- May 3, 2009
- Reaction score
Agreed. But I'm not in charge.You can never have too much ammo.It has gotten monumentally difficult for Congress to agree to building replacements for our existing nuclear warheads, much less expanding our deployed strategic nuclear forces. And when it comes down to it the U.S. doesn't need its land based ICBMs anyway. The Trident IIs carrying W88 warheads aboard the Ohio class submarines are believed capable of disabling any Russian hardened missile site or command base. To say nothing of those in China.We should do the same.You're right about the Minuteman IIIs -- three warheads each. But since the number of warheads is limited to one each by treaty, the total fielded is still 450 per my other post.Minuteman was never capable of carrying 10 warheads. The most they could carry was on the Minuteman III which lifted up to three warheads.Strongest? The strongest, without question, are the USAF's three missile wings, each composed of three squadrons with 50 Minuteman III missiles each.
In compliance with the New START Treaty of 2011, each missile is fitted with only one warhead, the 300-475 kiloton W87 thermonuclear warhead. The Minuteman is capable of launching 10 such warheads.
That's 450 warheads. 450 cities. The most lethal of all US military forces.
Only the Peacekeeper (known as the MX missile to most everyone) which the U.S. deployed only 50 of in Minuteman silos for a few years (now withdrawn from service) could carry 10 warheads. The 500 W87 warheads mounted on the Peacekeepers were then mounted as single warheads on the surviving Minuteman IIIs..
And anyway, the W88 warheads carried on the Trident II missiles aboard the Ohio class ballistic missile submarines would probably be considered far more dangerous than the W87s mounted on the Minuteman due to superior accuracy.
How many Trident IIs does the Navy have at sea at any one time?
14 Trident II carrying Ohio class ballistic missile submarines (8 based in Washington, 6 in Georgia) with two thirds at sea at any one time means 8-10 submarines deployed at any one time carrying from 192-240 missiles total.
Actually IIRC the treaty limiting multiple warheads on land based ICBMS has lapsed and is no longer in effect. Reportedly the Russians are going back to mirving their ICBMs.