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(The Drive)   The shot heard 'round the world, literally. This is not a repeat from 1775   (thedrive.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Intercontinental ballistic missile, Nuclear weapon, nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle, Anti-ballistic missile, Ballistic missile, missile defenses, major driver, Fractional Orbital Bombardment System  
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2771 clicks; posted to STEM » on 17 Oct 2021 at 6:50 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-10-17 2:16:59 PM  
Good.  Get this garbage existence over already.  Why bother waiting around for the hell awaiting us in 2022/2024?
 
2021-10-17 2:30:36 PM  
Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?
 
2021-10-17 2:32:23 PM  
Oh goodie, orbital bombardment capabilities unlocked.
 
2021-10-17 2:35:07 PM  
What's even more frightening than loading it with a multi megaton warhead to hit a city; using 2 or 3 spread out over the US for a high altitude detonation as an EMP weapon.
 
2021-10-17 2:57:27 PM  

Jake Havechek: What's even more frightening than loading it with a multi megaton warhead to hit a city; using 2 or 3 spread out over the US for a high altitude detonation as an EMP weapon.


Both. Multiple mass driver projectiles along with a high atmosphere nuke to detonate after the mass impacts.
 
2021-10-17 3:08:51 PM  
And clearly this is all Biden's fault.
 
2021-10-17 4:59:02 PM  

Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?


Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?
 
2021-10-17 6:02:45 PM  
Could be worse ...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-17 6:21:11 PM  

Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?


Is Disney or Amazon able to make profit after a nuclear strike? Ain't nothing gonna happen.
 
2021-10-17 7:02:52 PM  
This is bullshiat. I was hoping to one day see the Rods of God rain down kinetic destruction.

I was promised a storm of tungsten.
 
2021-10-17 7:08:27 PM  

aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?


Game changer, perhaps not. But it is an escalation. There is only one ending as technology and weaponry escalates.
 
2021-10-17 7:12:11 PM  
I would think these are designed to fly over Taiwan and maybe Japan every now and then. Outside of show and tell these are not the end all be all of nuclear weaponry. The US ballistic missile submarine fleet and those modified to launch cruise missile are significantly more capable and less escalating.
 
2021-10-17 7:18:24 PM  
Haven't the Russians been able to basically do that with ballistic missile technology since the 1960's? And us too, presumably. Plus, nuclear missile subs are a thing, and nuclear capable cruise missiles.

I'm not really too concerned any fundamental paradigms are shifting here.
 
2021-10-17 7:19:54 PM  

king of vegas: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

Game changer, perhaps not. But it is an escalation. There is only one ending as technology and weaponry escalates.


more stability through expanded fear of conflict?
 
2021-10-17 7:24:48 PM  
It's a farking hypersonic boost-glide weapon and they're acting like China just magically invented it.  That's how Hitler wanted to strike NYC in the 1940s, you dumbass.
 
2021-10-17 7:43:43 PM  
Oh no, all we have are a few Ohio-class ballistic missile subs where one could wipe out enough of China that would make the rest of China unliveable.

Is this revolutionary thing from China just a depressed trajectory ballistic missile? Because they have been feasible or proposed for at least forty years.
 
2021-10-17 7:44:06 PM  

aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?


ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.
 
2021-10-17 7:49:19 PM  

Befuddled: Oh no, all we have are a few Ohio-class ballistic missile subs where one could wipe out enough of China that would make the rest of China unliveable.

Is this revolutionary thing from China just a depressed trajectory ballistic missile? Because they have been feasible or proposed for at least forty years.


The captain of an SSBN can't unilaterally target and launch his missiles. Besides the fact that they would probably have little idea what happened or who to launch missiles at.
 
2021-10-17 7:51:51 PM  

Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.
So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?


Can't we agree that we've all reached MAD and call it  a draw?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-17 7:52:00 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.


China cannot stop American nuclear strikes. America cannot stop Chinese nuclear strikes.

"No one alive to issue the launch codes" is a silly argument why the strike would be low risk. The logical extension is that the US gives increased autonomy to submarine commanders to launch... Which increases the odds of a nuclear war.

The only outcome of this is that China can still end the world, America can still end the world, and the odds of an "oops" to trigger all of that increases...
 
2021-10-17 7:52:22 PM  
Great time for an agreement about nuclear bombs in orbit with China and Russia. It's probably hard to hide the devices in orbit. Once the hyper sonic glider drops in with a nuclear weapon it's too late.
 
2021-10-17 7:52:45 PM  

Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?


China doesn't believe in the MAD doctrine. They believe that in any war against the US their goal should be to so thoroughly cripple the US military that it takes us 20 years before we're in a position to get involved in another war at all and then hope that they can rebuild faster than we can. The US has the exact same goal, incidentally.

So China is likely to use its nuclear weapons  against US forces directly attacking them, particularly carrier battle groups and overseas airbases in Guam. US retaliating with an all-out "nuke em into the stone age" response would be politically risky at best, and we'd be stuck trying to do tit-for-tat tactical nuclear missions from nigh irreplaceable (and yet highly vulnerable) super carriers in a target-poor environment.

Basically, our nuclear forces are built around the assumption that nuclear wars are inherently unwindable. China (and to some extent, Russia) assume otherwise.
 
2021-10-17 7:52:49 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD...


We have a nuclear triad; land, sea, and air means of delivering nukes. One or two Ohio-class boomers would be enough to make China a wasteland. We also have military bases in Japan and South Korea were nuclear-armed bombers and cruise missiles could reach China. We don't have to hit every square inch of China to ruin that place. Destroying the major population centers would wreak enough harm that the rest of China would collapse into a hellhole.
 
2021-10-17 7:53:33 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.


Except that hitting us with enough nukes to take out all ICBM silos and do a full decap on the entire US chain of command would pretty much wrap the entire Northern Hemisphere in radioactive fallout(hint, China is in that one), and maybe solve global warming in the worst possible way. That's assuming that we don't go back to protocols used during the Cold War where deployed assets would launch in the event of such a strike unless they got a stand down order.  Outliving the USA by a couple hours at most seems like a hell of a bad plan for a nation known for "The Long Game".
 
2021-10-17 8:01:23 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: The captain of an SSBN can't unilaterally target and launch his missiles. Besides the fact that they would probably have little idea what happened or who to launch missiles at.


I am guessing but I would bet the ballistic missile subs have multiple preset targeting strategies. If we are attacked by Russia, they get the order to program the missiles for the 'A' list of targets. China attacks us, the boomers get orders to set missiles to the 'B' list for launch. Canada has attacked, the 'C' list of targets gets programmed in. And so and so forth.
 
2021-10-17 8:12:11 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.


Ah, to put it another way. If the US launches first, they respond, everyone dies. However, if they launch first, then the US might not be able to retaliate, most of them survive (albeit in a wasted world). The pressure and incentive is now increasingly on them to launch first and unexpectedly (meaning they would not wait to get to the point where they would launch during any conflict with the US under a MAD scenario) because they have the advantage while the US is still operating under a mutually assured destruction scenario. This also tempts the US to move up the point at which they would launch a first strike, if only just to be sure they get off the ground in time. It makes the world a lot more dangerous for everyone.
 
2021-10-17 8:16:51 PM  
During last month's AFA conference the Air Force Secretary referred to China resurrecting the FOBS concept:

'Global Strike From Space;' Did Kendall Reveal Chinese Threat?
 
2021-10-17 8:20:31 PM  
Someone up thread* commented "Can't we just track them in space?" Sure, but something moving that fast is going to make it a challenge & if it is also changing direction too, then good luck trying to figure out where it's going. A scarier thought is China first picks out some bits of random space junk that's about the same size and in a stable orbit around the earth. Then they launch a few and park them right by said junk in a matching orbit. If anyone is tracking junk (and we know the U.S.A.F. or it's new spin off "Space Command" does down to tennis ball sized objects) only sees one object in orbit, not two. China could leave these floating up there for years & IF they needed to, just fire the rockets up on what one would assume is a small booster stage that drops off as soon as the desired speed is reached. Next thing you know, >insert major U.S. city< gets a very permanent reminder we aren't the only kids on the block.

I wonder how they would feel if we somehow built a mass driver on the moon, because hey....free ammo and started firing 2-5 ton size moon rocks at them. You don't have to be very accurate, just stay inside their borders.

*I thought I saw it upthread but I did a lot of yard work today, so scrolling back to find and quote it for a reply it just too much work atm.
 
2021-10-17 8:21:26 PM  

Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?


America has been building new nuclear weapons for a while now. A few thousand isn't enough to make the perpetually afraid feel safe.
 
2021-10-17 8:22:24 PM  
the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.

Sure Jan. Just because we don't know about it doesn't mean the intel and military folks do not.
 
2021-10-17 8:39:23 PM  

aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?


I don't think this is an actual game changer from a first strike perspective.  It is different from an ICBM in that when the glide vehicle is deployed it departs from a ballistic trajectory and targeting become a lot harder.
 
2021-10-17 8:40:41 PM  

cryinoutloud: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.
So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Can't we agree that we've all reached MAD and call it  a draw?

[Fark user image 291x291]


It would be a shame to make so many nukes and not get to use them.
 
2021-10-17 8:51:40 PM  

TommyDeuce: Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.

Except that hitting us with enough nukes to take out all ICBM silos and do a full decap on the entire US chain of command would pretty much wrap the entire Northern Hemisphere in radioactive fallout(hint, China is in that one), and maybe solve global warming in the worst possible way. That's assuming that we don't go back to protocols used during the Cold War where deployed assets would launch in the event of such a strike unless they got a stand down order.  Outliving the USA by a couple hours at most seems like a hell of a bad plan for a nation known for "The Long Game".


Yes, it would probably take a few hundred warheads to accomplish completely.  I don't know how many warheads per missile the Chinese are capable of, or even if this new system is capable of MIRVs, but if China decides that eliminating 70% of US capabilities and sucking up the 30% of the hits is a viable option then...


/BTW, the number of warheads on an SSBN, while being capable of a lot of destruction, are still no where close enough to entirely destroy a country as large as China.
//even if all available SSBNs launched, and there are normally 4 on patrol at any time.
//they could destroy a country like Britain, possibly France. Definitely not China.
 
2021-10-17 9:03:17 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: TommyDeuce: Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.

Except that hitting us with enough nukes to take out all ICBM silos and do a full decap on the entire US chain of command would pretty much wrap the entire Northern Hemisphere in radioactive fallout(hint, China is in that one), and maybe solve global warming in the worst possible way. That's assuming that we don't go back to protocols used during the Cold War where deployed assets would launch in the event of such a strike unless they got a stand down order.  Outliving the USA by a couple hours at most seems like a hell of a bad plan for a nation known for "The Long Game".

Yes, it would probably take a few hundred warheads to accomplish completely.  I don't know how many warheads per missile the Chinese are capable of, or even if this new system is capable of MIRVs, but if China decides that eliminating 70% of US capabilities and sucking up the 30% of the hits is a viable option then...


/BTW, the number of warheads on an SSBN, while being capable of a lot of destruction, are still no where close enough to entirely destroy a country as large as China.
//even if all available SSBNs launched, and there are normally 4 on patrol at any time.
//they could destroy a country like Britain, possibly France. Definitely not China.


Death will come from Montana! Maelstrom is the answer and solution to all MAD related problems.
 
2021-10-17 9:05:51 PM  
I assumed the major nuclear powers have had that capability for a while.
 
2021-10-17 9:09:20 PM  

I am Tom Joad's Complete Lack of Surprise: Good.  Get this garbage existence over already.  Why bother waiting around for the hell awaiting us in 2022/2024?


Uh oh. Someone has a case of the Sunday Blues.
 
2021-10-17 9:22:08 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.


Even if they somehow destroyed all our land based nuclear missiles, you don't think our NATO allies wouldn't strike back?  Both Britain and France have nukes too.
 
2021-10-17 9:34:16 PM  
This is bullshiat fear-mongering.

It's *much* easier to build an intercontinental ballistic missile.

It's even easier and cheaper to hide one in a shipping container or commercial airliner.

They may have *tested* a "hypersonic glide vehicle* but there is a world of difference between "testing" one and actually getting one to deliver a payload to the desired target.

/aerospace systems engineer
 
2021-10-17 9:36:05 PM  
hide one

A nuke, to be specific.

/I typed a nuke
//but then I eated it
 
2021-10-17 9:41:36 PM  

Russ1642: I assumed the major nuclear powers have had that capability for a while.


If they have, it's a huge secret.  One that would be hard to keep.

The US hypersonic vehicle tests I'm aware of revealed a number of shortcomings in materials engineering and our understanding of aerodynamics at those speeds.

Those tests are 10 years old or so, and I no longer have an Aviation Week subscription paid for by an employer.  But it's not a trivial problem.

It's literally easier and more reliable to drop a piece of junk from orbit.
 
2021-10-17 9:43:04 PM  

bughunter: Russ1642: I assumed the major nuclear powers have had that capability for a while.

If they have, it's a huge secret.  One that would be hard to keep.

The US hypersonic vehicle tests I'm aware of revealed a number of shortcomings in materials engineering and our understanding of aerodynamics at those speeds.

Those tests are 10 years old or so, and I no longer have an Aviation Week subscription paid for by an employer.  But it's not a trivial problem.

It's literally easier and more reliable to drop a piece of junk from orbit.


I didn't mean this specific vehicle but the ability to put a bomb anywhere on the planet with almost zero notice.
 
2021-10-17 9:43:09 PM  
The only way to win a modern great power war is not to play. The was proven twice, in WWI and WWII. America only came out of WWII smelling like roses because it was protected by two oceans and ballistic missiles were in their infancy (as in literally only first fielded in WWII and the range was Germany to Britain).

That doesn't rule out the possibility of a great power war, since people are infinitely ambitious and stupid, but hopefully China is not dumb enough to start one up. It would not end with them coming out on "top". It would end their current international dominance (make no mistake, they ARE one of the two great powers today, even without foreign military engagements) and make way for India, Russia, and any other country that manages to sit it out to take a serious lead on them. Consider China spent decades recovering from WWII and building their current industrial capacity.

The stakes are way too high. The only recent example of a land grab gambit recently is Russia in Crimea. They could do that because there was a substantial pro-Russian minority and Ukraine had considerable internal strife. Ukraine was also not a member of NATO or the EU so could not call on allies.
 
2021-10-17 9:51:18 PM  
JESUS! I can hear the throbbing of Elon Musk's Mega-Boner even from here as he thinks about all the new military missile contracts he's about to land!
 
2021-10-17 9:52:27 PM  

bughunter: This is bullshiat fear-mongering.


Agreed. Now that we're no longer in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Military-Industrial Complex needs a new boogieman.
 
2021-10-17 9:54:50 PM  

aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?


Speed of the delivery vehicle and no need for the vehicle to go into orbit.

Our detection systems look for thermal blooms from the boosters putting the warheads into orbit. No significant heat signature from a hypersonic vehicle.
 
2021-10-17 9:55:19 PM  

Russ1642: I assumed the major nuclear powers have had that capability for a while.


In the 80's, a local DJ ran a gag campaign for President. During his broadcasts, he'd talk about some of his positions he'd do if elected.

"Okay, the Peacekeeper Missile: Should we build it and if so, where do we put them? Well, Let's just say we already built them, see? And we've already hidden them too! The Bolsheviks will go nuts trying to find them."
 
2021-10-17 10:06:48 PM  

aleister_greynight: Mail Order American Husband: aleister_greynight: Bootleg: Such a capability could potentially allow China to execute a nuclear strike on any target on earth with near-impunity and very little warning.

So we should improve our second strike capability to ensure MAD with China now? Is that what they're going for?

Isn't that the purpose of ICBMs, to strike anywhere in the world in the space of a few minutes from launch, and to be near impossible to shoot down?  Why is this such a game changer?

ICBMs can be detected and shot down by the time they get from Asia to the US mainland (sorta). These are apparently very difficult to detect and near impossible to shoot down. Unfortunately China was never a part of SALT or START and, as far as I know, are not treaty limited as far as placing weapons in space. If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option. At the very least it would mean they don't even have to pretend to give a fark about the US and will have a free hand in world affairs until the US is able to develop a similar system or an effective defense, which would likely take a decade.

It's basically our worst-case cold war nightmare and I'm kinda shocked people are more concerned with CRT in schools than they are shiatting their pants over this.

Even if they somehow destroyed all our land based nuclear missiles, you don't think our NATO allies wouldn't strike back?  Both Britain and France have nukes too.


Combined Britain and France have about 600 with less than half ready to launch at any time. It's also an open question if they would launch them. You never fully know if you're allies are really going to stand with you until they do, and joining in on a nuclear gangbang isn't something they've ever really been tested on.

Britain I'd say 80% chance, if they have anything in range. They don't send their SSBNs into the pacific, so I doubt they do. I  would give France about a 30% chance just because at that point they would be trying to figure out how to save their own people.
 
2021-10-17 10:07:23 PM  

Mail Order American Husband: If they get the system functional and deployed it's a very big game changer. They will be able to launch an undetected (or so quick that detection is meaningless) and  unstoppable first strike leaving the US with only SLBMs available as a  response, but no one alive to issue the launch order and codes, assuming the first strike involves decapitation and targeting of land based ICBMs. This would nullify any US retaliation, thereby eliminating MAD, which means China can come to view a nuclear attack on the US as a winnable and relatively low risk option.


They would have to strike DC first for the "decapitation". However, I'm sure a general or admiral somewhere would have launch authority in such a scenario. The officer would need a 2nd person (and maybe a 3rd) to acknowledge that DC was gone and the officer now has launch authority.

A strike on DC would certainly be obvious to the folks in the silos, and they would wait for orders from the next in the chain of command.

The President has sole authority to startshiat, but that doesn't mean we lack alternatives once the first bomb has fallen.

The wargames simulations in the Pentagon will include this scenario.
 
2021-10-17 10:13:13 PM  
So china now has Minutemen 3 technology like the US has had since... I don't even know.  My whole fuggin life.
 
2021-10-17 10:13:22 PM  

indy_kid: A strike on DC would certainly be obvious to the folks in the silos, and they would wait for orders from the next in the chain of command.


I don't know if the system is still active, but in the event that ALL forms of command were taken out in a surprise strike, there is a final backup plan where missiles would automatically launch at the detection of nuke impacts and it's payload would immediately transmit nuclear launch codes to any surviving silos, bombers, and subs.
 
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