM
...is airfield denial.
 
Launching a few of these CICBMs (conventional/cluster ICBM) as a first strike weapon has the potential to temporarily remove any enemy airfield from participating/supporting a battle,
thus allowing the US to gain air superiority much more quickly, with little opposition.
 
If the launch vehicle can deploy WCMD-type skeet dispensers, is it a far cry then for a launch vehicle to instead fit a multiple SDB type warhead (think conventional MIRVs), which has the potential to take out several hardened aircraft shelters, and/or C³I installations, with a single platform?
 
30 minutes doesn't give an adversary much reaction time...but that's only if he's even able to detect its launch.
In most instances, his only warning will be when it enters his airspace, most likely giving him only a few minutes.
 
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Herald1234    Minotaur   6/24/2007 10:40:55 AM
 
For our purposes we can call it a Minuteman II or III with a Pegasus riding atop it.
 
Payload us about 500-750 kilograms suborbital certain .
 
The BLU-108B/B is a 30 kilogram item that dispenses 4 self forging warheads at a pre-set altitude. Since the arrival of the RV at the IP when it dispenses the submunitions is likely to be considerably in excess of 4000 mps we can add braking motors and parachutes for the individual RVs riding that bus down, so double the mass of the submunition for the rocket motor and paradrags.You'll have about 10 such submunitions Minotaur delivered; or about 40 self forging warheads in the impact area as opposed to the usual 100+ you get with a 450 kg bomb. Considering that you will be able to drop twenty such 450 kg  cluster munitions from a B-1 you could conceivably have 2000 SFWs going off after releasing a stick. To equal that with your Minotaurs you would have to bombard the site with fifty rockets ToT. That makes no sense. 
 
Better to use isomer-pumped bunker busters and do the number on them right.
 
Herald
 
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hybrid       6/24/2007 3:40:31 PM
Actually you may not need braking motors for the RV or the BLUs, shape the re-entry vehicle in the correct way and you can actually use aerodynamic braking properties, blunt body RVs are best for this. Also depending on the Minotaur variant used you can reasonably expect somewhere between 1 tons to 4 tons in actual throw weight and dependent on range as the latter variants use Peacekeeper boost stages and the Minotaur V concept has a 5 stage rocket.



http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/minotaur.htm</a></div>;" target="_blank">link
 

For our purposes we can call it a Minuteman II or III with a Pegasus riding atop it.

 

Payload us about 500-750 kilograms suborbital certain .

 

The BLU-108B/B is a 30 kilogram item that dispenses 4 self forging warheads at a pre-set altitude. Since the arrival of the RV at the IP when it dispenses the submunitions is likely to be considerably in excess of 4000 mps we can add braking motors and parachutes for the individual RVs riding that bus down, so double the mass of the submunition for the rocket motor and paradrags.You'll have about 10 such submunitions Minotaur delivered; or about 40 self forging warheads in the impact area as opposed to the usual 100+ you get with a 450 kg bomb. Considering that you will be able to drop twenty such 450 kg  cluster munitions from a B-1 you could conceivably have 2000 SFWs going off after releasing a stick. To equal that with your Minotaurs you would have to bombard the site with fifty rockets ToT. That makes no sense. 

 

Better to use isomer-pumped bunker busters and do the number on them right.

 

Herald

 
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Carl D.       6/24/2007 8:53:31 PM
Ok, so you qualify this set-up for the Minotaur, that would then in effect basically qualify the same set-up for the current in production Taurus ground based SLV which uses the same two upper stages and can lift up to 1590 Kg into LEO.  Both SLVs are pedestal/austere launch site capable.  In essence they could be stored like the Minuteman as "wooden rounds" ready to go.  So you base them at Guam, Kodiak, Vandenburg, Wallops, Canaveral, and perhaps Diego Garcia and you've got most of the contingency threats covered to some degree or another. 

Add to that perhaps a similar capability to the air launched "targets" that the BMD program has been using, storing them at ANG bases which have C-130s/C-17s let's say, particularly the air launched "Quick Reach" SLV that's in development, let alone all of the other DARPA FALCON SLV competing programs and you've got a whole new deal, in terms of capability, deterrence, and likely as not flak from the PRC and Russia.  Your biggest issue is going to be the issue of trajectories and their threat potential to the PRC and Russia.  Anything that would either overfly their territory to get to its target or would be placed to be a direct deterrent to their actions, and muddy the water as to whether or not its conventionally or nuclear armed is naturally going to create a lot of heat.  Never mind when you add this to the ABM/BMD dust up going on now with Russia.


 
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Herald1234       6/25/2007 8:40:11 AM

Actually you may not need braking motors for the RV or the BLUs, shape the re-entry vehicle in the correct way and you can actually use aerodynamic braking properties, blunt body RVs are best for this. Also depending on the Minotaur variant used you can reasonably expect somewhere between 1 tons to 4 tons in actual throw weight and dependent on range as the latter variants use Peacekeeper boost stages and the Minotaur V concept has a 5 stage rocket.

The assumption is Minotaur II which uses  legacy Minuteman III boosters. True you can build your BLUs into a blunt body submunition but you cannot do that with the BUS  which has to be a conic or a cylinder so that you can deploy your skeets at a reasonable altitude. You need some kind of rocket motors for corrective shove even if you drop at tens of meters per second to correct for submunition sideslip drift.
 
The parachute is almost a given given. It goes without saying that even with a blunt body aeroshell you have a heat shield of some sort either on the bus or the submunition. It is coming down much faster than any air dropped bomb when the chute deploys. Braking will be a big problem.

I submit that the braking rocket  still makes  sense as a negative acceleration and maneuvering option.
 


="" lvs="" minotaur.htm<="" a><="" div>="" target="_blank">link target="_blank">link


 



For our purposes we can call it a Minuteman II or III with a Pegasus riding atop it.



 



Payload us about 500-750 kilograms suborbital certain .



 



The BLU-108B/B is a 30 kilogram item that dispenses 4 self forging warheads at a pre-set altitude. Since the arrival of the RV at the IP when it dispenses the submunitions is likely to be considerably in excess of 4000 mps we can add braking motors and parachutes for the individual RVs riding that bus down, so double the mass of the submunition for the rocket motor and paradrags.You'll have about 10 such submunitions Minotaur delivered; or about 40 self forging warheads in the impact area as opposed to the usual 100+ you get with a 450 kg bomb. Considering that you will be able to drop twenty such 450 kg  cluster munitions from a B-1 you could conceivably have 2000 SFWs going off after releasing a stick. To equal that with your Minotaurs you would have to bombard the site with fifty rockets ToT. That makes no sense. 



 



Better to use isomer-pumped bunker busters and do the number on them right.



 



Herald




Herald
 
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Mechanic       6/26/2007 5:12:57 AM
You'll have about 10 such submunitions Minotaur delivered; or about 40 self forging warheads in the impact area as opposed to the usual 100+ you get with a 450 kg bomb.

CBU-97/105 carries 10 BLU-108s which each have a rocket motor and four skeet submunitions.

I think it makes sense to have 40 sensor fused self forging slugs instead of the normal hunreds of dump submunitions because that  kind of weapon is fielded.

The sensor in skeets is a infra-red detector designed to detect warm tank engines.
 
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doggtag       6/26/2007 8:47:09 AM


I think it makes sense to have 40 sensor fused self forging slugs instead of the normal hunreds of dump submunitions because that  kind of weapon is fielded.

The sensor in skeets is a infra-red detector designed to detect warm tank engines.
So then I take it they would just as easily target the hot silhouettes of spooled-up jet engines prepping for take off?
(or at least could do so with minimal software upgrades...)
 
Years ago (I vaguely remember the Brits using them during Desert Storm, or something similar) there was the JP 233 dispenser system, which used pyro-launched anti-personnel/aerial-denial submunitions over a runway, while at the same time deploying runway cratering munitions (neat "little" dual charge units that first pierced several inches of reinforced tarmac and then a second charge followed thru to do the actual cratering/concrete-fracturing damage). 
(sorry, Wiki link seems the best I can do on short notice: JP233  )
 
Would a CICBM be better better equipped with a JP233-esque warhead then for some instances (but perhaps instead utilizing a conically-ejecting missile bus rather than the downward-ejecting tubular JP233)?
Except for a handful of surviving superpowers that even have the resources to amass large armor formations, I don't really see the sense in deploying large armor-defeating cluster warhead types (do these Skeet SFWs have the capability of EFP-ing their way thru a hardened aircraft shelter yet still retain enough incendiary fragmentation to disable any aircraft inside? That's why I suggested a SDB/mini-MIRV-equipped bus)...


 
 
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