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Why does the US still need ground based ICBMs?

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posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Maybe the Army just does not want to give up their nuclear weapons. The airforce and navy both have theirs the army does not want to be left out. I could be wrong not sure what branch controls land based ICBMs I would think the army.


The Air Force controlls the the ICBM's




posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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I think the simple reason why the US still has ground based ICBMs is because they don't want to put all of their eggs in one basket.

If they put them all on subs and then another country develops some sub finding technology and knows the location of all the US's nuclear subs, then that makes those nukes essentially useless.

Same for if all the nukes were put on bombers, if a country develops sophisticated radar that can detect all of the inbound bombers then they can all be shot down and then the US might as well have no nukes. Plus nukes dropped by bombers would be slower. How long would it take bombers to fly to Moscow to drop nukes compared to firing ICBMs.

So, overall a three or more pronged attack is best.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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Lets not forget ICBMs are more intimidating. I had heard that ballistic subs are supposed to be ready in about five minutes. To bad that damn treaty keeps us from sticking nukes in space (that we know of). Any body know were some of these hidden silos are. I'd like to have a look.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by E_T

Originally posted by Hyperen
I'm pretty sure the land based ICBMs are run by the USAF since if you look at the missiles, the have USAF painted on them.

Before they were operated under SAC but it was shutted down and now they're run by ACC.

www.globalsecurity.org...


That info is old - now the ICBM's fall under the Air Force Space Command...



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by cyberdude78
Lets not forget ICBMs are more intimidating. I had heard that ballistic subs are supposed to be ready in about five minutes. To bad that damn treaty keeps us from sticking nukes in space (that we know of). Any body know were some of these hidden silos are. I'd like to have a look.


I'd be more scared of SSBNs.

If a country launched a volley of nuclear missiles at the US, they probably go for the silos.

The would mean that they are useless, unless the silos can withstand huge nuclear blasts or the US decides to fire their ICBMs before the 'things' they detect, whether they are missiles or not, hit home.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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The majority of the silo's basically sit in the middle of the country. The Dakota's, Wyoming, Nebraska all have missile fields. Each silo is hardened to withstand everything but a direct hit.

The design of the fields is ingenious too, they are "hard packed" which means that if you hit a silo dead on with a 1mt warhead its going to throw up so much debris and cloud that the thin skin of warheads passing through it will be stripped off and the components will be destroyed.

The only way of circumventing this is to do a "long walk" where you hit the fields with a rolling barrage of missiles, e.g. Hitting Row 1 then row 4, then going back to 2 and 3 some time later. As the missiles sail across the pacific, atlantic or over the pole the silo's have ample time to launch. The solid fuel inside the rockets allow the fuel to stay in them indefinitely.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:13 PM
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Although there have been vast improvements to the Trident missile system, ground based ICBM's will always be more accurate. The CEP of the MX system is much smaller than the latest Trident missile.

Also, ground based ICBM's are larger and have a greater throw-weight than their naval cousins, which makes them more destructive.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:20 PM
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The Army did indeed turn in its nukes, Coolhand, but it was because of the Salt II treaty. The army used to have Nike Hercs and Pershings. But after Salt II, they got rid of those and stuck with conventional warheads on air defense systems, like the Hawk and Patriot missiles.

Although I do know that pPatriot missiles are nuclear capable. But for now, all they have is normal explosive warheads. Im sure they could be easily converted if requirements were needed.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Nerdling
The majority of the silo's basically sit in the middle of the country. The Dakota's, Wyoming, Nebraska all have missile fields. Each silo is hardened to withstand everything but a direct hit.


An intersting basing proposition was to have a ICBM basically tunneled into a mountian side. Then to launch, it had its own tunnel boring machine that would tunnel its way out, and fire.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by Nerdling
The majority of the silo's basically sit in the middle of the country. The Dakota's, Wyoming, Nebraska all have missile fields. Each silo is hardened to withstand everything but a direct hit.


An intersting basing proposition was to have a ICBM basically tunneled into a mountian side. Then to launch, it had its own tunnel boring machine that would tunnel its way out, and fire.



Now thats just silly. There is so much scope for error that it would be impractical on a million different levels, not to mention the time. They're not built to withstand attacks (even though they are), they're built to be up and into the air within 4 minutes.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by Pyros
Although there have been vast improvements to the Trident missile system, ground based ICBM's will always be more accurate. The CEP of the MX system is much smaller than the latest Trident missile.


The CEP on the Minuteman III is 360. The Trident D-5 is reported to be as little as 120. Thats what was so revolutionary about them It gave the US a hard kill capacity with an SLBM. The MX may be more accurate, but it is being phased out. You are right that the throweight can be more for ground based ICBM's but with treaty obligations reducing the number to one anyway.
BTW, the D-5 weights in at 130,000 lbs and can cary up to 8 MIRVS, and the Minuteman III 80,000 and carry 3 MIRVS. The soon to be gone MX was 195,000 with up to 10 MIRVS




[edit on 6-7-2004 by FredT]



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by Pyros
Although there have been vast improvements to the Trident missile system, ground based ICBM's will always be more accurate. The CEP of the MX system is much smaller than the latest Trident missile.


The CEP on the Minuteman III is 360. The Trident D-5 is reported to be as little as 120. Thats what was so revolutionary about them It gave the US a hard kill capacity with an SLBM. The MX may be more accurate, but it is being phased out. You are right that the throweight can be more for ground based ICBM's but with treaty obligations reducing the number to one anyway.
BTW, the D-5 weights in at 130,000 lbs and can cary up to 8 MIRVS, and the Minuteman III 80,000 and carry 3 MIRVS. The soon to be gone MX was 195,000 with up to 10 MIRVS

[edit on 6-7-2004 by FredT]


This is all true - however with updated guidance systems, single RVs, and other improvements there are still places that a Minuteman can hit that a SLBM can't ...

With 3 RV's the MMIII had a range of 8,000+ miles, with one RV it will be signifigantly more ... The Minuteman III also carries chaff and penetration aids, which help defeat an enemy ABM system (unlike the D-5 and Peacekeeper).

The fact that it can launched with no warning in miunutes is also a huge advantage.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by Nerdling
As the missiles sail across the pacific, atlantic or over the pole the silo's have ample time to launch.


Does that means that the US has a dangerous policy like Russia where as soon as they detect something that looks like an ICBM, they launch their ICBMs?

This would mean lauching before you have been hit.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:14 PM
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Thats exactly what there designed to do. I think ICBMs are intimidating because anyone of those corn fields could be a missle silo. And then this huge missle comes and the scary part is knowing that you will die in about 10-20 minutes. Know space based those would have been something. Instantly there right above the target. Plus if a fisherman somehow were to see a balistic sub somehow (lets say its really clear water or its almost surfaced) that sub is comprimesed. But like I just said you never know whos field the ICBM is in. Just think picking bomb farmer Johns field or farmer Bob.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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I think the policy is if the US picks up an ICBM that is headed for the US they will launch to the country that fired and the ICBM's would be already in space before the enemies ICBM's can even get to the US so you don't have to worry about the silos getting hit.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by cyberdude78
Thats exactly what there designed to do. I think ICBMs are intimidating because anyone of those corn fields could be a missle silo.


With space based ground penatrating radar you would be able to see the basic silo structures under the corn. Not sure if the ChiComs have that capability yet, but its a reasonable assumption



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:25 PM
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Yeah the whole idea is MAD. This way at least your not the only loser of the nuclear war.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:27 PM
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Triangle-based strategy, as someone else said. The military has three legs to the nuclear missile program. the idea is that if 1 or even two legs are compromised the third can still function. It's called redundancy.

As far as I know there is a treaty that says all nukes have to be targeted at some dead zone in the pacific so in case of an accidental launch no one dies. But the ICBMs can be reprogrammed within minutes. ICBMs can carry the largest warheads (the largest was a russian 100 MT).

So the reason we still have ICBMs is that it would cost a fortune to dismantle them and then what would we do with the warheads? BTW, whoever had those pictures, those are some pretty small ICBMs. Maybe TBMs or shorter range missles.

If you want to see an ICBM in person go to the air and space museum in Wash DC. It's a big green four story russian thing.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Hyperen

Originally posted by Nerdling
As the missiles sail across the pacific, atlantic or over the pole the silo's have ample time to launch.


Does that means that the US has a dangerous policy like Russia where as soon as they detect something that looks like an ICBM, they launch their ICBMs?

This would mean lauching before you have been hit.


The US has the policy that once two different systems (i.e. space based IR and land-based radar) have detected an enemy launch the president will know, and can decide whether or not to launch.

Flight time (over the poles) is in the neighborhood of 30 minutes, reaction time is somewhere under 10 minutes - allowing ample time to make a decision.



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by cyberdude78
Thats exactly what there designed to do. I think ICBMs are intimidating because anyone of those corn fields could be a missle silo.


With space based ground penatrating radar you would be able to see the basic silo structures under the corn. Not sure if the ChiComs have that capability yet, but its a reasonable assumption


The silo locations are no secret (you can find the cordinates here :www.geocities.com... ). We let the Russians go out and inspect them whenever they like as a provision of START.

And to the other poster- current ICBM's are fairly small. The only picture in this thread is of a Minuteman I, the MM III is only slightly larger. With smaller warheads and solid fuels, ICBM's have gotten fairly small.



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