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Posted: 4/23/2013 8:26:42 PM EDT
Sometimes my mind wanders.  Was working on some chores today and I started thinking about tinhat's nuke threads/videos.
The only realistic hostile threats to the US w/ ICBM capability are Russia and China.  I'm in IN, so I'm not so worried about stuff brought in on a boat, etc.  We all know the Chinese make crap, at least what they sell us.  Russia's stuff was made during their pre-criminal-enterprise, commie years.  I think their stuff is probably better made than Chinese stuff, but that's just a hunch.  Our arsenal dates back to the 80's best case.
Well, this got me thinking -- what if one of those guys were targeting Cincinasty (East/downwind of me), and accidentally hit Indy (West/Upwind)? Or -- a direct hit on my house!  Well, that would suck.  So how accurate are these things?  I know we can send a cruise missle through a garage door, but that's our modern stuff, not their older stuff.  Back during the cold war, how accurate was considered good enough?  There's a reason the Russians had 12K warheads at one point...
I think the real measurement that we care about here is in radius in miles.  Just for fun and because this is a gun site, some calculations (if I did this right):
Assume the missile is traveling 25K miles (includes up/down, I made this # up):
5 mi = .7 MOA




20 mi = 2.8 MOA




50 mi = 6.9 MOA




100 mi = 13.8 MOA
Now when you consider they arm their guys w/ AK's (~4 MOA rifles), well, I hope their missiles are more accurate than that .  From everything I've read, when it comes to nuclear (nu-cle-ar) warheads, 29 miles (4 MOA @ 25K miles) kind of makes a difference...
Anybody have any idea?
-Slice

 
 
 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:34:05 PM EDT
[#1]
The Russian SS-27 has an estimated CEP of 200m with an 800kt warhead. CEP = the radius it is expected to land within. They are going to get what they are aiming at. They are not going to miss their target.

The Chinese are modifying ICBMs to hit moving carriers at sea. Their ICBMs are not "crap".

It is safe to assume that both Russian and Chinese ICBMs are going to hit their intended targets. It is also safe to assume that unless something knocks it off trajectory or it malfunctions it is not going to accidentally hit something else.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:38:01 PM EDT
[#2]


Wow.  That's like .016 MOA.  Even the guys in GD don't shoot that good...
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:48:09 PM EDT
[#3]
200-800 meters for Soviet Warheads.  Single or MRV.  If they launch......
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:35:26 PM EDT
[#4]
Want to be terrified? Read about high-altitude nuclear explosions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_nuclear_explosion

The ballistic missiles don't NEED to be accurate. Only takes a couple (as in, two is plenty) to send the entire USA back into the stone age. Read the report for details:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/congress/2004_r/04-07-22emp.pdf
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:40:35 PM EDT
[#5]


Unlike bullets, missiles receive mid course corrections.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 10:05:43 PM EDT
[#6]
Quoted:
The Russian SS-27 has an estimated CEP of 200m with an 800kt warhead. CEP = the radius it is expected to land within. They are going to get what they are aiming at. They are not going to miss their target.

The Chinese are modifying ICBMs to hit moving carriers at sea. Their ICBMs are not "crap".

It is safe to assume that both Russian and Chinese ICBMs are going to hit their intended targets. It is also safe to assume that unless something knocks it off trajectory or it malfunctions it is not going to accidentally hit something else.


Yes, this is consistent with the information I've read as well, virtually all US/Ruskie ICBMs have a CEP < 300m.

Given that it's about 8000Km from Moscow to DC, we get atan(200/8000000) of  .0014 degrees, or .08 MOA. Of course if your bullets had course corrections, star finders, inertial navigation and GPS, it'd probably tighten up your groups a bit.

The cancelled midgetman missile had a CEP of 90M and a range of 11,000KM, which is about 0.02 MOA!
.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 10:31:35 PM EDT
[#7]



Quoted:




Yes, this is consistent with the information I've read as well, virtually all US/Ruskie ICBMs have a CEP < 300m.



Given that it's about 8000Km from Moscow to DC, we get atan(200/8000000) of  .0014 degrees, or .08 MOA. Of course if your bullets had course corrections, star finders, inertial navigation and GPS, it'd probably tighten up your groups a bit.



The cancelled midgetman missile had a CEP of 90M and a range of 11,000KM, which is about 0.02 MOA!

.



Wouldn't that be an assault missile?



 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 10:59:51 PM EDT
[#8]
As others have noted, they're very accurate.

Here's a very interesting video of a Minuteman 3 Test.  Very odd to see reentry vehicles striking the atoll.

Minuteman III Missile Launch - California To Kwajalein Atoll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SObYcIRTlI
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 2:01:26 AM EDT
[#9]



Quoted:





Quoted:



Yes, this is consistent with the information I've read as well, virtually all US/Ruskie ICBMs have a CEP < 300m.



Given that it's about 8000Km from Moscow to DC, we get atan(200/8000000) of  .0014 degrees, or .08 MOA. Of course if your bullets had course corrections, star finders, inertial navigation and GPS, it'd probably tighten up your groups a bit.



The cancelled midgetman missile had a CEP of 90M and a range of 11,000KM, which is about 0.02 MOA!

.



Wouldn't that be an assault missile?

 


teir 1 sniper rifle



 
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:15:57 AM EDT
[#10]



Quoted:


As others have noted, they're very accurate.



Here's a very interesting video of a Minuteman 3 Test.  Very odd to see reentry vehicles striking the atoll.



Minuteman III Missile Launch - California To Kwajalein Atoll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SObYcIRTlI


That's pretty cool.  I had some friends who worked on Kwaj. tracking "satellites".



 
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:17:30 AM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
The Russian SS-27 has an estimated CEP of 200m with an 800kt warhead. CEP = the radius it is expected to land within. They are going to get what they are aiming at. They are not going to miss their target.

The Chinese are modifying ICBMs to hit moving carriers at sea. Their ICBMs are not "crap".

It is safe to assume that both Russian and Chinese ICBMs are going to hit their intended targets. It is also safe to assume that unless something knocks it off trajectory or it malfunctions it is not going to accidentally hit something else.


right there...... the Chinese make crap to sell at Walmart

I have no doubts they put as much effort into their military as we do
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:18:25 AM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
Want to be terrified? Read about high-altitude nuclear explosions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_nuclear_explosion

The ballistic missiles don't NEED to be accurate. Only takes a couple (as in, two is plenty) to send the entire USA back into the stone age. Read the report for details:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/congress/2004_r/04-07-22emp.pdf


/groan



Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:19:38 AM EDT
[#13]
Well its like horse shoes and hand grenades close enough!.......
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:33:40 AM EDT
[#14]
I have always thought that since we can build cruise missles that can hit a particular window from 1000's of miles away.. why do we need nukes?

Just strap a claymore on that bad dude, fly it in the enemies window.. and BOOM.. we win.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 8:08:27 AM EDT
[#15]
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 8:40:52 AM EDT
[#16]
Yeah, definite it's a sniper rifle. One round, and the reload time is a bitch, since technically missiles are muzzleloaders.

Link Posted: 4/24/2013 9:39:03 AM EDT
[#17]
Quoted:
Quoted:
The Russian SS-27 has an estimated CEP of 200m with an 800kt warhead. CEP = the radius it is expected to land within. They are going to get what they are aiming at. They are not going to miss their target.

The Chinese are modifying ICBMs to hit moving carriers at sea. Their ICBMs are not "crap".

It is safe to assume that both Russian and Chinese ICBMs are going to hit their intended targets. It is also safe to assume that unless something knocks it off trajectory or it malfunctions it is not going to accidentally hit something else.


right there...... the Chinese make crap to sell at Walmart

I have no doubts they put as much effort into their military as we do

This is very correct.

The Chinese are masters at reverse engineering and currently manufacture some of the most cutting edge technology (your fancy iPads and phones). Lots of people associate China with cheap crap simply because they've never looked at where parts in their "assembled in USA" things are actually made.
Their engineers and technicians are some of the best in the world, why? because they send them to the US and Europe for education.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 9:46:33 AM EDT
[#18]
How accurate does a nuclear bomb need to be?  Hmmmmmm
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 9:52:05 AM EDT
[#19]
Paging LimaXray! Paging LimaXray! Recipe needed in Aisle 3!

Link Posted: 4/24/2013 10:08:31 AM EDT
[#20]
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 10:31:24 AM EDT
[#21]
Quoted:
Quoted:
How accurate does a nuclear bomb need to be?  Hmmmmmm


Depends on how big a bomb you have and how hard the target is.

Generally you're better off getting more accuracy than trying to make it up by having a bigger blast.


Generally? This is from your vast experience of analyzing ground zero?

Link Posted: 4/24/2013 11:09:30 AM EDT
[#22]
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 11:40:30 AM EDT
[#23]


As they used to say when I was in the Army....."If the blast doesn't kill you, the fall to the bottom of the crater will".

Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:14:17 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
How accurate does a nuclear bomb need to be?  Hmmmmmm


Actually they need to be pretty accurate. While they cause a crapload of damage due to overpressure, etc
the actual 100% destruction zone of a typical nuke is suprisingly small, and smaller still due to hard
targets. The W87 warhead in use on most our missiles is 300KT (there's a near 500KT upgrade, status
of that is unknown.) The fireball radius that guarantees complete destruction of a hardened target
is only 320 meters wide. The 20 PSI overpressure radius is about 2000 meters. If you're protected
from direct exposure to the thermal pulse, you're probably going to survive at 8000 meters out.

Rule of thumb is they try to keep the CEP below the the fireball radius for maximum usability, and
it's cheaper to build smaller, more accurate missles than to make bigger fireball radius warheads.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 5:55:27 PM EDT
[#25]
Quoted:

Quoted:

Yes, this is consistent with the information I've read as well, virtually all US/Ruskie ICBMs have a CEP < 300m.

Given that it's about 8000Km from Moscow to DC, we get atan(200/8000000) of  .0014 degrees, or .08 MOA. Of course if your bullets had course corrections, star finders, inertial navigation and GPS, it'd probably tighten up your groups a bit.

The cancelled midgetman missile had a CEP of 90M and a range of 11,000KM, which is about 0.02 MOA!
.

Wouldn't that be an assault missile?
 


Only in the hands of civilians.

These are government missles: PDM's
(Personal Defense Missles)
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 7:02:08 PM EDT
[#26]
They only good thing about highly accurate ICBM's is the warheads get smaller.  I'd much rather have an accurate Chinese warhead in the KT range than a megaton warhead on an inaccurate Chinese warhead.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 8:22:21 PM EDT
[#27]



Quoted:


How accurate does a nuclear bomb need to be?  Hmmmmmm


Accurate enough to miss my house



 
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 8:34:55 PM EDT
[#28]
Quoted:

Wow.  That's like .016 MOA.  Even the guys in GD don't shoot that good...


Shooting isn't a good analogy.  When you fire a bullet, once it leaves the end of the barrel it's on a ballistic trajectory determined by momentum, gravity, aerodynamic forces, etc.

An ICBM has a guidance system. Usually a combination of inertial guidance + GPS (or inertial + GLONASS in the case of a Russian missile).  It is continually vectoring thrust to keep it on a pre-determined flight path.

Link Posted: 4/24/2013 8:44:15 PM EDT
[#29]
Quoted:

Quoted:
How accurate does a nuclear bomb need to be?  Hmmmmmm

Accurate enough to miss my house
 





34
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 6:08:21 AM EDT
[#30]
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 9:09:58 AM EDT
[#31]
Quoted:
Want to be terrified? Read about high-altitude nuclear explosions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_nuclear_explosion

The ballistic missiles don't NEED to be accurate. Only takes a couple (as in, two is plenty) to send the entire USA back into the stone age. Read the report for details:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/congress/2004_r/04-07-22emp.pdf


Arrrrrrgh

And then that EMP weapon is retributed with non HEMP MIRV response at several hundred kilotons each.

There is such a thing as EMP hardness, and EMP effect are significantly overhyped anyway. Nothing short of someone lobbing a Tsar Bomba as HEMP or solar phenomena is going to put us back in the Stone Age.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 4:30:49 PM EDT
[#32]
I can't comment on Russian nukes, but id assume based off of other countries and being almost on par with the US in ICBM tech that they are pretty accurate.

Chinese ICBMs (DF-5, JL-2 and DF-31; the DF-41is still experimental) for the most part aren't that accurate (Still within your '.7' MOA), but don't have to be since they aren't targeting small, hardened targets..  Their MRBMS (which includes their carrier killer the DF-21D) are pretty damned accurate, but unable to reach American territories.  It should be noted that I don't think any country except maybe NK has an ICBM so shitty that it wont hit your .7 MOA ring.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 6:16:19 PM EDT
[#33]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Want to be terrified? Read about high-altitude nuclear explosions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_nuclear_explosion

The ballistic missiles don't NEED to be accurate. Only takes a couple (as in, two is plenty) to send the entire USA back into the stone age. Read the report for details:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/congress/2004_r/04-07-22emp.pdf


Arrrrrrgh

And then that EMP weapon is retributed with non HEMP MIRV response at several hundred kilotons each.

There is such a thing as EMP hardness, and EMP effect are significantly overhyped anyway. Nothing short of someone lobbing a Tsar Bomba as HEMP or solar phenomena is going to put us back in the Stone Age.


I think youre right to a point. However consider what it would do to our infrastructure. Your cell phone will probably be fine as there isnt much wiring to build voltage on. What about the hundreds of thousands of miles of power transmission lines. What would it take to repair if every transformer in the country suddenly burned up.  The country would take decades to recover if we didnt eat each other first.

For example in 1859 there was a coronal mass ejection that hit earth. It shocked telegraph operators and they could send messages without the lines plugged in. There was a similar event in 1989 that caused a blackout of Quebec.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 7:54:36 PM EDT
[#34]
I'm ~1NM from what is almost certainly a 'target'.

If one comes, I'm dead. Nothing I can do about it.

If anything comes, I run, fast, to the other side of the nearest mountain, and hope it's second on the list.
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