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dioditto February 14th, 2007 11:50 PM

How many nuclear missile silos did US have during cold war?
 
I am just curious...
How many nuclear missile silos did US have during cold war?

I have tried to find the number online, but no literature specifically quote the number. (All I can find is 4 airbases host the silos)

As a comparison : The Russians had 308 R-36 (SS-18 Satan) missile silos in service during cold war.


From wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-36
Quote:

At full deployment, before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, 308 R-36M launch silos were operational. After the breakup of the USSR, 204 of these were located on the territory of the Russian Federation and 104 on the territory of newly independent Kazakhstan.
If these numbers are true, I seriously believe US stands no chance against the Russian during cold war if there was ever a nuclear missile exchange, since Russian's fixed silos greatly outnumber the american (I am still on the assumption of 308 russian silos vs USA's 4 silos), that's not even including great numbers of road mobile ICBM launchers, (100-400) and the far fewer SSBN in the sea (20-30), Air launched nuclear bombers (40+), and lastly, nuclear cruise missiles (no figure online)


The US lacks a road-mobile nuclear weapon, while concentrate mostly on aerial delivery method (91 B1b lancer, 21 B2 Spirit) and SSBN (14 Ohio class SSBN curently, probably 30 during cold war), and about 1000 nuclear armed cruise missiles (450 currently). The numbers just seem awefully low in comparison to the Russians. What's other's thought on this?

Rish February 15th, 2007 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dioditto (Post 92466)
I am just curious...
How many nuclear missile silos did US have during cold war?

I have tried to find the number online, but no literature specifically quote the number. (All I can find is 4 airbases host the silos)

As a comparison : The Russians had 308 R-36 (SS-18 Satan) missile silos in service during cold war.


From wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-36


If these numbers are true, I seriously believe US stands no chance against the Russian during cold war if there was ever a nuclear missile exchange, since Russian's fixed silos greatly outnumber the american (I am still on the assumption of 308 russian silos vs USA's 4 silos), that's not even including great numbers of road mobile ICBM launchers, (100-400) and the far fewer SSBN in the sea (20-30), Air launched nuclear bombers (40+), and lastly, nuclear cruise missiles (no figure online)


The US lacks a road-mobile nuclear weapon, while concentrate mostly on aerial delivery method (91 B1b lancer, 21 B2 Spirit) and SSBN (14 Ohio class SSBN curently, probably 30 during cold war), and about 1000 nuclear armed cruise missiles (450 currently). The numbers just seem awefully low in comparison to the Russians. What's other's thought on this?

the number of nuclear silos do not make a difference. the number of nukes make a difference. america at its peak had over 30,000 nukes as part of its strategy of mutual assured destruction. true the Russians had more nukes than America had, but America still had enough to destroy not only Russia, but the world over many times. i am sure America had more nuclear silos, but chose to keep them a secret for obvious reasons. also note that each of Americas nukes had multiple warheads making them more or as effective then/as Russian nukes.

Tasman February 15th, 2007 01:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dioditto (Post 92466)
I am just curious...
How many nuclear missile silos did US have during cold war?

I have tried to find the number online, but no literature specifically quote the number. (All I can find is 4 airbases host the silos)

As a comparison : The Russians had 308 R-36 (SS-18 Satan) missile silos in service during cold war.


From wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-36


If these numbers are true, I seriously believe US stands no chance against the Russian during cold war if there was ever a nuclear missile exchange, since Russian's fixed silos greatly outnumber the american (I am still on the assumption of 308 russian silos vs USA's 4 silos), that's not even including great numbers of road mobile ICBM launchers, (100-400) and the far fewer SSBN in the sea (20-30), Air launched nuclear bombers (40+), and lastly, nuclear cruise missiles (no figure online)


The US lacks a road-mobile nuclear weapon, while concentrate mostly on aerial delivery method (91 B1b lancer, 21 B2 Spirit) and SSBN (14 Ohio class SSBN curently, probably 30 during cold war), and about 1000 nuclear armed cruise missiles (450 currently). The numbers just seem awefully low in comparison to the Russians. What's other's thought on this?

The Colorado Peace Organization refers to 1000 missile silos in the USA of which 500 are still active with the Minuteman-111.
According to this link the current active nuclear warhead figure for the USA is made up of:

1600 in ICBMs
2880 in SLBM in submarines
1660 in strategic bombers (B52, B-2)
1120 in dispersed non-strategic forces on tomahawk cruise missiles and for use with NATO and U.S. aircraft

Obviously the total number of warheads at the peak of the Cold War was much higher.

http://www.coloradopeace.org/2003/Ad...Wmd-Facts.html

500 is also the figure for active Minuteman-III silos given by Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-30_Minuteman

Cheers

dioditto February 15th, 2007 05:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tasman (Post 92476)
500 is also the figure for active Minuteman-III silos given by Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-30_Minuteman


Quote:

The current Minuteman force consists of 500 Minuteman-III missiles in missile silos
I thought it meant 500 Minuteman-III missiles, in missile silos. Not 500 missile silos.

Rich February 15th, 2007 05:29 AM

We had a bunch of Titan-2 still around back in my day in Arkansas, Davis-Monthan AZ, and somewhere else. I think each base had 9 missiles. There was a very short time in the mid 60s when Titan-l, Titan-ll, and Minuteman, were all operational together. But I cant tell you how many operational silos we had, when we had the most up and running. Titan-l also was at bases that had squadrons of 9 missiles.

We had a Titan-ll blow up once.

We once had 1,000 Minuteman ICBMs on alert at 6 bases. This was in 1967 so you can also add 56 Titan-lls to that also and I think you have your number. In the Mid-80s we deployed MX but we did so in existing Minuteman silos, and by then Titan was retired. I will add that the USNs Trident program was operational as well so we lost nothing in our posture.

I'm not 100% sure, I never worked missiles, but 1,056 is probably your answer.

Tasman February 15th, 2007 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dioditto (Post 92486)
I thought it meant 500 Minuteman-III missiles, in missile silos. Not 500 missile silos.

AFAIK one Minuteman-III was alloted to each silo with around 150 silos to a base. Of course each Minuteman had multiple (3) warheads.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/icbm/lgm-30_3.htm

I suspect Rich's calulation of total silo numbers is a reasonable estimate based on my reading.

Cheers

Areudoubled February 15th, 2007 04:19 PM

Just a quick scan thru at http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/facility/usaf.htm

F.E Warren AFB 150 MM, 50 Peacekeepers
Grand Forks AFB 150 MM
Whiteman AFB 150 MM
Minot AFB 150 MM
Malmstrom AFB 150 MM
Little Rock AFB 18 Titan
Beale AFB 9 Titan
Altus AFB 12 Titan
McConnell AFB 18 Titan
Mountain Home AFB 9 Titan
Schilling AFB 12 Atlas
Fairchild 9 Atlas

It say's the Atlas' were being phased out around 65'
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/facility/usaf.htm

Tasman February 15th, 2007 05:21 PM

When all else fails turn to an old fashioned hard cover. ;) James E Dornam, The US War Machine, Salamander, London, 1978, lists the following as the active strategic nuclear force in 1978:

450 x Minuteman-II
550 x Minuteman-III
54 x Titan II

Plus

656 SLBM in 41 SSBNs (31 with Poseidon C-3and 10 with Polaris A-3)

316 B52D/G/H
66 FB111

So according to this source there were 1054 silos with active ICBMs in them at that time. It was also reported that before the USA moved, during the Nixon era, from a policy of superiority over the Soviet Forces to one of parity that it is believed that up to 1600-2000 Minuteman missiles were projected. Once the capability for mutually assured destruction was achieved by both super powers there was probably no point in continuing to build more.

It also seems that whilst one Minuteman was assigned to a silo that at one stage it was envisaged that large numbers of additional silos would be built to enable missiles to be moved around in order to keep the Soviets guessing so there may well have been more silos than just the ones with active missiles. Up to 12 sites were planned so there would have been a huge number of redundant or spare silos if this plan had been implemented.

Cheers

dioditto February 17th, 2007 01:13 PM

Thanks Tas ! That's some good info!

Distiller February 18th, 2007 02:43 AM

SALT 1 limited the U.S. to 1054 active silos.
http://www.siloworld.com/index.htm
CONUS ICBM silos (incl horizontal)

Titan 1:
Beale 9
Ellsworth 9
Larson 9
Lowry 18
MtHome 9

Titan 2:
Davis Monthan 18
Little Rock 18
McConnell 18

Atlas D:
Offut 9
Warren 15

Atlas E:
Fairchild 9
Forbes 9
Warren 9

Atlas F:
Altus 12
Dyess 12
Lincoln 12
Plattsburgh 12
Schilling 12
Walker 12

Minuteman:
Ellsworth 150
Grand Forks 150
Malmstrom 200
Minot 150
Warren 200
Whiteman 150

1231, plus a few at Vandenburg.

Sgt.Banes March 1st, 2007 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dioditto (Post 92466)
I am just curious...
How many nuclear missile silos did US have during cold war?

I have tried to find the number online, but no literature specifically quote the number. (All I can find is 4 airbases host the silos)

As a comparison : The Russians had 308 R-36 (SS-18 Satan) missile silos in service during cold war.


From wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-36


If these numbers are true, I seriously believe US stands no chance against the Russian during cold war if there was ever a nuclear missile exchange, since Russian's fixed silos greatly outnumber the american (I am still on the assumption of 308 russian silos vs USA's 4 silos), that's not even including great numbers of road mobile ICBM launchers, (100-400) and the far fewer SSBN in the sea (20-30), Air launched nuclear bombers (40+), and lastly, nuclear cruise missiles (no figure online)


The US lacks a road-mobile nuclear weapon, while concentrate mostly on aerial delivery method (91 B1b lancer, 21 B2 Spirit) and SSBN (14 Ohio class SSBN curently, probably 30 during cold war), and about 1000 nuclear armed cruise missiles (450 currently). The numbers just seem awefully low in comparison to the Russians. What's other's thought on this?

I'm not sure myself, that is an interesting question to pose.

flyer19999 August 13th, 2008 02:26 PM

How many nuclear missile silos?
 
Most countries that have nuclear missiles have moved away from silo base missiles because the accuracy of ICBM's have greatly improved. The CEP of most ICBM's today is less than thirty meters more than enough to cripple missile silos. GPS guidance has made ICBM's very accurate.

Majority of countries use mobile ICBM's that can be moved around so a fix cannot be established or at least established very long because they are moved.

kato August 13th, 2008 04:32 PM

Ummm.... there are exactly three countries with ICBMs. And as for the placing - don't agree at all.

The USA has them in silos only (450 Minuteman III), China has them in silos only (20-25 DF-5A), and Russia has them mobile (300 RT-2PM), since their silo-based missiles were retired - although some trials have been done to reconfigure silos for RT-2PM, partially due to the high cost of mobile forces.

And what's that with GPS guidance? There are no GPS-guided ICBMs. All ICBMs use inertial guidance, and, even with optimistic estimates, have minimum CEPs between 300m and 500m.

Even most current IRBMs (such as Agni-III, DF-4) are only launched from hardened sites, not from road-mobile launchers, the only exception there is the DF-31, which is launched by TEL.

flyer19999 August 13th, 2008 05:37 PM

France has submarine launched ICBM's
 
Frances also has ICBM's although they are submarine launched.

When I said GPS guidance I was referring to GSP terminal guidance. Not GPS initial guidance.

Grand Danois August 13th, 2008 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kato (Post 150997)
And what's that with GPS guidance? There are no GPS-guided ICBMs. All ICBMs use inertial guidance, and, even with optimistic estimates, have minimum CEPs between 300m and 500m..

IIRC US ICBM use GPS (but is not a primary means of nav) and also stellar navigation (very, very accurate).

The geometry of the original three Beidiou GEO sats perform poorly for navigation on the Earths surface, but is excellent if you use them for mid-course corrections when tossing an ICBM from China to CONUS. Odd isn't it? ;) If the Chinese don't use the sats for this, they'd have to work with a CEP of several kms.


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