tech

A gigantic new ICBM will take U.S. nuclear missiles out of the Cold War-era but add 21st-century risks

13 Comments
By TARA COPP

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The $96 billion Sentinel overhaul involves 450 silos across five states, their control centers, three nuclear missile bases and several other testing facilities.

One thing both sides of the aisle in the US duopoly can agree upon is feeding the Iron Triangle military industrial complex.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Terrorism disguised as "democracy and Freedom"...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

TokyoLivingToday 08:45 am JST

Terrorism disguised as "democracy and Freedom"...

But Russia's giant missiles are just self defense, huh? There's a word for comments like this, I am struggling to think of what it is. Easily confused with the Father of Medicine.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

ICBM accidents happen. The movie Command and Control (2016) is about the Damascus Titan missile explosion in Arkansas in 1980. Had that accident resulted in a nuclear detonation, I wouldn't be alive today. We lived in Arkansas less than 200 miles down wind from the place where the accident happened.

I don't know if land-based ICBMs are still needed, that's for US military to decide, but with alert bombers and boomers, the US is certainly well protected and has movable nuclear deterrence without stationary targets.

To democratic parts of the world. you are welcome that we take this risk to confront evil. To the others, we are prepared.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I presume the third picture shows where the missileers live. Don't think I could do that job. I panic in an MRI machine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've read that modern atom bombs make the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like fireworks. 10 bombs dropped on 10 large cities will produce enough smoke to pollute the atmosphere and kill off all life forms. Spending all that money of death rather than life (medicine). Well, we get what we deserve.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've read that modern atom bombs make the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like fireworks. 10 bombs dropped on 10 large cities will produce enough smoke to pollute the atmosphere and kill off all life forms.

Studies done on the subject disagree with that assessment. There are two things to consider. Fission bombs are the type that produce the most radiation. Thermonuclear weapons produce very little lasting radiation. The Tsar Bomba, a 50 megaton device the Soviets detonated and by far the largest nuclear explosion ever, created a fireball some 16 kilometers across and blew out windows in Norway some 800 km away. But because it was a two stage thermonuclear device with no tritium enhancement there was no lasting radiation. Calculations made during the Cold War determined that it would take something around 500 megatons of thermonuclear explosions to begin to see long lasting effects on the atmosphere.

Most modern western nuclear warheads are 15-150 kilotons. The US has a 1.3 megaton device called the B-83 but the USAF has been trying for years to retire it, however Congress is opposed and each years Defense Appropriations Act has wording in there requiring the USAF to keep the B-83 in service.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I presume the third picture shows where the missileers live. Don't think I could do that job. I panic in an MRI machine.

You would definitely not like duty on submarines. The missileers get to see the sun shine every couple of days and have days off at home like everybody else. On a submarine you can be under water for weeks or months at a time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These old systems should not be trashed, but kept in a reduced package as backup. For when our adversaries hack our systems.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Those control systems are not connected to the internet. Many of those switch panels remind me of my day in the 1960s as an electrical technician.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RFID? Maybe for meals, but not much else would make sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These old systems should not be trashed, but kept in a reduced package as backup. For when our adversaries hack our systems.

They are hideously expensive to maintain. The missiles need regular and very expensive maintenance. So do the warheads. The security necessary to guard nuclear weapons is likewise very expensive. Money spent on keeping them in reserve could otherwise buy an awful lot of conventional war fighting capability that is of much more value to the military than hanging on to an outdated nuclear system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RFID? Maybe for meals, but not much else would make sense.

You fiind RFID used throughout the transportation and warehousing industry. Trucking companies can track their equipment as it enters and leaves their yards using RFID readers and RFID tags on the tractors, trailers and converter dollies. It is also common in maintenance operations to keep track of assets and parts inventories.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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