Author Topic: USAF Awards Preliminary Design Work for New Intercontinental Ballistic Missile  (Read 6796 times)

Offline Star One

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If the design requirements cited by previous posters are real, this program will be far too expensive for the USAF to afford, especially in competition with the OHIO-class SSBN replacement program. The only way in which Minuteman III or IV is behind the times is that has no mobile launcher like Topol/Topol-M/Yars, and mobile deployment on public roads is politically impossible in America.

Anti-ABM features seem pointless, since nobody but the USA has a serious ABM program or the budget to fund one. Even our systems perform poorly in carefully staged tests.

So I predict this program will never go beyond a paper study.

The USAF has made it clear it is a high priority program and as usual I can't see them budging just because the navy thinks it has priority on funds.

Offline russianhalo117

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If the design requirements cited by previous posters are real, this program will be far too expensive for the USAF to afford, especially in competition with the OHIO-class SSBN replacement program. The only way in which Minuteman III or IV is behind the times is that has no mobile launcher like Topol/Topol-M/Yars, and mobile deployment on public roads is politically impossible in America.

Anti-ABM features seem pointless, since nobody but the USA has a serious ABM program or the budget to fund one. Even our systems perform poorly in carefully staged tests.

So I predict this program will never go beyond a paper study.


The Minuteman, Midgetman and Peacekeeper families were all designed to be mobile launched (road, rail, off-road, air (Minuteman was later designed for these launch methods)). There was never a reason for these other launch methods because of the inordinate amount of Silos available the these families. Only Midgetman was planned from the beginning to be only mobile launched but its programme was cancelled.

Online edkyle99

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If the design requirements cited by previous posters are real, this program will be far too expensive for the USAF to afford, especially in competition with the OHIO-class SSBN replacement program. The only way in which Minuteman III or IV is behind the times is that has no mobile launcher like Topol/Topol-M/Yars, and mobile deployment on public roads is politically impossible in America.

Anti-ABM features seem pointless, since nobody but the USA has a serious ABM program or the budget to fund one. Even our systems perform poorly in carefully staged tests.

So I predict this program will never go beyond a paper study.

The USAF has made it clear it is a high priority program and as usual I can't see them budging just because the navy thinks it has priority on funds.
FWIW, the following story states that "The Trump administration is conducting a nuclear posture review that will debate whether the U.S. should maintain the triad". 
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/competition-to-replace-us-nuclear-missiles-is-down-to-2-companies.html

There are, of course, people who advocate things like either eliminating the ground-based option altogether or simply putting Trident II missiles into the silos to save money.  The USAF obviously doesn't agree, since it eliminated Lockheed Martin from the preliminary round.
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-the-u-s-must-get-rid-of-its-land-based-nuclear-mis-1796677582

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/28/2017 04:01 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Star One

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If the design requirements cited by previous posters are real, this program will be far too expensive for the USAF to afford, especially in competition with the OHIO-class SSBN replacement program. The only way in which Minuteman III or IV is behind the times is that has no mobile launcher like Topol/Topol-M/Yars, and mobile deployment on public roads is politically impossible in America.

Anti-ABM features seem pointless, since nobody but the USA has a serious ABM program or the budget to fund one. Even our systems perform poorly in carefully staged tests.

So I predict this program will never go beyond a paper study.

The USAF has made it clear it is a high priority program and as usual I can't see them budging just because the navy thinks it has priority on funds.
FWIW, the following story states that "The Trump administration is conducting a nuclear posture review that will debate whether the U.S. should maintain the triad". 
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/competition-to-replace-us-nuclear-missiles-is-down-to-2-companies.html

There are, of course, people who advocate things like either eliminating the ground-based option altogether or simply putting Trident II missiles into the silos to save money.  The USAF obviously doesn't agree, since it eliminated Lockheed Martin from the preliminary round.
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-the-u-s-must-get-rid-of-its-land-based-nuclear-mis-1796677582

 - Ed Kyle

Many I see posting on such topics would put the second link as coming from a non-credible source?

Online edkyle99

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Many I see posting on such topics would put the second link as coming from a non-credible source?
It looks like a well thought out argument to me.  I like to read opinions from all sides, especially when it comes to big, important debates like this.  The article points out that ground based silos are extremely vulnerable, which any "credible" source would acknowledge.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/28/2017 05:49 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lar

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Rocket motors are within the charter for this site, clearly. But silo survivability is not. Nor is whether the triad should be retained. We are not a military site. Please keep that in mind, thanks.
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Online edkyle99

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Star One

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle

They've obviously learnt their lesson after the B-21 award.

Offline Sam Ho

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Which major subcontractors will support Boeing and Northrop  ?
For propulsion, with whom Orbital ATK and Aerojet-Rocketdyne will partner respectively?
The Air Force doesn't want the primes pairing up with the propulsion vendors yet.

According to SpaceNews, Northrop and LM were working with both OA and AR.  Boeing hasn't said yet.
Quote
Boeing, the current Minuteman 3 missile supplier, has declined to disclose any partners or suppliers for the new contract, saying it will likely do so during company briefings on the program at the Air Force Association’s annual national convention Sept. 16-17 at National Harbor, Maryland.

Northrop’s team includes Aerojet Rocketdyne and Orbital ATK. These two builders of solid rocket motors were on Lockheed Martin’s GBSD team as well.
http://spacenews.com/lockheed-wont-protest-boeing-and-northrops-two-way-race-to-replace-us-nuclear-arsenal/

Offline kevin-rf

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
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Offline Star One

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New ICBM gets boost after Mattis’ endorsement

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The unexpected escalation of North Korea’s atomic weapons program and Russia’s nuclear posturing are providing fresh momentum to U.S. efforts to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Early doubts about the future of the next-generation ICBM, known as the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD), are giving way to a growing confidence that the Pentagon is fully behind the program, military officials said Sept. 18 at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in the past had raised questions about the need to develop a new ICBM to replace the 50-year-old Minuteman, but now firmly supports it. “Secretary Mattis said he did not see a future triad without the ICBM,” asserted Maj. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of the 20th Air Force at Global Strike Command. Mattis gave the GBSD a ringing endorsement last week during a visit to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, the only U.S. base to host two legs of the nuclear triad — strategic bombers and ICBMs.

http://spacenews.com/new-icbm-gets-boost-after-mattis-endorsement/
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 06:53 PM by Star One »

Offline russianhalo117

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
The Navy formally started the formulation process of replacing the Trident II D5LE SLBM at the end of 2015 with a new SLBM (likely to be called Trident III (D6?)). The Next Generation SLBM is targeted to enter service with the upcoming and massive Columbia Class SSBN and again the NG SLBM and SSBN(X) programmes are a joint programme Between the US and the UK with Canada acting as a designated observer. The plan to make it a NATO wide programme like F-35A/B/C was cancelled in 2016, leaving only the 2 original nations to develop it.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/navy-successfully-loads-two-trident-ii-d5le-missiles
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-new-plan-build-more-lethal-ballistic-missile-18258
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 07:53 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Star One

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
The Navy just now formally started the formulation process of replacing the Trident II D5LE SLBM this year with a new SLBM (likely to be called Trident III (D6?)). The Next Generation SLBM is targeted to enter service around the quarter-life/mid-life point of the upcoming and massive Columbia Class SSBN.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/navy-successfully-loads-two-trident-ii-d5le-missiles

Wouldn’t our Trident replacement subs over here in the UK which are currently in development also have to be compatible with this.

Offline russianhalo117

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
The Navy just now formally started the formulation process of replacing the Trident II D5LE SLBM this year with a new SLBM (likely to be called Trident III (D6?)). The Next Generation SLBM is targeted to enter service around the quarter-life/mid-life point of the upcoming and massive Columbia Class SSBN.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/navy-successfully-loads-two-trident-ii-d5le-missiles

Wouldn’t our Trident replacement subs over here in the UK which are currently in development also have to be compatible with this.
I added to my post. The US and the UK would use a common universal launch system even though the rest of the submarines would be different.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 07:56 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Star One

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
The Navy just now formally started the formulation process of replacing the Trident II D5LE SLBM this year with a new SLBM (likely to be called Trident III (D6?)). The Next Generation SLBM is targeted to enter service around the quarter-life/mid-life point of the upcoming and massive Columbia Class SSBN.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/navy-successfully-loads-two-trident-ii-d5le-missiles

Wouldn’t our Trident replacement subs over here in the UK which are currently in development also have to be compatible with this.
I added to my post. The US and the UK would use a common universal launch system even though the rest of the submarines would be different.

Can I ask what does Canada do in general terms as the designated observer?

Offline russianhalo117

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Lockheed Martin decides not to protest the ICBM down-select.  The company built and supports Trident 2 D5, which is hands-down the world's most advanced long-range missile (my opinion).
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-not-protest-u-decision-icbm-replacement-contract-155848363--sector.html

 - Ed Kyle
Since I haven't been following this well, does a Trident-II follow on program exist? I have only seen a program to replace the launchers (The Ohio Class with some sort of souped up Virginia class).

That said, it beyond me why the same guidance system and reentry vehicles can not be used on a minuteman replacement. Basically a Trident II with solids optimized for the existing minuteman silos.
The Navy just now formally started the formulation process of replacing the Trident II D5LE SLBM this year with a new SLBM (likely to be called Trident III (D6?)). The Next Generation SLBM is targeted to enter service around the quarter-life/mid-life point of the upcoming and massive Columbia Class SSBN.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/navy-successfully-loads-two-trident-ii-d5le-missiles

Wouldn’t our Trident replacement subs over here in the UK which are currently in development also have to be compatible with this.
I added to my post. The US and the UK would use a common universal launch system even though the rest of the submarines would be different.

Can I ask what does Canada do in general terms as the designated observer?
I do not know, but they have participated in select meetings in both the UK and the US. Canada could be providing a system or something.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 08:05 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Star One

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And here we have a news article related to the above.

US Navy, General Dynamics Electric Boat ink USD5.1 billion SSBN deal

Quote
It added that the deal accounts for foreign military sales to the UK, and that USD175.1 million in UK funding was obligated.

GDEB said the contract would fund “component and technology development as well as continued development of the Common Missile Compartment, which will be integrated into both the [US] Navy’s new SSBN and the Royal Navy’s Dreadnought-class strategic missile submarine”.

The is expected to be completed by December 2031, with GDEB stating that construction of the lead Columbia-class boat is scheduled to begin in late 2020.

http://www.janes.com/article/74311/us-navy-general-dynamics-electric-boat-ink-usd5-1-billion-ssbn-deal

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What was the decision on whether discussion of the SRMs was inbounds or not for this thread?  If so, the following SN article on Northrop Grumman's proposed acquisition of Orbital ATK discusses some concerns (re: GBSD update) that might apply.

http://spacenews.com/analysts-see-red-flags-in-northrops-acquisition-of-orbital/
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Offline russianhalo117

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What was the decision on whether discussion of the SRMs was inbounds or not for this thread?  If so, the following SN article on Northrop Grumman's proposed acquisition of Orbital ATK discusses some concerns (re: GBSD update) that might apply.

http://spacenews.com/analysts-see-red-flags-in-northrops-acquisition-of-orbital/
Ask a mod, but the main NG acquisition thread is here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43764.0

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