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    ICBM & SLBM targets

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    marcinko
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    ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  marcinko on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:40 pm

    Hello together,

    since there are a few gents around that know their stuff, can you  tell me how targeting works ?

    I mean you have mobile Topol M - is this assigned a particular target - say Chicago or NORAD - and it has most data preloaded and it`s ready to launch ?

    Is there a fluid way to select which missile gets what target ?

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:46 am

    marcinko wrote:I mean you have mobile Topol M - is this assigned a particular target - say Chicago or NORAD - and it has most data preloaded and it`s ready to launch ?

    That's pretty much correct; missiles like Topol'-M are loaded with the coordinates of the target/targets.

    Is there a fluid way to select which missile gets what target ?

    Russian missiles can be re-targeted quickly by new sets of coordinates being loaded into them, rather than full trajectories. The missile itself calculates the trajectories for each reentry vehicle.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  jhelb on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:24 pm

    Morpheus Eberhardt wrote:The missile itself calculates the trajectories for each reentry vehicle.

    Can you expand on this please.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  GarryB on Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:15 am

    Think of it as artillery... which is also ballistic.

    It needs to know its current position and orientation and the location of the target and from that it can calculate the direction and angle it needs to direct the shell to make it impact on the target.

    Obviously with ICBMs there are other aspects to consider like the earth rotation during the period of flight as well as the effects of side winds at launch and reentry, but most errors can be compensated for by having a manouvering warhead...


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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:33 am

    jhelb wrote:
    Morpheus Eberhardt wrote:The missile itself calculates the trajectories for each reentry vehicle.

    Can you expand on this please.

    Sure, I'll expand it soon.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  jhelb on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:04 am

    GarryB wrote:Think of it as artillery... which is also ballistic.

    It needs to know its current position and orientation and the location of the target and from that it can calculate the direction and angle it needs to direct the shell to make it impact on the target.

    Obviously with ICBMs there are other aspects to consider like the earth rotation during the period of flight as well as the effects of side winds at launch and reentry, but most errors can be compensated for by having a manouvering warhead...

    Garry, hypothetical situation, but suppose after a Russian ICBM/SLBM is launched,somehow the US/NATO manages to cut off the GLONASS signals that the missile is receiving. How will the missile then zero in on the target?

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  Teshub on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:48 am

    jhelb wrote:Garry, hypothetical situation, but suppose after a Russian ICBM/SLBM is launched,somehow the US/NATO manages to cut off the GLONASS signals that the missile is receiving. How will the missile then zero in on the target?
    As far as I'm aware, all ICBMs and SLBMs have inertial guidance systems as a backup, if not the primary targeting system. Knocking out satnav arrays will reduce accuracy, but the warhead can always be dialed up to compensate with a larger explosion.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  artjomh on Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:15 pm

    jhelb wrote:Garry, hypothetical situation, but suppose after a Russian ICBM/SLBM is launched,somehow the US/NATO manages to cut off the GLONASS signals that the missile is receiving. How will the missile then zero in on the target?

    Astro-intertial correction.

    Ballistic missiles literally navigate by stars. Cool

    Also, remember that ballistic missiles are not like cruise missiles, they have a pretty short powered flight. You "aim" a ballistic missile during its boost phase, and after it reaches apogee, it corrects its orientation with small maneuvering verniers using astrocorrection. After which it does not "fly" in a same sense that a plane flies. It just falls on target like an artillery shell.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  jhelb on Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:53 pm

    artjomh wrote:Astro-intertial correction.

    Ballistic missiles literally navigate by stars. Cool

    Also, remember that ballistic missiles are not like cruise missiles, they have a pretty short powered flight. You "aim" a ballistic missile during its boost phase, and after it reaches apogee, it corrects its orientation with small maneuvering verniers using astrocorrection. After which it does not "fly" in a same sense that a plane flies. It just falls on target like an artillery shell.

    + 1 artjomh

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:39 am

    Can I add that as artjomh points out with the short flight time... a modern ring laser gyro uses a very very long fibre optic cable with a laser beam flowing through it to measure movement. Modern examples are so sensitive they can measure the effect of the earths rotation while sitting still on a table.

    the inertial guidance system, which will include a ring laser gyro, will be set with the precise launch position and with the known coordinates of the target will be able to adjust the control surfaces and direction of rocket thrust to get within a few kilometres of the target.

    the problem with inertial navigation is that it will have an error rate that will increase over time, so a very long range cruise missile can't rely on inertial navigation (IN) alone because it becomes less and less accurate over time, so after flying 3,000km at subsonic speeds it might be 20km out.

    Different options are currently available including astro navigation and satellite navigation... for ballistic missiles the stars will be visible as they travel through space so the IN system still guides the missile and its payload but regular fixes from star positions means that the missiles precise location can be recalculated so instead of landing 30 minutes later 10,000km away from the launch area with an accuracy of say 2km, with constant updates from star positions accuracy can be less than 200m.

    Satellite navigation can also greatly improve accuracy by allowing updates, but with a cruise missile the physical shape of the terrain and a few known fixed points on the way to the target can also be used to greatly improve accuracy.

    For instance a cruise missile launched at the US might travel past an area with a mountain peak that is 1,200m tall... the terrain avoidance radar the missile uses could detect that peak and its precise position in relation to the missile... based on that a more accurate position for the missile could be calculated... or it might be a major highway intersection that could be used.


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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  jhelb on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:36 pm

    GarryB wrote:Can I add that as artjomh points out with the short flight time... a modern ring laser gyro uses a very very long fibre optic cable with a laser beam flowing through it to measure movement. Modern examples are so sensitive they can measure the effect of the earths rotation while sitting still on a table.

    As ever, than you Garry thumbsup

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  jhelb on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:36 am

    artjomh wrote:The peace dividend produced as a result of the end of the Cold War meant that many programs were cancelled as money was funnelled away from military programmes (e.g. Fast Hawk).

    Further attempts to create a US response to supersonic cruise missile threat (HyFly, JSSCM/SHOC, the RATTLRS programme, as well as LRASM-B) were also cancelled due to budget sequestrations.

    Artjomh, during the days of the Cold War (or for that matter,even now) was it possible for USSR or NATO to determine if an incoming ICBM/SLBM is carrying a nuclear warhead or a conventional(non-nuclear) warhead? Thanks.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  artjomh on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:38 pm

    No, of course not.

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  Werewolf on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:04 pm

    jhelb wrote:
    artjomh wrote:The peace dividend produced as a result of the end of the Cold War meant that many programs were cancelled as money was funnelled away from military programmes (e.g. Fast Hawk).

    Further attempts to create a US response to supersonic cruise missile threat (HyFly, JSSCM/SHOC, the RATTLRS programme, as well as LRASM-B) were also cancelled due to budget sequestrations.

    Artjomh, during the days of the Cold War (or for that matter,even now) was it possible for USSR or NATO to determine if an incoming ICBM/SLBM is carrying a nuclear warhead or a conventional(non-nuclear) warhead? Thanks.

    Wouldn't make any sense even if they could. What difference would it make?

    They certainly would treat it just like a nuclear attack against their country and SSBM or ICBM makes no difference if conventional or nuclear warhead such weapons are both strategic weapons and are never used for isolated targets with single launches, but a massive strike or no strike at all. It would be exactly just like in the video games SuperPower2 or Defcon, you launch one missile the enemy launches all missiles, you lose. You launch all missiles, enemy launches all missiles, both lose. Very similiar like in the movie Wargames, which probably everyone has watched.

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    ICBM/SLBM is carrying a nuclear warhead

    Post  RTN on Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:20 pm

    artjomh wrote:No, of course not.

    That's right. Unless they share prior information as was contemplated by the US for the Prompt Global Strike program.

    For example, the ICBM carrying the conventional warhead may fly a depressed trajectory or shaped trajectory to distinguish them from nuclear warhead carrying ICBMs that follow a parabolic arc. Also, the ICBM carrying the conventional warhead can be designed to have a distinct boost signature or introducing an inert material in the propellant which will help distinguish its signature from that of an ICBM carrying a nuclear warhead

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:08 am

    Even if they send each other text messages there is still no way to tell what sort of warhead is being delivered... until it hits and by then it is too late to make decisions...

    Russia would never ignore an ICBM launch just because the US claims it is a conventional warhead... that would just be stupid... America lies.


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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  max steel on Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:18 pm

    I remember reading that ballistic missile subs can launch their missiles from home base(without being on patrol). Delta III and IV subs can launch their missiles from the pier. But can subs with solid-propellant Bulavas do the same ?

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    Re: ICBM & SLBM targets

    Post  GarryB on Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:43 am

    They had a few Bulava test launches from surfaced subs, but when they talk about SSBNs launching from the pier they are basically talking about the flight range of their missiles allowing them to hit their targets without having to sail any closer than their piers.


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