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H Nelson
26 Mar 11,, 21:10
The Minuteman III missile has been modernized (http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/missiles-wmds/nuclear-modernization-11060/) over the years. It has new boost stages, new guidance systems, even the new MK21 warhead. In fact, we could probably call it the "Minuteman III and a half". But what about its command and control system?

Well, the MMIII Nuclear C2 system is clearly aging (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324190/Obama-told-nuclear-arsenal-hit-45-minute-glitch.html). We are still using facilities from the '60s, and computer technology from the '80s. Our command cables have been buried in soft earth for decades, and god knows how long they will last.

Nuclear Weapons are still the US's 'defense backstop'. They are as critical as F-35s, Aircraft Carriers, Satellites, and Tanks. I want to know what the members of this esteemed forum think.

USSWisconsin
26 Mar 11,, 21:20
Mk 21 warhead???? Are your referring to the retired 4.5 MT gravity bomb?

Historical Nuclear Weapons (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/nuke-list.htm)

H Nelson
26 Mar 11,, 21:46
No. The Mk21 is a re-entry vehicle. That website you posted might be referring to the designations of physics packages, which, seemingly, is different. Check this one out (http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W87.html). Looks like the Mk21's used to be on the Peacekeeper, which was (sadly) deactivated.

Officer of Engineers
27 Mar 11,, 00:29
The C2 has been upgraded left, right, and centre. Old copper has been replaced with fibre optics and the datalinks ... well, if you want 3D live of the Stanley Cup, I think NORAD is the only one who can get it at this point.

But aside against other nuclear weapons powers and only 2 that requires hardened silo busting nukes, what modernization are you envisioning? The Russians are so concerned about the delivery vehicles that they insisted that American strategic missiles to be counted as a nuke whether they carry a nuke or not. The Russian concern is that the TRIDENT may improve enough that it doesn't need a nuclear warhead to bust a silo.

H Nelson
27 Mar 11,, 00:39
The C2 has been upgraded left, right, and center. Old copper has been replaced with fibre optics and the datalinks ...

No, it hasn't. The last upgrade was in '96 when the REACT console was operationally installed. There are no fiber optics in the C2 system either. NORAD only has a small role in nukes, mainly early warning- its STRATCOM that controls nukes.

The command cables have not been updated.

Officer of Engineers
27 Mar 11,, 00:51
Are you not talking about Cheyane Mountain?

H Nelson
27 Mar 11,, 01:12
No, they have more to do with air defence.

Officer of Engineers
27 Mar 11,, 03:55
Fine.

What is your complaint? The wires are good. They're tested. The US has the most readied nuclear forces on earth (on 80% standby compared to the Russian 25% and 0% of the Chinese). Of what nuclear forces do we need to surpass the US 80%?

H Nelson
27 Mar 11,, 07:05
Fine.

What is your complaint? The wires are good. They're tested. The US has the most readied nuclear forces on earth (on 80% standby compared to the Russian 25% and 0% of the Chinese). Of what nuclear forces do we need to surpass the US 80%?

To focus on the cabling is to miss the point, but it is not good. I would be more than happy to read evidence to the contrary.

The nuclear C2 in this country is clearly in trouble as evidenced by the link I posted in my thread starter. We need to replace the Minuteman's C2 systems ASAP! We are allowing the system to atrophy before our eyes, and no one is saying anything because nuclear weapons are not a politically correct cause to champion.

Officer of Engineers
27 Mar 11,, 11:19
From your own thread,


There was no evidence of foul play and the U.S. never lost the capability to launch the missiles, although it could only have done so from an airborne command and control centre, he said.

The wireless worked and the redundancy worked. I see no atrophy. A glitch, meaning an unforeseen event, happenned. Steps would have been taken to make sure that this does not happen again and the quote also strongly suggests that a workaround through wireless is possible.

Nuclear weapons are being championed by no other than SECDEF Gates although he favours a new set of warheads.

However, in the scheme of things, this is not as catastrophic as you made it out to be. As I stated, only 25% of the Russian nuclear forces and 0% of the Chinese nuclear forces are ready for immediate launch as opposed to the American 80%.