c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

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c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby Weapons Loader on Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:23 am

Here's a website I stumbled upon which has links to Adobe-formatted documents explaining the MX basing options in the early eighties. What's really impressive is Chapter 2 which explains every minute detail of the Multiple Protective Shelter basing option which was originally how the PK was to be deployed. "Uncertainty of Location" ensured survivability; a couple of hundred live missiles, plus a couple hundred more decoy missiles, scattered among THOUSANDS of shelters, over MILLIONS(did I read that right?)of square miles of the Midwest. In every respect, MPS was staggering even by Soviet standards.

Chapter 4, Launch Under Attack, pretty much goes over the silo-basing option as we knew it. Basically the idea for LUA was "OK we can put MX in Minuteman silos, but launching all of them at the first hint of incoming RVs is the best way to guarantee survival."

Most of the other nine options were so "outside the box" they also defied belief, pushing technology to the limits.

27 years later, this would definitely be a handy reference to help design the next ICBM system. Pretty damn good Cold War / ICBM porn by anyone's standards.

http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk3/1981/8116/
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Re: c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby TDRSS on Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:06 pm

Now, what bothers me the most, even with all of these ideas being "poo-poo'd" from going forth, many other countries have similar systems (i.e. road- and rail-mobile) that have been working for decades.

Were the basing ideas just bad, or did we just put out propaganda to discourage other nations?

Things that make you go "hmmm?"
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Re: c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby wally on Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:47 pm

It's all about the $$.

We had a working Minuteman system, and the cost for the infrastructure for the other systems was prohibitive.

That's the same line of reasoning behind my prediction that in 2030, the Minuteman follow-on is going to go in the same holes. I did the math once, and when you adjust for inflation, each LF runs about $1.8 billion a copy--doesn't include MAF construction costs, either. Not small potatoes, and in the current environment, Congress will never approve the funding for a completely new infrastructure.
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Re: c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:21 pm

The numerous PK basing modes weren't only driven by cost. The public did not seem to want PK based anywhere nearby. Any and all basing options were relentlessly attacked in the media as soon as they were announced. A common complaint was "it will make my neighborhood a target!" It was so bad I remember a guy I knew at HQ SAC complaining that he had to devise a new basing mode by COB that day! :shock:

We noted in wonderment at the time that there was no corresponding outcry against the Poseidon SLBM system. The Navy was quietly building huge new bases for the Ohio class boats. Now THOSE, we thought, were TARGETS.
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Re: c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby Scopie on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:52 pm

This is great stuff. Thanks for the resource. However, when skimming through the material I didn't notice any reference
to another basing method considered in the 1982 era. It was called "Dense Pack" and was built on the premise that you could
put dozens of minuteman-type silos in a small footprint and count on the fratricide of incoming exploding Russian sorties to protect
the system and allow for a second-strike. I remember being at Warren in those days and seeing the cover of the base newspaper with the headline: "The Soviets can't beat Dense Pack."
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Re: c.1981 study of all 11 proposed basing modes of MX

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:02 am

Dense pack didn't last long. Because, if you drop a nuke large enough to kill one of the launchers, you have them all. It was silly.
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