Can Sub launched ballistic missiles be launched while the sub is on the surface?

Discussion in 'Nuclear, Chemical & Bio Weapons' started by Dayton3, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't that have been extremely unlikely? From what I read in "Blind Man's Bluff" the Soviets successfully tracking a Poseidon carrying SSBN was very rare. And they reportedly never successfully tracked one of the Ohio class ones.
     
  2. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Well you cant know that for sure. A Threat period can last for years. A sub might need repairs that do not require dry dock. You do want to be launch capable while in transit to and from patrol area. The Typhoon class subs, largest in the world, wear docked for most of their lives or major part of their lives, still they wear launch ready.
    Still, I do not get your idea. If you have a catapult start from under water, making a surface launch is not a technical issue, but a procedure issue.


    heres some catapult launches from land, nothing complicated.
     
  3. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's SOP anytime a U.S.N. ship is putting into port for it's service and maintenance phase all its munitions and weapons are unloaded.

    But when let say a destroyer of cruiser home ported in San Diego puts to sea to conduct missile and gunnery practice off of San Clemente Island they are already loaded with weapons and after a few days off of San Clelmete Island they return to port and leave all munitions in its magazines unless there is scheduled maintenance is scheduled then the ship would unload its weapons at sea to a ammunition ship or off shore of Camp Pendelton were the ship is unloaded by helicopters or tied up up a wharf at Seal Beach NWS.
    All USN nuclear attack subs (Hunters/Killers) for the Pacific are home ported in San Diego and some in Hawaii maybe Guam. (?)

    All boomers, nuclear ballistic subs for the Pacific are based at Bremerton Naval Base, Wa.. It's where the Tident nuclear missiles are stored in magazines guarded by U.S. Marines.

    The question that nobody is really answering, ho long does it take to reload the 24 Trident SLBM tubes on an Ohio class ?

    Well they are loaded at one missile at a time.

    When I was a contractor for Hewlett Packard during the late 1980's I was aboard Bremerton NB and while driving down a road all of these red flashing lights started flashing along side the road. You are suppose to pull over to the side of the road, turn off your engine and remain seated in your vehicle. The same procedure is used at the Seal Beach NWS when they are moving certain munitions and missiles aboard the station.

    Maybe 20 minutes later about a 1/4 mile away at an intersection first I see UH-1 Huey's flying above, then a LAV-25 then a huge Tractor semi pulling a trailer which I guess was a Trident missile on the trailer and Marine riflemen walking on foot on both sides of the semi.

    One Navy gunners mate or a deck monkey once said that when reloading Standard SAM's into a vertical launch missile launcher on a Burke, after the riggers on shore had attached the cranes cables to the canister it takes from 5 minutes to 10 minutes to incsert the canister into the missile tube.

    It's very common when driving too or from L.A. and San Diego along l-5 through Camp Pendelton, just west from Edson Range on the shore side of I-5 you see a huge helio pad, radars and communication antennas. You might see a Burke destroyer anchored a couple of miles off shore. You see helicopters usually CH-46's or CH-53 flying from Fallbrook NWS lowering pallets of gun rounds and missile canisters on to the helio pad while other Marine or Navy helicopters would lift the munitions and slung underneath and fly towards the ship that's off shore.

    Some times the process is reversed unloading the ship.

    It must be a long process because the ship is in the vicinity off shore with helicopters flying from dawn to dusk for two or three days.





     
  4. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    My point is that in a war that is likely to come anywhere close to a nuclear conflict, those boomers that can be put Sea (even if it does take several days of rapid effort) are going to be.

    The only boats left in port are going to be those undergoing such a heavy overhaul that it’s likely they’d never even make to sea before the war is over.
     
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  5. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I concur 100%.


    Boomers have two crews so I suppose they can conduct twice as many cruises at sea than surface ships.
     
  6. Kash

    Kash Member

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    I’v found it how it works and what they meant :). The “pusher” is indeed a bucket of gunpowder. But a water tank is present, the gases formed by burning gunpowder pass through water tank to cool them down and the missile is “pushed” by a steam-gas mixture. Max throw velocity – 50m/s. Push force – around 10G. Max firing depth – 30m. Max ROF – 15-20 sec per missile. Ready time – 15minutes (into 1 minute readiness (mk98)).

    Surface launch is useless as the missile do not have enough range to reach Russia if launching form pier (Ohio).

    For Russians, the surface launch is useful, they have sufficient range.
     
  7. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Ohio launch ready/patrol period is 50-60% of their life time. If the threat period will last for a year? No sub can stay at sea for a year… except for a Typhoon probably… They say they have a swimming pool there :)
     
  8. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    No major war between nuclear powers is going to last a year before either peace or nuclear war. Modern high-intensity warfare just expends material too quickly.
     
  9. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    You could have a prolonged period of steadily escalating tensions over a year or more though.
     
  10. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Yes, that’s what I meant, the period with finger on the trigger. Not necessary a hot war

    Connected to another topic discussed here the operation RYaN. Went live two years before Able Archer. The operation was to define US intent and procedures on starting Nuclear War. USSR high authority was quite confident that US government went nuts and is on direct route to starting a nuclear war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RYAN

    This was a very prolonged period, much more than a year.
     
  11. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    Plenty of time to get every sub that can be put to sea at sea.
     
  12. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Your stubbornness is admirable :) (joking! :) )

    An Ohio sub life is like that:
    14 years of service.
    4 month ERP – extended refit period
    6 years of service
    2 years ERO – extended refuel overhaul + 6 month testing
    20 years of service with undefined date of ERP somewhere in between depending on how your boat behaves.


    If extremely lucky the sub will go to dry dock for 3 years only, out of 40!
    The patrol period is around 90 days, afterwards the sub starts to run out of coke and hamburgers.
    The patrol period can be somehow extended to 120-150 days, in the end of the period the sub will run out of important stuff, like toilet paper, old mans patience, and grease for main bearing.
    Normally you should be 50% in launch ready patrolling, 25% - in port replenishing supplies and small repairs, in transit, participating in Wal-Mart shows, and 25% - training, testing, training, training, training.

    Now if the Threat period lasts for a year, still, you will not be able to do more than 3 sorties of 90 days length. You need to change crews or they will go nuts, you need to replenish supply or the crew will fire on White house instead of Kremlin, you need to test the reactor from top to bottom or you might get a failure and spend next 3 month in cleaning instead of patrolling. And you do the training all the time, you will prefer to skip a sortie to do the training because the Russians might kill you, and might not kill you. A poorly trained sailor on a nuclear boat will kill you for sure… You need to return every 90 days, there is no way around it. And the Threat period can last for 2 years. 10 years. E.t.c.
     
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  13. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    What about replenishment (including crew replacement) at sea? I would think it would be doable though not that efficient and SSBNs would be vulnerable while it was underway.
     
  14. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    U.S.Navy ballistic submarines (boomers) all have two crews which rotate.

    No reason why todays nuclear subs can't be resupplied at sea. The U.S. Navy and the German Navy did it all of the time during WW ll.

    Any replenishment ship like a fast combat stores ship could supply the sub with all of the toilet paper they need.

    Knew a Marine who served on a U.S. Navy submarine tender. When I asked him why would a submarine tender have a Marine detachment aboard he said because of the nuclear tipped Trident ballistic missiles that were on board to reload nuclear ballistic submarines during a nuclear war.

    He said the ship AOR was around Scotland.

    Doing a quick search I see the U.S. Navy still has two active duty submarine tenders. The USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) and the USS Frank Cable ( AS-40 )


    USS Frank Cable (AS-40)
    [​IMG]

    Hong Kong (Oct. 7, 2006) — Submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS-40) tends deployed submarines USS Honolulu (SSN-718) and USS LaJolla (SSN-701) while anchored in Hong Kong Harbor. The tender's presence made it possible for the two submarines to make a port visit to the Asian metropolis as United States submarines cannot moor to the mainland.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  15. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Interesting question, I do not know.

    We know it is not a common practice, there should be a reason. The subs of WW2 wear simple steel tubes with engine, they wear cheap, mass produced and expendable. The most advanced equipment is like the gyrocompass, the radar detector in the radio room, and that’s it. Cryptology and comms wear quite simple for the time compared to the suits designed for carriers or battleships.

    Now days the sub cost can be compared to cost of a carrier, the equipment is quite complicated and not really of mass production. If it is not mass produced and advanced, if it is top of the line above commercial standards, than servicing it might require a lab which cost more than its weight in gold. The lab might be less important than the specialists who do the testing, tuning, calibration. There might be like five people in the world (with experience + certification + clearance) that can correctly set up a system that measures gravity in the exact point prior to launch. Or their towed hydrophone array, don’t forget regular degaussing.

    I guess we need a specialist here to understand what they actually do between the patrols, the maintenance period can last a lot of time, there should be a reason why a normal sub is properly operating only around 50% of its life.

    Altogether, the systems of the sub are likely to be designed to last for a certain period of autonomoty. These systems are all tuned to live by themselves for a certain period of time, which is the maximum patrol period + some safety time. When the time passes, they are likely to continue to work, but the question is if the error margin will still be within parameters.
    Or the amount of hands needed to do the check up and resupply, might be too large. No idea.
     
  16. Skruddgemire

    Skruddgemire Well-Known Member

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    I've looked and I can't find anything on the subject. Tons of crap on how to get the damn things up from below the surface...sod all for surface launched.

    However...The military thrives on redundancy. I'd hate to think that they'd allow themselves to lose launch capacity just because they're on the surface. Say they took damage from an enemy attack sub, managed to fight it off (getting in a good shot with a torp) and had instructions to launch.

    One would think that there's a way to launch in those situations.
     
  17. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    [​IMG]

    April 20, 1964 - USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625) launches a Polaris A-2 missile in the first demonstration to show that Polaris submarines could launch missiles from the surface as well as from beneath the ocean.


     
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  18. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Gatewood and Mushroom like this.
  19. Skruddgemire

    Skruddgemire Well-Known Member

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    Well done. I think that answers the question.
     
  20. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's what I was thinking, the the thread question has been answered.
     
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  21. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Now which Nike missiles are you talking about? The Nike Ajax, the Nike Hercules, the Nike Zeus, or the Nike-X?

    But there was one system that could intercept ICBMs, the LIM-49A Spartan. And it was basically an improvement of the canceled Nike Zeus system. And during the test phase it was still known under it's old name, "Nike-X".

    So actually, yes they could.

    Actually, they were killed as part of the SALT I treaty. But even that is not really accurate.

    What SALT I did was restrict the number of locations guarded by a fixed missile defense system to one per country. The USSR did that, and even to this day Moscow is the most defended city in the world when it comes to air threats.

    The US decided to cancel the Nike program because there was so many of them, and there was a new missile defense system on the horizon. The Safeguard Program.

    [​IMG]

    Safeguard would set the stage for the next 50 years of anti-missile development. On the pyramid were 4 Phased Array Radar systems, giving it 360 degrees of vision.

    And the missiles it was going to use was the previously mentioned LIM-49A Spartan missiles. These were originally going to be placed all over the US as the next generation replacement for the Nike system. But because of delays in testing there was only one system close enough to be activated when SALT I was signed, defending an ICBM Farm in North Dakota.

    However, technology developed for this program are still paying off to this day. The AEGIS system is taken directly from Safeguard. And the reduction of fixed sites caused the Army to once again concentrate on mobile air defense systems. First PATRIOT, and now THAAD, and hopefully someday MEADS. All are pretty much descendants of Safeguard.

    And if this seems familiar to gamers, in Fallout 4 one of the sites you visit is "Sentinel Site Prescott", expanding this system nation wide in the absence of the SALT treaty. However, in the game the pyramid RADAR station is transformed into the launch site.

    [​IMG]

    But if you wanted to own this, it is for sale. After selling it in an auction in 2013 for $550,000, the current owners have it for sale. FOr the discount price of $1.25 million.

    http://www.missilebaseforsale.com/
     
  22. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Last night I was looking at "Janes Fighting Ships 1968 - 1969."

    On page 348 under Cruiser-type Anti-Ballistic Missile Ships: Proposed

    excerpt:

    Main armament...40 to 60 Nike-X nuclear tipped missiles.

    [​IMG]


    Doing a little research this morning I see someone back in 2009 was looking at the same Janes Fighting Ships -> https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8305.0.html

     
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  23. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Remember that I said that most of our current ABM systems are ultimately based on Safeguard?

    Essentially you just described the Ticonderoga class cruiser, with the SM-2/3 missile. Except this is less advanced since those missiles are also placed on Destroyers.

    Oh, and do not need the nuclear tipped missiles to do their job. Advances in tracking and computers have made hard kills possible.
     
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  24. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    The Spartan was a Nike missile in the same way a Tu-22M was a Tu-22. Also, it wasn't fielded.
     
  25. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Spartan was fielded. About two dozen IIRC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017

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