Peacekeeper bus and warheads

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Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri May 28, 2010 11:38 pm

Took this picture at the AF museum last week.

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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby shadow2100 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:03 am

we should have kept that missile system active. :(
"The minuteman keeps the Bear and the Dragon away"
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby SAC Killer on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:47 pm

shadow2100 wrote:we should have kept that missile system active. :(


Disagree. We should have built & activated the Small ICBM. One tiny missile with one Mark 21 RV in a hardened mobile launcher. Difficult to find, accurate, spoil your whole day if you are at the DGZ. Cheap; survivable, and with only one RV, very selective. Cancelled in the late 80s or early 90s.

Large MIRVs require the targeters to select a bunch of targets for a single missile. Okay for Cold War enemies. Not so good for selective targeting against a more limited threat.

Back in the 80s we all wanted the Small ICBM. Aka the SICBM, or the Midgetman, though the USAF never officially acknowledged the latter name.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby shadow2100 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:46 pm

true
that does make more sense
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:55 pm

There were even plans to put Minuteman I (Mobile Minuteman) missiles in rail cars and move them around the entire US rail system. The AF was in favor of it but the Kennedy administration killed it in 1961.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby SAC Killer on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:05 pm

wblakeney wrote:There were even plans to put Minuteman I (Mobile Minuteman) missiles in rail cars and move them around the entire US rail system. The AF was in favor of it but the Kennedy administration killed it in 1961.


Yup; and Minuteman was also designed for air launch. I have to question how accurate, or efficient, it would have been. Sometime when I was on active duty, maybe in the 80s, the USAF finally tried it by dropping one out the back end of a C-141 in flight. The bird made it to Kwaj but I dunno how close it was to the DGZ. Probably classified anyway.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:32 pm

SAC Killer wrote:Yup; and Minuteman was also designed for air launch. I have to question how accurate, or efficient, it would have been. Sometime when I was on active duty, maybe in the 80s, the USAF finally tried it by dropping one out the back end of a C-141 in flight. The bird made it to Kwaj but I dunno how close it was to the DGZ. Probably classified anyway.


Not familiar with the 80s test but first try was 1974 to just show it could be done.

On 24 Oct 1974, the Space and Missile Systems Organization successfully conducted a Air Mobile Feasibility Test where a C-5A Galaxy aircraft air dropped the 86,000-pound missile from 20,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean. The missile descended to 8,000 feet before its rocket engine fired. The 10-second engine burn carried the missile to 20,000 feet again before it dropped into the ocean. The test proved the feasibility of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile from the air. Operational deployment was discarded due to engineering and security difficulties, though the capability was used as a negotiating point in the [Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

Here is a video of the test from a C-5A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It7SQ546xRk
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Valhuen on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:24 am

Midgetman definitely would have been the way to go, if nothing else it would have provided us with a bit more leverage with the Soviets during the START negotiations, possibly forcing them to eliminate the SS-25 in return (and by extension preventing the road mobile version of the SS-27/Topol-M). As for the Peacekeeper being classified as a "first strike" weapon, rather absurd notion since most of these claims were coming from the same people that denied the SS-18/R-36 was a "first strike" weapon. Had it not been for the R-36 I seriously doubt Peacekeeper would have ever been developed, let alone deployed.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby titanguy38 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:10 pm

The official term is "Deployment Module".....not Bus. "Bus" refers to the electronic data system on Peacekeeper. I was part of the RS/RV support system development team and later Basing support PM at HQ BMO back in the 80's.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:18 pm

titanguy38 wrote:The official term is "Deployment Module".....not Bus. "Bus" refers to the electronic data system on Peacekeeper. I was part of the RS/RV support system development team and later Basing support PM at HQ BMO back in the 80's.


When MM III was deployed in the early 70s, "bus" was a commonly used, if not proper term.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby titanguy38 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:02 pm

Understood..... I'm an old Titan guy myself and remember the term being mis-used then too. I guess since I had to work with the Pckpr DM a lot (I managed all the RS/RV maintenance and test equipment development while stationed at BMO), I tend to take issue when people misuse the terminology. I hope I didn't offend you with my correction. Best regards to all fellow missileers! :)
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:19 pm

This is what is on the sign at the National Museum of the Air Force

The deployment module, or "bus," carried the MK-21s and housed the electronics that released the re-entry vehicles. When deployed from the bus, each weapon followed a separate ballistic path to its individual target.

Bus was a term that got started because it was like a vehicular bus, able to move around and let the warheads off at different stops.

I posted the original picture and the sign says warheads and deployment bus.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby SAC Killer on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:19 pm

wblakeney wrote:This is what is on the sign at the National Museum of the Air Force

The deployment module, or "bus," carried the MK-21s and housed the electronics that released the re-entry vehicles. When deployed from the bus, each weapon followed a separate ballistic path to its individual target.

Bus was a term that got started because it was like a vehicular bus, able to move around and let the warheads off at different stops.

I posted the original picture and the sign says warheads and deployment bus.


With all due respect to them, AF museum doesn't always get it right. When I visited them a few years ago I was able to give some of the docents an intro to the Minuteman system at their capsule display. They were very glad to talk to a missileer who had been both in ops and maintenance! And so, at their request, I sent the museum a long missive on stuff they hadn't gotten quite right. They never responded to me, and since I have not returned since, I don't know whether they corrected their display or not.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby Capt. Bill on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:17 am

"Bus" is a term that goes back to Polaris, the correct technical term is often replaced by another term. To be correct it should be the Deployment Module is part of a bus type system.

A while back I tried to convince the Minuteman Museum in South Dakota that the printing of their red safe "Entry Restriced to MCC on Duty" instead of "Entry Restriced to MCC and DMCCC on Duty" was incorrect but their historian insisted it was.
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Re: Peacekeeper bus and warheads

Postby njh621 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:29 pm

SAC Killer wrote:With all due respect to them, AF museum doesn't always get it right. When I visited them a few years ago I was able to give some of the docents an intro to the Minuteman system at their capsule display. They were very glad to talk to a missileer who had been both in ops and maintenance! And so, at their request, I sent the museum a long missive on stuff they hadn't gotten quite right. They never responded to me, and since I have not returned since, I don't know whether they corrected their display or not.


I was there in April, and nothing had changed. They've still got blue bags on the dummies, and the same "boring" static display. (Boring in the sense that the display in dark and inactive; they really should have more indicator lights on and move the one dummy so you can see the commanders console.) It was cool to see all the airframes in the gallery, but the "missileer" element to me seemed next to nothing; it felt more like a gallery at KSC. They don't have anything on the crews themselves (uniforms, tech data, anything), what units had missiles, and where they were based. And that's arguably THE biggest component of the involved Air Force history.

Now forgive me if I am being overly critical...I just think that for being THE NATIONAL AF museum, they should be the ones getting it right. (Especially considering they are better funded than then preserved missile sites themselves.) Just my $0.02...I'm on your side I swear! :lol:
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