USN and USAF Take another look at conventional ICBM's

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posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 01:30 PM
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Both services are revisiting an on and off proposal to modify ICBM's to carry conventional warheads. Its an interesting concept as we have discussed before here and Lockheed is working on a kit that would allow near GPS accuracy on its warheads. Even with its impressive CEP the Trident D5 would need to be more accurate for pinpoint conventional strikes. However the 30 minute responce time would give the US a really rapid responce to any crisis.

Issues such as advanced warning to other countries etc would have to be worked out. The Russian and the Chinese would understandable by nervous If the detected a ICBM launch heading in their direction conventional or not


The U.S. Air Force and Navy are preparing different approaches to solving a gap in the nation's ability to deliver a conventional payload to strike any target on the globe within one hour of a go-ahead.

The Navy is looking to its Trident II D5 submarine-launched missile, while the Air Force is considering a land-based design using decommissioned Peacekeeper and Minuteman rocket motors on a Minotaur launch vehicle tipped with a conventional munition.
www.aviationnow.com.../awst_xml/2007/07 /02/AW_07_02_2007_p32-01.xml&headline=Navy%2C+Air+Force+Explore+Conventional+Strike+Options


[edit on 7/4/07 by FredT]




posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 04:38 PM
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The idea is a very good one but they need to have a special telephone network that is directly linked towards country`s with nuclear bombs so to warn them that a ICBM is launched with conventional explosives but if they manage to have such hotlinks then they get the go ahead from me.

ICBM`s with a conventional explosives guided by GPS to use it as a form off a super bunker buster is a very good one indeed. Using those rockets and make Hypersonic cruise missiles with a big payload is just an awesome idea



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 04:43 PM
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The only issue of notification is that what to prevent Russia to call up a Serbian president being targeted.

The speed of the missile coupled with an inert high density warhead would make a kinetic energy weapon of note. Lockheed had look at such a device for its B-12 bomber variant of its A-12. The high altitude mach 3 speed would have made it quite lethal. Now factor in ICBM speeds and



posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:44 AM
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Why would we have to "call" anyone? Just make the missile emit a special signal encoded to mean "conventional". As for where it's headed that is really no one's business, let them watch their radar screens and act accordingly. We did not blow up the world when the Chinese shot an ICBM into space in secret, neither did the Russians, now they are complaining about our system? Please.


Anyway, the Navy is also developing the SLIRBM, which should enter service in the 2010-2015 time frame. If only the USAF would develop a mobile (TEL) system of this missile for use as a 21st century Pershing II to complement to much longer (conventional and nuclear) ranged ICBM's of both branches.

[edit on 5-7-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 07:31 AM
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Is there any mission at all where the time factor is so critical that only a conventionally armed ICBM could be used ? In your inventory you've already got stealth aircraft and cruise missiles for the surprise attack ... I dunno guys, I think you've got to weigh in the balance here the few missions, if any, where this thing would be militarily useful against the uncertainty generated were the Russians or Chinese to suddenly see ICBM's appearing on their radar screens.

Only 12 years ago the Russians got into a panic when a joint US-Norwegian satellite launch generated a full scale nuclear alert. I can't see the Russians having invested an awful lot into their radar/satellite systems since then.

The other argument against this is, to put it bluntly, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. What if the Russians or Chinese start developing such weapons ? How would the US react if half a dozen ICBM's appeared over the horizon and there was no idea what the payload was ?

At least you know at the moment that ICBM's=nuclear attack. That's a certainty. To bring uncertainty into the world of nuclear planning is something you shouldn't do without a lot of very deep consideration.



posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 01:30 PM
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The problem I see with having the missile emit a conventional signal is that such a thing could easily be abused. If we do this, then that means that the Russians and the Chinese will be allowed to do this. And really, what's to stop Russia from launching a few dozen nuclear ICBMs and have them signaling that they're conventional for a preemptive strike?

Not saying that they will be used like that, but that's how Russia and China are likely to see this.



posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Why would we have to "call" anyone? Just make the missile emit a special signal encoded to mean "conventional". As for where it's headed that is really no one's business, let them watch their radar screens and act accordingly. We did not blow up the world when the Chinese shot an ICBM into space in secret, neither did the Russians, now they are complaining about our system? Please.


[edit on 5-7-2007 by WestPoint23]


What the Chinese shot in to space wasnt an ICBM but an anti-sattelite missile.

About that signal. It could be forged and if a minuteman III missile is on its way to Iran to destroy a super heavy fortress, it passes over the russian terretory then they will shoot it down with the excuse: Just for safety off our nation.....

So here you are firing a minuteman III missile headed straight towards Iran going over Russian soil and you think that it doesnt care for these folks. Do you?

Westpoint23 I find it a Supernice idea to use those ICBM`s as the ultimate cruise missile but a hotline is needed just to assure and reassure those folks who were ounce opponents off the western world that it isnt a preemptive nuke strike.

Cheers dude

Pssst: Where does the number 23 stands for?? I have saw it at Zaphod and you.



posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 11:51 PM
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Originally posted by James R. Hawkwood
What the Chinese shot in to space wasnt an ICBM but an anti-sattelite missile.


They launched a kinetic warhead specifically designed to target satellites onboard a conventional IRBM (Source). For all purposes it makes no difference that it's referred by another name. We did not know in advance who the target was or what the warhead was. Yet we and the Russians did not immediately launch our nuclear weapons, matter of fact we did not even make the event public for several days.


Originally posted by James R. Hawkwood
About that signal. It could be forged...


What do you mean? The US and Russia can detect ballistic missile launches within seconds using DSP and SBIRS like satellites, therefore they know who it belongs to. Furthermore they can also track it's trajectory and determine point of impact rather quickly. Practically speaking however, why would the US suddenly attack Russia with a few ICBM (that are not even headed for Russia) while making it public that the warhead is conventional? You would have to be suicidal to launch a full nuclear response to that.


Originally posted by James R. Hawkwood
...and if a minuteman III missile is on its way to Iran to destroy a super heavy fortress, it passes over the russian terretory then they will shoot it down with the excuse: Just for safety off our nation.....


Given that this is a USN-USAF effort we are not limited to out of CONUS (over the pole) shots. As such, there is no need to fly over Russian land.


Originally posted by James R. Hawkwood
Pssst: Where does the number 23 stands for?? I have saw it at Zaphod and you.


Nothing fancy, if you calculate my real name a certain way the sum is 23.



Originally posted by cyberdude78
If we do this, then that means that the Russians and the Chinese will be allowed to do this.


They have just as much a right as we do.


Originally posted by cyberdude78
And really, what's to stop Russia from launching a few dozen nuclear ICBMs and have them signaling that they're conventional for a preemptive strike?


Nothing, but then again they could do the same without signaling anything and we would be in error to attack them without being absolutely positive that the missiles are intended for us. And it's not really complicated, you can figure out the target before the missile(s) impact(s).


Originally posted by Niall197
Is there any mission at all where the time factor is so critical that only a conventionally armed ICBM could be used ? In your inventory you've already got stealth aircraft and cruise missiles for the surprise attack ...


Yes there is a need, surprise is not the issue here, time is. Against time sensitive targets such as on the move HVT's etc... Launching bombers out of the CONUS (or in a best case scenario) from bases thousands of miles away will result in a mission lasting several hours (at best). Same story with cruise missiles, you would have to suddenly dispatch a launching platform (usually a ship/boat) to a nearby location which could take hours. Then you would use slow moving cruise missiles. With conventional ICBM's you could attack any target from the CONUS within 30 minutes of the order being given. With SLBM's that time could decrease to within 15 minutes of order being given. Still, besides time there is also the issue of survivability, only a few nations posses a limited BMD capability. Launching cruise missiles and or bombers puts people at risk and increase the level of vulnerability. However not everyone can track or detect ICBM launches and no one can consistently defeat sophisticated ICBM's (yet).


Originally posted by Niall197
At least you know at the moment that ICBM's=nuclear attack. That's a certainty.


In the absence of clear and specific beforehand threats it most certainly is not. That is not how US nuclear forces operate and that is not what the NCA bases it's decision on. Unannounced and unclear ICBM launches (tests) happen all the time, they are closely monitored, of course, and I'm sure specific forces go on alert. However we do not immediately launch a full retaliatory strike.

[edit on 7-7-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 12:56 AM
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Some great posts here. I agree that this could be far more of a problem than it is worth. Subs can lauch cruise missles just fine and we dont get any very bad mistakes



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
We did not blow up the world when the Chinese shot an ICBM into space in secret


The Chinese lanuched the KT-1 space lanuch vehicle NOT a ICBM. The lanuch vehicle propelled the warhead into space OVER chinese terrioty and travelled upwards in LEO not heading towards America

It is a 50kg payload launch vechile, nothing similar to a ICBM.

The main difference is Americans using a ICBM travelling towards a nuclear armed country where the type of warhead is not known compared to a space lanuch vehicle which the Americans could not detect. Basically its comparing space lanuchs to a ICBM which is incomparable.


What do you mean? The US and Russia can detect ballistic missile launches within seconds using DSP and SBIRS like satellites,


Not on a global scale. DSI is only effective in indiviual threaters like the Iran-iraq war or the Gulf war. The SBIRS has a unknown effectivness, it couldnt detect the nuclear explosion in North Korea for example. There is also talk of a replacment program USAF Seeks SBIRS Alternatives


[edit on 17-7-2007 by chinawhite]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:07 AM
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I was under the impression that the estimated trajectory of an ICBM could be calculated shortly after launch and monitered closely for any change. I'm sure any time a rocket goes up into space it is closely monitered and classified as a threat or otherwise. I think this would be a great way to put idle technology to good use while at the same time keeping military assets such as stealth bombers and USN subs out of harms way. I honestly doubt any of the nuclear armed countries would launch anything without knowing for sure that the missile was heading for their territory or assets.



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 06:40 AM
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ALL launches - be they ICBM test flights, navigational, commercial or military missions, are picked up by seismic devices, geo-stationary weather and mil spec recon satellites around the world.

The launch bloom is simply far too big and bright to hide, even under extreme weather conditions.

You simply cannot launch and fly an ICBM over friendly countries towards an enemy target and say to the target, 'Oh! Don't worry, it's only got a conventional warhead!'

What utter rubbish!

Does your enemy [who incidentally, you're trying to wipe off the face of the map] take you at your word, and ignores the incoming warhead?

Suppose you're lying?

This could [probably] be used as a pre-emptive nuclear first strike, if the intended target was naiive enough to believe you.

Could you image the scenario if Saddam Hussein HAD have had useable nuclear weapons?



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by cyberdude78
The problem I see with having the missile emit a conventional signal is that such a thing could easily be abused. If we do this, then that means that the Russians and the Chinese will be allowed to do this. And really, what's to stop Russia from launching a few dozen nuclear ICBMs and have them signaling that they're conventional for a preemptive strike?

Not saying that they will be used like that, but that's how Russia and China are likely to see this.


Hmm. Why just make out Russia and China as the bad guys?

Whats to stop someone like Bush doing it - especially if he's hiding behind a missile shield?





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