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Subject: Mx missle
capt soap    8/9/2005 12:56:54 AM
when was the Mx missle cx AND WHY? 10 MIRVS,,great missle.
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SB    RE:Mx missle   8/10/2005 8:57:29 AM
Designed late 70's, early 80's as answer to the Soviet SS18. The US could forsee a period where a few SS18's with 1mgt. warheads, could take out enough (read - a large percentage of) Minuteman silos, leaving a large number - read 800 or so remaining Soviet ICBM's in readiness, with no available US counterforce weapon available to hit the remaining Soviet ICBMs. Remember that this was at a time when the US bomber force (pre B2) was facing a huge Soviet air defence system and the Trident/Polaris sub based missles were not accurate enough to take out hardened targets. This all led to a period where there was a perception anong US planners that the Soviets could successfuly launch a counterforce first strike. The MX, later under Reagan was renamed Peacekeeper, was an attempt to even the playing field by giving the US many additional warheads per missle, beyond the 3 on the 450 Minuteman 3's. If memory serves, the original intent was for 200 or so, which when combined with the costs of the Reagan Star Wars program, convinced the Soviets that they could not keep up, economically for the most part, forcing Gorby to finally toss in the towel. SB
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capt soap    RE:Mx missle   8/11/2005 12:47:31 AM
I was reading in a magazine today, about the deactivation of the peacekeeper,,, WHY are we dumping a new missle that we just feilded, now asking for a mew replacement missle,while living with the 40 yr old menitemen ??? Keep the mx just put 3-4 warheads to each missle. Then let the russians inspect when they want.
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SB    RE:Mx missle   8/11/2005 11:22:03 AM
See the thread about Minuteman as a ABM, where it explains that treaty limits no longer allow multi warhead ICBMs. I would suspect that the AF finds it cheaper to operate 1 missile type, for maintanence, training, parts, upgrades, etc... It's not like Congress is throwing money at the nuclear forces. Indeed the AF is going to have to beg and steal to replace the Minutemans. They are also having major issues related to the security of the missiles and launch facilities. In the post 9/11 world, with Homeland Security funds being spread around like a badly aimed shotgun blast, it's amazing to think they cannot upgrade the missile force security forces. SB SB
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capt soap    RE:Mx missle   8/11/2005 11:32:37 PM
Fine Put one brand new warhead, on a 80's designed missle, instead of depending on the 60's missle,then scraping the mx, and asking for new funds for a new missle.
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hybrid    RE:Mx missle   8/17/2005 6:18:24 PM
The Minuteman upgrade is getting 3 warheads of the type the MX carried also in addition to that all their solid core boosters are being replaced with the latest versions the MX fielded or possibly newer variants. In other words instead of having 50 MX missiles with 8-10 warheads each (which we are now limited by treaty anyway and are expensive as hell to maintain and are big sitting ducks in their silos) we have about 500 minuteman III modified in 500 silos each with 3 warheads. Mind you they are still planning a new ICBM and SLBM for the future
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lightningtest    RE:Mx missle   8/18/2005 5:09:35 AM
Which treaty states ICBM's have to have MIRV capability removed? On this page hybrid reckons Minuteman have 3 warheads and SB "only" the 1. I guess as long as SLBM's have MIRV then reintroducing the capability onto a ICBM is a matter of a few weeks work. Any nation with MIRV technology ould be holding a few MIRV ICBM secondstages in reserve either assembled or as modules ready to be bolted together.
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SB    RE:Mx missle   8/22/2005 8:03:37 PM
The Peacekeepers are being retired, the last to go this coming Sept. The 500 or so remaining Minuteman 3's are to get a single warhead ea. in some cases from the Peacekeepers. Note that there were originally 550 Minuteman III's and 450 Minuteman II's. 50 3's were removed from use at Warren to accomodate Peacekeeper. The Federation of American Scientists has a good site about the strategic systems - including the following: "Provisions START II, when implemented, will eliminate heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) and all other multiple-warhead (MIRVed) ICBMS. It will also reduce the total number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by both countries, by two-thirds below pre-START levels. By the end of the first phase, each side must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,800-4,250. By the end of the second and final phase, each side reduce its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,000-3,500. Of those, none may be on MIRVed ICBMS, including heavy ICBMS; only ICBMs carrying a single-warhead will be allowed. No more than 1,700-1,750 deployed warheads may be on SLBMS, which may be MIRVed. The September 26, 1997 Protocol on Early Deactivation extends the date by which the START II limitations and reductions must be completed from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2007. It also extends the date by which the interim limitations must be carried out from seven years after entry into force of the START Treaty (December 5, 2001) to December 31, 2004. Status The START-2 Treaty was signed on January 3, 1993 by President George Bush and President Boris Yeltsin. The Treaty codifies the Joint Understanding signed by the two Presidents at the Washington Summit on June 17, 1992. The U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the START II Treaty on January 26, 1996. Ratification of the Treaty in the Russian Duma, pending since 1996, was finally completed on 14 April 2000. " The following site also confirms this: "Peacekeeper (sometimes called Missile X, thus MX, early on) is a strange name to some for one of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction. But indirectly perhaps it has kept the peace. Another designation is LGM-118A. In the late 1990s there were grumblings of retiring it due to the cost of maintaining two different kinds of land-based ICBMs, coupled with international treaties that reduced the Peacekeeper's advantage of multiple re-entry vehicles. The retirement actually began October 1 2002, partly due to financial concerns and partly due to an arms reduction agreement between the USA and Russia that was signed in 2001. The deactivation, disassembly, and shipment of the missiles back to Hill AFB in Utah will take about 17 days per missile and will continue for at least three years. For the time being, empty silos will be maintained in "caretaker" status rather than be destroyed. The warheads will replace older ones on Minuteman III missiles. " Also at this site: "In order to meet warhead levels set by START II, the United States has decided to permanently DEMIRV Minuteman III missiles from their current capability to carry up to three reentry vehicles to a newly configured single reentry vehicle system once the treaty enters into force. "Downloading" Minuteman III missiles from three reentry vehicles to one lowers the military value of each missile; reduces the likelihood of any country expending resources to preemptively attack America's ICBM force; and decreases the probability of future US leaders being force into a "use or lose" position. For a downsized force of 500 single reentry vehicle Minuteman III to continue to be an effective deterrent force, the guidance replacement program will improve the needed accuracy and supportability that is inherent in a smaller missile force. Peacekeeper missiles will be deactivated by 2003, provided START II is ratified and enters into force. Ultimately, a total of 500 single RV Minuteman IIIs will be the nation's ICBM deterrent force through 2020. " Note that the US abandonment of the ABM treaty may have changed the status for the Russians - I recall some grumblings about all bets being off, but bottom line is the US had already started the de-mirv'ing process. SB
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lightningtest    RE:Mx missle -SB + a rant on WMD and ABM   8/23/2005 5:29:24 AM
SB, Thank you for the comprehensive information. Thus de-MIRV'ing is a work in progress. The angle I am coming from in discussing this is the same as when you mention "grumbling about all bets being off". I am starting to work on the outer edges of this industry and am just trying to put my mind at rest that building new special weapon systems is justifiable. My limited understanding of these issues; The planned multilayered ABM system is designed to reduce the probability of successful ICBM impact on CONUS to the point where a nation with <100 warheads has to target its strike onto a handful of US cities. This says to NK, IRAN, even PRC if you have less than <100 warheads you are not Assured that the US civilization will end. So the planned ABM system removes the Mutuality in the MAD. Consequently no Deterrence is to be gained by NK,IRAN,PRC holding less than 100 deliverable warheads. When all countries (except Russia) realize this then no realistic stand can be made against the people who control the budget and policy of the USA. Even the Russian ICBM deterrent will be neutered by ABM version 2 in 20 years. Building more physics packages is not the way to go. Smart people around the world who really don’t want to be boxed in by USA policy will find alternative ways of achieving Assurance that Mutual Destruction will take place in the event of conflict. For example it is now public domain that GRU/KGB pre-placed stocks(+vectors?) of effective biological agent in UK during the late 20th century. Double agent(s) within Porton Down did this to my country. I haven’t heard of those stocks being located and destroyed (perhaps someone can enlighten me). I know the tax base of any country is liable to be destroyed by any sufficiently determined opponent who initially assumes mutual destruction is to be the outcome of an engagement. When the tax base is gone it is a short time before the rest crumbles. My point is that ICBM’s/SLBM’s and the physics packages atop them are the lesser of the evils which could be held over us. They are also necessarily operated by well educated, intelligent men and women so the probability of inadvertent deployment can be reduced to effectively zero. When resources are moved from ICBM’s to other less technological weaponry, for whatever reason, then inadvertent deployment is no longer as assured. For example I detect that IRAN and ISRAEL have an asymmetric MAD standoff, Israel has its missiles and physics packages and Iran has its drones and BW/CW poised in Lebanon. I am looking over the history of over 2000 nuclear explosions on the planet and see controlled violence. When I look at the history of Biological Weapons (BW) I see the opposite trend. I fear that is where ABM is going to put us + its costing an awful lot of money. What’s the alternative? First we need to educate and protect the young within our nations population against biological weapons. I see a worrying trend in that the planning is to protect the nations high status older people (command structure/military) and not the younger population from BW. MAD through BW works if all that is left afterwards is the military and command structures. Hope that cheered everyone up!
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