LCC types?

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LCC types?

Postby Nou on Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:14 pm

Ok I am seeing all these different names here and I'm trying to get my head wrapped around them.

I know Boeing made LCCs, but what are the deuce (duece?) capsules? Sounds like people liked them (bigger?).

Sylvania made LCCs as well? What was the difference with those ones?
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Re: LCC types?

Postby njh621 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:41 pm

Hm...well normally I'm a Titan II guy, but I'll try to answer this to the best of my ability.

Boeing was contracted to build the LCFs and the LFs are Minuteman Wings I-V (Malmstrom minus the 564th SMS, Ellsworth, Minot, Whiteman, and FE Warren). At some point the Air Force decided to add Wing VI and Boeing didn't get the contract. Sylvania Electronics did, however, and they built the LFs and LCFs for the 564th SMS and Wing VI. Sylvania, or "Deuce" (because they were the odd capsule out) capsules were larger (about twice the size of Boeing capsules, with two isles instead of one), some equipment was different, the launch consoles were styled different, etc. In addition Deuce capsules had both a cable (HICS) and radio link to the LFs, while Boeing capsules had just the cable link.

The term "dragger" as I recall, was a name the Deuce guys gave the Boeing capsule guys, because Boeing capsule blast doors have a pump to retract the pins, while Deuce capsules had a wheel. There's probably more to this, but I'll let the Minuteman guys chime in.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Cancellier on Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:56 am

Gents,
Let me clarify some things here. The name 'Deuce' came from the fact that the Sylvania capsules were designed as the first Minuteman II sites. At one point, the plan was to replace all the Boeing equipment with the Sylvania. Just think of the billions that would have cost! To get technical, Boeing Minuteman I was WS-133A and Sylvania Minuteman II was WS-133B. The missiles had designations of LGM-30A and B for Minuteman I and LGM-30F for Minuteman II. Minuteman III was the LGM-30G. As you might expect, the Minuteman II Ground Electronics System was more sophisticated than the Minuteman I system and was all digital. The support systems like power, environmental control and equipment suspension in Deuce were also more sophisticated, automated, capable and robust. Most Deuce systems were bigger and built heavier than their Boeing counterparts. The Deuce capsule was about the size of three Boeing capsules. Imagine two Boeing capsules side by side with another stretched sideways across the top. Our air conditioner was in the middle along with battery chargers, the radios and the weapon system computer. You really could run laps in the capsule.

The story I always told on tours we gave was that Boeing was an airplane company and built their capsule like an airplane. Sylvania was a lightbulb company and didn't know what to build their capsules like, so they based them on a ship. They did however load their capsules with very special incandescent light bulbs. No fluorescent bulbs for the Deuce crowd!

The Deuce LFs and LCCs were built to much higher hardness standard than the Boeing sites. Deuce could withstand much more overpressure. The numbers are classified, but it was a lot more. I will refer you to Neufeld's "Ballistic Missiles" for more information on that.

Deuce had two links between capsules, launchers and other capsules. One was a single string of cables. The other was a medium frequency radio system. The Deuce cable system was much simpler than the Boeing system. The MF radio saved a lot of money in trenching and emplacement costs. The ultimate ICBM system would have been the Peacekeeper ICBM in Deuce LFs with Boeing-style cables (using Deuce cabling) connected to Deuce capsules using REACT consoles. That was the plan at one point, except for the cabling.

The term 'dragger' is a generic term used by missileers. The long form is 'Knuckledragger'. It is used to describe anybody who operates a system different than yours. So, a Boeing guy is a dragger to a Deuce guy and vice versa.

It didn't come from the LCC blast doors you describe. Only the 564th (Squad 20, Wing 1 Squad IV or The Odd Squad) had wheels. They were an engineering change on the last Minuteman squadron built. All the Boeing capsules and the majority of Sylvania capsules had a swing latch with a hydraulic pump to push the pins. 19 squads of Minuteman had pumps and one had the wheel.


I had better stop here. I could wax rhapsodic about Deuce for hours. I am still in mourning for the final shutdown of 'The Cadillac of Weapon Systems'...
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Nou on Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:06 am

Cancellier wrote:Gents,

I had better stop here. I could wax rhapsodic about Deuce for hours. I am still in mourning for the final shutdown of 'The Cadillac of Weapon Systems'...



:D Thanks!

I was going to ask about REACT, but wikipedia is pretty concise on what it does. Sounds interesting. I remember reading about the guidance computers in the Minuteman I's and that must have been a bitch for everything to get new targeting data in there. I read someplace that the actual compiled code is layed out in memory on those things so important actions are physically closer to the read head on the old magnetic drives they used.

Not to try to drag anything out of you guys, feel free to not answer, but it says that targeting the whole MM force with REACT would take 10 hours... Did we not re-target our missiles at some random place out in the Pacific as a gesture of good will at the end of the Cold War? :?
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Re: LCC types?

Postby njh621 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:01 am

Thanks for clearing that up. I should probably stick to answering Titan II questions...I'm use to a three level LCC and opening blast doors by pressing a button anyways..:lol:
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Lendys on Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:19 am

We can retarget rapidly. How rapidly is something we probably shouldn't discuss.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Nou on Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:50 am

Lendys wrote:We can retarget rapidly. How rapidly is something we probably shouldn't discuss.



Yea I forgot that I had read a few different places that there is something like multiple target selections pre-set into the guidance computers and they can be selected based on the warplan.

I imagine that REACT handles that, and the ability to add/remove new targets, etc. I think someone on here also mention REACT can manually input targets from the LCC, but that probably falls under the longer of the two operations.

I'd assume if it is true that they are targeted somewhere in the Pacific that's really more of a gesture than anything else, be kinda stupid to keep the missiles 10 hours from being able to effectivly hit something. Then again launching thousands of nuclear warheads to the middle of the ocean might be enough to deter an enemy anyways (*recalls the end of Dr. Strangelove*)! :shock:

Course I have read of some other dumb things we did after the Cold War, like putting MMII guys on alert with no keys and such... :lol:

Anyway... all very interesting stuff guys. :) Thanks!
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Re: LCC types?

Postby hockey85 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:52 am

Nou wrote:Course I have read of some other dumb things we did after the Cold War, like putting MMII guys on alert with no keys and such... :lol:
[/quote]

They had to because, while Minuteman II's were no longer on alert, the missiles and bombs were still in the holes and needed to be watched over for Nuclear Surety, security, etc. until the maintenance teams could get out there and take the parts back to base and then on to depot. They couldn't just leave priority 1 resources out there with nobody to watch over them.

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Re: LCC types?

Postby Cancellier on Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:03 am

They didn't really send the guys out without keys. As you can see from the SACCS messages below, crews were directed to dissipate codes and have MNX insert safing keys. BTW, these are the actual messages SAC sent to the alert force in '91. I got them off of Gary Baker's Siloworld.com. Great site if you haven't been there before.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby PASMAN II on Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:33 pm

Nou wrote:
Lendys wrote:We can retarget rapidly. How rapidly is something we probably shouldn't discuss.
I'd assume if it is true that they are targeted somewhere in the Pacific that's really more of a gesture than anything else, be kinda stupid to keep the missiles 10 hours from being able to effectivly hit something. Then again launching thousands of nuclear warheads to the middle of the ocean might NOT be enough to deter an enemy anyways...


Targeting/re-targeting occurs faster than you might think. During the Cold War, way back in EWO school, after we crossed over the Peaceville bridge to SIOP-LAND, we changed our gameplan from zone coverage to man-to-man. That just means, someone was going to cover a target either as primary or backup. It might be one of your zesty nuclear missiles or it might be a friendly nuclear bomber. It might even be a happy nuclear boomer.

Of course, target "priority" was never cut-in-stone, and priorities changed with some frequency. If THE ORDER was issued, another courteous thing to do was to formally introduce your warheads to their targets in a very timely manner- creating what was called a footprint. Footprinting was important because it helped reduce damage- mainly to our own forces. I'll save the rest of this stuff for another day. Let us leave SIOP-LAND and return to Peaceville.

I've been out of the capsule for a while, but I can tell you that (in my mind) two enemies have never been upgraded to friend-status: Russia & China.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Nou on Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:49 pm

PASMAN wrote:
I've been out of the capsule for a while, but I can tell you that (in my mind) two enemies have never been upgraded to friend-status: Russia & China.


If anything, the last two weeks or so have shown that Russia is still a force to be recognized. Not that we should really get our nose into their border disputes, I'd rather let Georgia fall back into Moscows sphere than risk war with Russia heh... :(

But yea, China and the Russians still have nukes, and as long as we are all vying to be super-powers there will be tensions and nuclear weapons in my opinon help keep some level heads, here and there.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby PointSalJim on Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:24 pm

Cancellier wrote: The Deuce capsule was about the size of three Boeing capsules. Imagine two Boeing capsules side by side with another stretched sideways across the top. Our air conditioner was in the middle along with battery chargers, the radios and the weapon system computer. You really could run laps in the capsule.
Sounds like pure luxury. And so they deactivated these great capsules??!

As for retargeting, I can recall back in the early MM-1 days, that required a trip out to the LF by the T&A team to physically move the autocollimator to a new position along the bench. Digital retargeting is so much better!
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Re: LCC types?

Postby 3901smes on Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:31 pm

Didn't all of us T&A ers dread the retarget going into Sectors 1 an 4.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:02 pm

Cancellier wrote: <snip> The ultimate ICBM system would have been the Peacekeeper ICBM in Deuce LFs with Boeing-style cables (using Deuce cabling) connected to Deuce capsules using REACT consoles. That was the plan at one point, except for the cabling.

<snip>


Cancellier,
Your summary is excellent. However, a competitor as the "ultimate ICBM system" is the Small ICBM. Single Mk 12A on a baby booster in a mobile launcher. Thus incredibly survivable, and total targeting flexibility because you don't have to deal with the MIRV footprint and finding enough targets within it.

Small ICBM, or SICBM as it was called then, was cancelled sometime in the mid to late 80s, before the cold war ended. But not before prototype launchers were built and test driven around the desert.
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Re: LCC types?

Postby Cancellier on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:21 pm

Yeah, Small ICBM is pretty cool. Wasn't it supposed to have the hot version is the Mk21 RV with a special W87? Anyway, pretty darned cool. But I guess I would rather send my nuclear destruction as a 10- or 12-pack...
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