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Subject: do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?
19790214    3/26/2005 10:40:09 PM
tell me what do you think
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skrip00    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   3/26/2005 10:47:49 PM
frankly, we can do away with our ICBM force... and just rely on our SSBNs, and bomber force.
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Jerry W. Loper    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   4/6/2005 11:10:50 AM
In the short term, skrip's probably right that SLBMs and long-range bombers can pick up the slack, but the long-term rationale for the triad was for redundancy so that if one leg of the triad was threatened, the others could fill in providing deterrence, but with the understanding that the threatened leg would be fixed somehow. Maybe the new leg could be air-launched and sea-launched cruise missiles (ALCM's & SLCM's). But if we're sticking to ground based intercontinental range missiles, since the 500 Minuteman III missiles carry 1,500 warheads, we'd either need to build a mess of small single-warhead missiles (Midgetman, anybody?) and base them on trucks or railroad cars, or build another 150 Peacekeeper missiles and put them in old Minuteman silos.
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kjetski    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   5/6/2005 6:35:20 PM
Indeed some of the MM-III should be reworked as the Air Force is doing now. To completely do away with them makes little sense. The Red Chinese have eyes on Tawain...Remember?
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Darth Squirrel    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   5/8/2005 7:55:46 PM
I'd like to point out some things. Originally, the decommissioning of the MX was to be accompanied by de-MIRVing all of the Minuteman IIIs. It was recently decided that some of the MMIIIs should be kept with 3 warheads, perhaps 100, and the rest stay single warhead. The upgrading of existing MMIIIs is quite problematic, as even if the upgrades are successfully completed the MM3 will never have the accuracy of the MX. However, the upgrades have gone along horribly, and the missiles that have had the modifications are believed to be less accurate than before the upgrade. They say they will work it out. Beats me why we ditched the MX, it was a dumb idea. Or treasonous. Or our ICBMs are more vulnerable than publicly acknowledged, but if so why get rid of the MX anyway? Or perhaps we were blackmailed into doing it by a major power that has some kind of strategic trump card secretly held against us. Whatever the reason, if all things are as they appear then I should point something else out. The nuclear triad was a great idea for more than one reason. The reason the US should never rely strictly on its submarine force is simple: if an enemy ever makes a scientific breakthrough in submarine-detection technology, the US counterstrike ability would be severely undercut, and we would be quite vulnerable to nuclear blackmail. You don't put all of your eggs in one basket, no matter how secure it seems. Look what the Persians did to Babylon. Finally, the US must always maintain
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SB    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   5/17/2005 7:31:56 PM
I believe the current flavor of START treaties, and/or whatever they're called, does away with land based ICBM MIRVs. Thus the Peacekeepers are being retired, with their warheads moving to Minuteman III's as single warhead missiles. There are a number of advantages for the Nat'l Command Authority to keep land based ICBMs: - They have faster response in a crisis, no waiting around for 12 hrs. for a bomber, and much faster to get in contact with then a sub. - The bombers are generally not doing standing alert with nukes, thus there's a period of vulnerability, as well having more uncertainty as to mission success. - The subs are a pain to re-target, communications are slow (ELF), unless you want one to come to the surface for a message and I'm not sure the protocols are in place to allow the NCA to send new target data to a sub once it's on patrol, at least for the Tridents. - The land based component can be readily/quickly re-targeted. For the NCA, a land based missile can get a "message" to an enemy (China ?) quicker then SB
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19790214    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   6/6/2005 8:09:58 PM
We will have Minuteman V (or IV) by 2012
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   RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   6/17/2005 1:57:23 AM
The Tridents are put to sea with a regional target package (ala, the Ohio might park somewhere in the Baltic with a Russian/Chinese package). NCA sends the targeting coordinates for a specific missile or missiles via ELF, and theres always redundency (if the subs birds dont fly by zero hour, the backup package is in place for immediate delivery), and they don't have to surface to recieve (ELF is recievable to a depth of greater than 500 feet). If necesarry, a sub commander could float his communications buoy from somewhere around 200-400 feet, allowing him to recieve VLF/UHF without surfacing. The crew doesn't even know what theyre shooting at in specific, they just feed each missile a code. Changing the targeting package between regions requires the sub make port, but in-region they are quite inclusive (every major city and known hard points of strategic interest, ala command centers and bases, for example). In the old days this was all done by tape, and required the subs carry quite a bit of equipment into the field. These days its digitized. However, ELF has its own set of disadvantages. You can only transmit a few characters per minute, and the communication is obviously one-way (because ELF has so little bandwidth, one must generate a very large and powerful wave in order to guarantee reception at intercontinental ranges, requiring massive ground installations). Also, the US Navys Seafarer broadcast system (located in Wisconsin, I believe) was dismantled in 2004. I'm not sure how ELF is broadcast today (though I doubt the Navy is w/o ELF capability altogether).
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gf0012-aust    RE:do we need a new ICBM to replace Minuteman III?   6/17/2005 2:13:09 AM
" I'm not sure how ELF is broadcast today (though I doubt the Navy is w/o ELF capability altogether). " The USN has had a sub communicarions facility on Australias west coast for a number of years.
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violentnuke    Napoleon: Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry   8/19/2005 7:01:11 PM
For an effective nuke force, you need all "legs" to have nukes. ICBMs are frontal charges, SLBMs flank, Bombers jump above the lines. Each are a loser in war unless used in combined fashion.
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