Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Let's play nukes

by kcurie Thu May 17th, 2007 at 06:35:31 AM EST

Lately I have been feeling that I had nothing really new to say.

Today at long last I have something.

It is about nukes.. and (MAD) Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine)..and other "crazy Cheney stuff".

Go there.. and follow me if you wish.

From the diaries (with slight edit) by afew


As you may have been hearing lately, the US wants a missile shield system in Poland...

As you may imagine it is directed at Russia, unless you live in wonderland and think that this is about Iran.

The imaginary (or symbolic universe) that it is coming out of Washington is: "we are really that close... that close to get a shield and then we will be able to nuke everyone we want with no retaliation".

As you may guess any other thing that is not-MAD is really mad, except for a complete destruction of nuclear warheads... which does not seem possible... The only reason we have a peaceful inter-state world (in terms of wars between countries 2005-2007 make a new low... reaching the incredible number 2 or 3 counting Iraq) is because we have MAD without the cold war (violence within states is another matter).

The first salvo of this kind of no-MAD nonsense came from a Foreign Affairs article:


This debate may now seem like ancient history, but it is actually more relevant than ever -- because the age of MAD is nearing an end. Today, for the first time in almost 50 years, the United States stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy. It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike. This dramatic shift in the nuclear balance of power stems from a series of improvements in the United States' nuclear systems, the precipitous decline of Russia's arsenal, and the glacial pace of modernization of China's nuclear forces. Unless Washington's policies change or Moscow and Beijing take steps to increase the size and readiness of their forces, Russia and China -- and the rest of the world -- will live in the shadow of U.S. nuclear primacy for many years to come.

Well... this is bollocks...as can be shown here:

If you like more detail discussion I want to direct you to russianforces.org.

The evidence that the Russian strategic nuclear force has not deteriorated is huge... go to the links in the webpage for the details.

While Russia has been always a bit behind on submarine strategic missiles and somehow clearly behind strategic aerial bombing.. the present 12 nuclear submarines updated with standard SS25 and the Tupolev 160 is more than enough to be almost even with the US capability in any realistic scenario.

And more to the point, the new mobile SS27 with diversion tactics.. and the new programs with early diversion tactics (read about it.. not found the link) make the US missile shield absolutely useless.

The only real way to stop Russia from annihilating the US would be, not only to destroy all the 12 submarines in a first strike..vand all the air-force bases with strategic planes.. they would also have to find and localize all the SS27 (together with the more standard silos that probably may get replaced with updated low-rate failure delivery systems)... how in hell are they going to do that?

And what has Poland to do with it... maybe it has nothing to do with defense shields but with some airstrike ability I am not aware of..

Or is it just because they feel confident that they can indeed shield the US from the Silo-IBCMs with this system and that after all 7 o 8 bombs from an SS27 is not that big deal... but what would the US do if Russia gets 50 SS27?... or 100 specially if the US gets the missile up there?

Is it just to make money from an arms race? I put the missile shield.. you have to develop the SS27.. you develop the SS27 I have to justify another big design.. and then Russia can put in place the SSXX (whatever new number) with the new delivery systems...

In any case, Russia is now at least even and probably ahead in the complete delivery system, contrary to what Foreign Affairs claim... Actually, if Russia would have the standard USSR air forces that it dismantled regarding airstrike capability the only way the US could hit Russia would be from the submarine superiority....and still.

Right now.. if there is a technological arms race, Russia is 10 years ahead.. minimum.. is the US playing with the brute force air-strike idea?

Place to discuss...I would really love to hear your feelings and your data... and do not forget.. have a look at russianforces.org/

UPDATE -from Migeru regarding the SS-30 :


The Russian military developed Bulava to possess advanced defense capabilities making it nearly impervious to existing missile-defense systems. Among its claimed abilities are: evasive maneuvering, mid-course countermeasures and decoys, and a warhead fully shielded against both physical and EMP damage. The Bulava is designed to be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

UPDATE II - from ElcoB regarding the MIRV system deployment in RIA Novosti - Russia - Russia to deploy fixed-site Topol-M ICBMs by 2010 -SMF cmdr.:


Alongside the deployment of Topol-M mobile complexes, we are planning to finalize the deployment of fixed-site Topol-M systems by 2010," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said.

He said Monday the Topol-M system will be equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) in the next two or three years, adding the new system will help penetrate missile defenses more effectively.

UPDATE III From Dodo on how the SCMB delivery system improved thanks to a completely different technology: cavitation, which allows submarines to attack and provide countermeasures given them time to at least launch one nuclear warhead or even put a nuclear head on them.... There you go: VA-111 Shkval - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Deployed in the early 1990s, although previously operational, the Shkval is designed as a countermeasure against torpedoes launched by undetected enemy submarines. It may also be used as a counter to incoming torpedoes whereby it is launched at the enemy submarine, forcing it to evade, and hopefully cutting the guidance wire to its own torpedo in the process.

The speed of the VA-111 far exceeds that of any standard torpedo currently fielded by NATO. This speed is a result of supercavitation: the torpedo is, in effect, flying in a gas bubble created by outward deflection of water by its specially shaped nose cone. By keeping water from contacting the surface of the body of the torpedo, this significantly reduces drag and allows for extremely high speeds. In effect, the Shkval is an underwater missile.

Launched from 533 mm torpedo tubes, the VA-111 exits the tube at 50 knots. Shortly after, its rocket ignites and propels it to speeds of up to 200 knots. Some reports indicate that speeds of 250+ knots may be achieved, and that work on a 300 knot version was underway[1].

Guidance was nonexistent in initial designs, as the missile was intended for nuclear warhead delivery. Later designs reportedly include terminal guidance and conventional warheads of 210kg (460 pounds)[2].

Thanks for all the info down int he comments.... I felt that this diary was incomplete without them...

Display:
And more to the point, the new mobile SS27 with diviersion tactics..and the new programs withe early diversion tactics (read about it.. not found the link) make the US missile shield absolutely useless.

From the thread in today's salon... The next generation: SS-NX-30

The Russian military developed Bulava to possess advanced defense capabilities making it nearly impervious to existing missile-defense systems. Among its claimed abilities are: evasive maneuvering, mid-course countermeasures and decoys, and a warhead fully shielded against both physical and EMP damage. The Bulava is designed to be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500 meters.


Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 11:22:20 AM EST
You are the master crack of the search

How do you manage????

Amazing.. I already updated the diary with this piece of information which was the one it was clearly missing from my reasoning...

Soul brothers. More amazed each day.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 11:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note: the Bulava is essentially a submarine version of the upgraded SS-27.

Of the Topol-M/SS-27, 42 were deployed two years ago, another 69 are to be by 2015, but from what I found, neither the MARV (manoveuring warhead) nor the MIRV (multiple warhead) upgrade is deployed yet.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 12:58:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the webpage I pointed out claims 5-7 SS27 with MARV.. certianly no way for me to verify it. Soyou could be right.

Regarding MIRV.. it seems there is agreeement ..it has been already developed but not deployed.. I would be surprise if a version of the SS-30 does not include MIRV.. actually the question is when they will be deployed...

I have a link if you wish with the wishes regarding SS27 but no comment on the MARV abilities of the new generation to be deployed.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RIA Novosti - Russia - Russia to deploy fixed-site Topol-M ICBMs by 2010 -SMF cmdr.

Alongside the deployment of Topol-M mobile complexes, we are planning to finalize the deployment of fixed-site Topol-M systems by 2010," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said.

He said Monday the Topol-M system will be equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) in the next two or three years, adding the new system will help penetrate missile defenses more effectively.



The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is going to the main diary....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't found the 5-7 SS-27 with MARV reference at the website you pointed out (which I bookmarked), could you point it out?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three.. three.. you were right.. three no 5-7

The SS27 mobile had MARV measures as far as I understood...

If I am wrong.. please correct me if I am wrong..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh. This source was the first to come up in a Google search, and says just that (though only speculatively).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well... I have read "hints" about the MARV being already deployed... but I agree with you .. there are only hints...probably (surely) not true.

This stuff about mobile SS27 sounded to me like more than hints.. and on the other it made perfect sense...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:54:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Bulava will be used in the new Borei class submarines. Three are in the making, the first was launched last month:

I rerad up on Russian ballistic missile subs, it appears they retired all but one Typhoon from active service (that one is test platform for the Bulava), while the older Delta IVs and IIIs are still around.

But, even if Pierre is right and the American subs can track these easily, Russia has the torpedo advantage.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:14:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot: according to info gathered on Wiki, 8 Delta-II and 5 Delta-IV subs are active.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So.. basically , the so-called brutal submarine US advantage even in detecting them is not really that important given the torpedoes?

I did not know about it.

The new delivery systems of the submarines make it very easy to launch at least one nukes before being hitten...or at least this is my understnading...but I had no idea that it was related with torpedoes?

What do you mean by torpedo advantage?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will have to look for a decent link, but reportedly the Russian Navy successfully developed a supercavitating torpedo, whose one big advantage is speed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There you go: VA-111 Shkval - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Deployed in the early 1990s, although previously operational, the Shkval is designed as a countermeasure against torpedoes launched by undetected enemy submarines. It may also be used as a counter to incoming torpedoes whereby it is launched at the enemy submarine, forcing it to evade, and hopefully cutting the guidance wire to its own torpedo in the process.

The speed of the VA-111 far exceeds that of any standard torpedo currently fielded by NATO. This speed is a result of supercavitation: the torpedo is, in effect, flying in a gas bubble created by outward deflection of water by its specially shaped nose cone. By keeping water from contacting the surface of the body of the torpedo, this significantly reduces drag and allows for extremely high speeds. In effect, the Shkval is an underwater missile.

Launched from 533 mm torpedo tubes, the VA-111 exits the tube at 50 knots. Shortly after, its rocket ignites and propels it to speeds of up to 200 knots. Some reports indicate that speeds of 250+ knots may be achieved, and that work on a 300 knot version was underway[1].

Guidance was nonexistent in initial designs, as the missile was intended for nuclear warhead delivery. Later designs reportedly include terminal guidance and conventional warheads of 210kg (460 pounds)[2].



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:43:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ohh I see.

It is atechnology whcih combines attack and defense. Teh relevant part for the SCBM platform is the ability of countermeasure to ahve time to deploy the missile..

This is why it is related...

Great info Dodo.. really great info... It is going to the main diary...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, if a 688 received order to engage an old delta, the delta would be sunk before it knows it's being stalked. Almost the same for the typhoon. The Akula is a different matter (caution: the russian name for typhoon is akula, but i'm using nato code, so akula is the class of the kursk).

I'm not sure there is much torpedo advantage. To my knowledge, the supercavitation torpedoes are not considered mature enough for wide scale deployment. Plus they're useless without a nuke in the tip.

Pierre

by Pierre on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 03:35:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AIP diesel subs are teh shit nowadays, not the old nukes, sad as that makes me. The Americans have leased one of ours, the HMS Gotland, with crew and all, and they have had vast problems finding it.

We even managed to sink the USS Reagan, a supercarrier.

You don't have to be a genius to draw some conclusions. The Swedish Navy hunt Russians subs. The Russians test all their new subs in the Baltic. The Russians sell all their new (diesel) subs to China. The Americans lease a Swedish sub with crew and all.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They may be very quiet, but they are also limited, unless you are running them in limited waters. the big problem is that they have to recharge their batteries. that involves generally coming up to the surface and poking some form of exhaust out of the surface of the water. this exposes the submarine in two ways, firstly it pokes a highly radar reflective item above the surface, secondly it dumds a heated exhaust plume into the ait, where there is no boat. The fact that your submarine is spectacularly quiet is not much help if an aircraft 30 miles away can dump a rocket delivered torpedo with some form of active sonar detection on the fornt end.

Aircraft have always proved far more effective at hunting submaries than any other platform throughout history.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 06:24:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's the good thing with Air Independent Propulsion. You don't have to surface to recharge the batteries. You can stay below for weeks, as long as you have food and diesel.

Sure, they are not for the high seas or circumnavigation, but ours is a brownwater navy. And so is the Chinese, Iranian etc...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but...

Diesel and the likes are really a pain in the ass of the US Navy, because most real action takes precisely place in shallow waters and/or close to the coast (Persian Gulf, huh ?), and because the US carrier battle groups are notoriously ineffective at sub hunting (active sonars on US surface ships are quite backwards).

They had to invent the concept of tying a hunter-killer like the 688 to each carrier to have some ship capable of tracking another sub (with passive sonars) in the group.

And passive doesn't make it against a diesel in a silent ambush ("guesstimate" the course of the carrier and drift under like a giant submunition mine). Active isn't so good either against a 1000t submarine.

Pierre

by Pierre on Mon May 21st, 2007 at 04:24:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you say seems to correspond to the state of affairs 10-15 years ago, and it is probably what was told as one theory for the Kursk sinking. But I see conventional warhead and steering capacity development mentioned.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 06:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one of your later points is really important. Who is pushing this? To a large degree it is the Cheney faction of policy.

They have sometimes been seen as the representatives of the "military-industrial complex" in government and it is the defense manufacturers who would seem to gain most from this kind of acceleration in tensions at this moment.

Mind you, Starvid is proof that many people still feel that some kind of Russian invasion is likely coming...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 11:44:48 AM EST
It can be certainlya bout money... but technologichally.. Russia is ahead.. maybe they jsut count that to pursue it Russia will ahve to face and increasingly huge military spending.... that they can not afore..a gain..

I dunno.. it is crazy.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 12:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Largely baseless theorizing here...

The US has ground based laser weapons that can destroy satellites (it's not as if the star wars program in the 80's came up with nothing). So why would anti-missile defenses be missile based? It's like trying to do precision maneuvers with the Spruce Goose when you have an F-22 sitting in your garage.

I wonder if laser based systems are already well in place, with this missile shield just being a way to funnel more money to the usual defense contractors, with the side benefits of scaring the public and playing the political "let's appear crazy enough to scare the shit out of everyone else" game.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's one thing to hit a 3-m-wide satellite on a fixed orbit, and another to hit a 0.5-metre incoming warhead, especially when it is manoveuring.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:39:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lasers remove the problem of momentum. If you can track an incoming object with enough precision and have servos  with enough precision to position the laser correctly, you're good to go.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those ifs are very big ifs. Especially when air turbulence is factored in. You can reduce that when hitting a satellite by using an 'artifical star', but with a moving warhead it's another thing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:45:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the point of mobiele SS27 with MIRV and MARV measures to prevent laser guide interceptors?

or Am I missing something...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't referring to laser guided missiles, I was referring to laser weapons.

I should probably study all this a bit, but the arms race response to MIRV and MARV would have to be laser based weapons, I think, which have already been in development for years, making this missile shield nothing more than a cheap money maker for defense contractors.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could not agree more... but recall that laser weapons could not work.... I need a link for that but I read some kind of russian scientists bragging about it...something like MARV anti-laser measures or a pro-russian guy bragging about it...so I should nto take it seriously...still take this as gossip not absed in reality... :)

BUt in pricniple.. you are absolutely right...completely and utterly right.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:57:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yeah we're conjecturing on technology that we have only the faintest knowledge of. Shielding against laser weapons, though...with enough power a laser can vaporize anything. Just another variable in a suicidal arms race.

I loved this hilarious snippet from your article:

a warhead fully shielded against both physical and EMP damage

It's indestructible!!!!

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Superman missile without kryptonite...

Geee...

This is the stuff we are dealing with....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two problems:

  1. How exactly do you track the target? Any practical system will introduce delays between sensors and data processing. Even at light speed, the delay will be significant. All a target has to do is jitter around fast enough to stay outside the lock envelope defined by the delay+processing time, and it's effectively untrackable. Since the feedback loop has to include beam steering delays as well as sensor and transmission delays, that's really not as hard as it sounds.

  2. Power delivery and beam steering. This is not a laser show system. You can't expect to bounce a few MW of energy off a small glass mirror. And a big mirror means more inertia. Also, to compensate for atmospheric effects, the power at the steering element has to be an order of magnitude or three greater than the power avaiable at the target. So the hard part is delivering enough energy to the target for long enough to make a difference.

So any directed beam system is right at the edge - and in fact somewhat beyond - what's possible with current physics.

If someone invented a solid-state way of near-instantly steering a high energy particle beam that could cover a solid angle/cone of maybe 60 degrees and wouldn't be significantly dissipated in air, this might become a more plausible solution. But so far as I know that's not a practical technology today.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 08:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see no reason why ICBMs couldn't be coated with heat-resistant ceramics (like the space shuttle) and highly reflecting materials. Also, one could always wire the warhead to detonate in the re-entry phase if the missile gets too hot or the outer shell is pierced.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:19:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What use would that be? Sure, you get EMP but everything military is hardened against that anyway.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:43:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Military items may be hardened but the machinery in the background that makes the necessary supplies, the signalling systems for the railways to move them and the communication systems are mostly not hardened.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some Googling suggests that Topol warheads are coated in depleted U238, which has the disadvantage of high mass, but the advantage of a very high specific heat capacity. So you can throw your laser MW and your local blast radiation at it, and it survives better than most materials would.

Also, the re-entry speed is Mach 17, which makes tracking during the descent phase an interesting challenge.

Re-entry speed for conventional ICBMs is Mach 15, apparently.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 06:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny, if you detonate a missile behind the ICBM, the ICBM is going to outrun the explosion, right?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The missile won't even notice the explosion.

Rather than playing at building a working Death Star or the equivalent of one bullet hitting another, a smarter shield system might be to litter the orbit above the target area with debris.

You probably don't need anything more high tech than many, many bags of bolts. Missiles have more then enough kinetic energy to do themselves a serious injury even with a single collision.

Depending on the orbit you might lose all of your satellites. But that's better than losing all of your cities.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I would think so.

There is a really good article about the Patriot missiles and the Scud in The Golem at Large (pdf). There is some sort of protection so that I can not copy the text but at the bottom of page 14 there is a description of the how exact the explosion must be to hit. To soon and you miss, too late and the missile outruns the pieces of lead that was intended to destroy it.

It is a really good book about the relationship between science and technology. Has a chapter on Economics too. The pdf has just the first chapter, about the Patriot missiles in the (first) Gulf war.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 10:21:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not know this detail. I think it helps in two ways:
  • hard neutron cross section (if a counter nuke irradiates it, the neutrons will be absorbed by the DU and turn it into Pu rather than start a fission in it)
  • enhanced fusion bomb: when the topol bombs goes off, the super-hard 14 Mev neutrons from the fusion stage can break the DU although it is not normally fissile in the spectrum of a power plant.

This makes for an even stronger explosion, the way you get into the megaton range. I thought it wasn't worthwhile (weight - way) when you aimed for the 150 kt range. May be the hardening effect shifted the odds. Americans call that a FFF bomb (fission-fusion-fission), and it could also stand for Freaky-Fucking-Fallout (because the fission products of the DU massively increase the amount of long life fallout, even if the bomb doesn't detonate on the ground)

Pierre
by Pierre on Mon May 21st, 2007 at 04:35:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During boost phase, ICBMs are relatively fragile because they are essentially space launchers and can't afford to lift off with much mass that isn't fuel or payload. Still, the countermeasures you mention make laser attack more difficult, as can spinning the missile to distribute heat. The counter-countermeasure to that would be to use a pulsed laser that boils off a surface layer with a reaction force like a hammer blow. But this involves technical problems with the lasers, etc., etc....

Anyway, hitting missiles during boost phase requires either weapons either close to the launch point or in space.

Hovering over all of this is the question of how many first-strike missiles would actually work and how well defences would work -- against the full range of possible counterattacks. I sometimes wonder whether an attacker might discover that the counterattack involves detonating weapons already delivered to shielded boxes in urban basements, or nuclear mines already in harbours.

These, other uncertainties, and a pile of entirely different reasons are widely regarded as making first-strike strategies a very bad idea. With all of the high-power, clear-thinking strategists directing the use of military force, such a bad idea would of course never be implemented. (What's that? You see flaw in this reasoning?)

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 06:25:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I sometimes wonder whether an attacker might discover that the counterattack involves detonating weapons already delivered to shielded boxes in urban basements, or nuclear mines already in harbours.

This is certainly the smart and un-showy but practical way to deliver nukes while avoiding much showier missile defence systems.

Of course it's a technological, not a diplomatic solution. If a country finds a nuke with 'Property of USA - if lost please return to the Pentagon' stamped on the casing and hidden in one of its suburbs, awkward questions may be asked.

But my guess is that any first strike would be much more likely to take this form, combined with pinpoint local non-nuclear infrastructure attacks, than a full-scale nuclear hissy fit.

Nukes and missile shields are really today's equivalent of the Maginot Line. They seem to promise a MAD kind of safety, but in practice - not so much.

Infrastructure systems are terrifically fragile in comparison to buildings and people. You could do huge damage with comparatively little effort, while also avoiding the prospect of a continent-wide cloud of fallout drifting across your territory.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 09:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or ground hugging nuclear cruise missiles from merchant vessels.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
     I found this picture of Putin, 2005, when he flew around in a TU-160(background).

Not much difference between Russian and American boys ...    



The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:19:47 PM EST
well.. the Tu-160 basically meant a big "we are fuckingly even you stupid americans"..

So.... yes .. it was basically the same as Dick... or about dicks...

Yes.: Russia can nuke from the air as effectively as the Americans... this is our world :)

Great picture...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:27:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, Tu-160 is like B1, 80's technology, even if modernized...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the wiki article I really get the impression than 80's technology with some upgrades is the best you can have....both in the US and Russia

maybe I am wrong...or the wiki article is too exaggerated...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:33:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RIA Novosti - Russia - Russia to receive 2 modernized strategic bombers in 2007

Russia is currently carrying out an ambitious program to upgrade and modernize its strategic Air Force assets. The upgraded fleet will include both new and modernized Tu-160 Blackjack, Tu-22 Blinder and Tu-95 Bear bombers.

"We are modernizing the fleet of Tu-160 bombers...and are planning to receive two [modernized] aircraft by the end of this year," Lieutenant-General Igor Khvorov said, adding that one of the previously commissioned bombers will conduct test bombing runs in spring 2007.

According to various sources, 16 Tu-160 bombers are currently in service with the Russian Air Force and they will continue to be the mainstay of Russia's strategic air assets.



The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
     In this photo provided by NORAD, a U.S. F-15C Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska is seen flying next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber on Thursday 28/09/06 during a Russian exercise that brought the Bear near the west coast of Alaska.

Yes, Russians restarted their long-distance patrols and they claim:Russian Bombers Penetrate N. American Buffer Zone,- NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM

Russian authorities confirm that pilots of the bombers made visual contact with the U.S. pilots during recent test flights, but they claim there were also regions where the bombers flew unnoticed.


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this a more traditional Russian look?

by das monde on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 04:44:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say more standard in the westerners' eyes. It could easily be +35 in the summer - in the same places it's -35 in the winter.

You might be surprised, but Turgenev, for one, never wrote about Russia in winter... only the summer one.

by Sargon on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 06:57:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's inland climate for you. I've always prefered coastal climes. But then I am such a centrist, always avoiding the extremes. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 09:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's all for show. The damn missile shield doesn't even worke in the faked tests.

It's just money for the military-industrial complex.

I can't see why the Russians worry so much.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:24:51 PM EST
I think they worry about the stuff coming out of Foreign Affairs...

...maybe they think the american can not be that stupid.. as they show (as far as I ahve read) in the submarine race during the cold war... :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:28:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the US really think they have first-strike capability they might be tempted to use it.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but they don't and they won't.

Hey, maybe the Russians just faking, being so upset just because that will mean more money for their military industrial complex?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:49:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So according to you, the Professors who wrote the foreign affairs article are high on a cannabis salad? Or maybe they just feel like telling the American public that they kick ass, to compensate for the Iraq mess?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 06:20:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's an inverse-Reagan defence.

The Russians suspect that if they push hard enough, the US will bankrupt itself.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 06:50:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They must be, our acting in someones interest.

The missile shield does not work, and hence there is no first strike capacity.

Common sense often trumps authority.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:02:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ep... I agree the missile shield is useless.. Poland is about other stuff.. I guess related.. but other stuff.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Russianforces.org: Current status-Russian Nuclear Forces:

The Strategic Rocket Forces have 489 operational missile systems that include missiles that can carry 1788 warheads. These include 76 R-36MUTTH and R-36M2 (SS-18) missiles, 123 UR-100NUTTH (SS-19) missiles, 243 road-mobile Topol (SS-25) systems, 44 silo-based and three road-mobile Topol-M (SS-27) systems.

On subs:

The Russian strategic fleet includes 12 strategic missile submarines. Their missiles can carry 609 nuclear warheads. Bases of the Northern Fleet host six 667BDRM (Delta IV) operational submarines, which carry 90 R-29RM (SS-N-23) launchers and two 667BDR (Delta III) submarines with 28 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles. The only remaining Pacific Fleet base hosts four 667BDR (Delta III) submarines, which carry 55 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles.

So, since Wiki's source got its info, another Delta-IV was upgraded, and two more Delta-IIIs were mothballed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:31:07 PM EST
Yes you got it..
it was 3 no 7 mobile SS27...

And that was exactly he same information I was reading regarding subs..

It is a great palce for a lot of info...

I know you would like it  :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 01:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With further digging, I found that the US already developed ballistic missile MARVs, for the Minuteman-III ICMB and the Trident-II SLMB, but didn't deploy them. However, page 4 of this pdf mentions a Trident-II test flight in March 2005 with a limited MARV capacity warhead.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:19:58 PM EST
As far as I know, the MARV tactics for the Trident and MInuteman were not really that good... very limited as the your link mentions.. and they quit it... Russia was not developing any missile.. so why bother? and save money...

But Russia was smelling the prelimianry research of Reagan star wars... so they really took it seriously... and now the have SS27 with MARV.. and completely developed SSXX mobile with MARV-MIRV measures...

As I said in the firs comment.. Russia just won this crazy game.. punto pelota... unless somehow laser weaponry can do the trick in the future (20 years of good research??? maybe more)... which I doubt it will ever happen

Yes... this is why all this stuff is so surreal...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:27:52 PM EST
My first diary in a long long time.. first time I had the impression I really had links and comments that people would be really interested in (they are new)..

so do you want to play nukes?

a pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 02:38:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well... this is bollocks...as can be shown here:

Hey, that video shows that MAD was bollocks, not that first-strike capability is bollocks!

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 05:09:30 PM EST
What was the policy in Dune?

Anyone using nukes against people would be annihilated as the attackeds missiles are joined by everyone elses. Something like that.

Might be something to think about.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed May 16th, 2007 at 08:26:33 PM EST
We might soon find out what we do to repeat offenders. Possibly cower in awe.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 02:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both Russia and US have a serious problem with their nuclear forces.  They are extremely complicated systems upon systems of complex weapons systems that have never, ever, been tested in anything like actual combat conditions.  

In short, they almost certainly won't work as advertised.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 01:04:24 AM EST
What if they held a nuclear war and nothing exploded?

Unfortunately even a 10% success rate will still destroy the economy and political system of every country involved.

My tin-foil hat worry is that Bush and the Rs would be prepared to consider sacrifcing those annoying left-leaning coastal cities, as long as Texas and the South had some chance of surviving.

Repeating again the theory that the US does domestic policy abroad rather than true foreign policy, it makes political sense - in the completely insane way you'd expect from these crazies.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:03:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What if they held a nuclear war and nothing exploded?

We'd soon have a conventional all-out war, as the nuclear deterrent would be gone.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 08:34:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, of course the only reason John Bull must have them is because the Frogs have got 'em...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 09:12:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
kc, hope you don't object to me editing the title. It can be Let's go play nukes (American idiom) or Let's go and play nukes (British idiom), if you like, but not Let's going to play nukes.

Sorry about l'Espanyol!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 06:42:20 AM EST
by blackhawk on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:51:28 AM EST
Thanks for reminding me.

Off to Watch "The Day After".

Very good made for TV movie actually.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 07:44:23 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

Impeachment gets real

by ARGeezer - Jan 17
20 comments

A Final Warning

by Oui - Jan 10
112 comments

Environment Anarchists

by Oui - Jan 13
4 comments

More Spanish repression

by IdiotSavant - Jan 6
8 comments