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Old 10-30-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
What leaves me gobsmacked is how in the fucking world it takes $80 billion to build about a hundred or so ICBMs that need to be deployed.
It's about 650 missiles, not 100. The US has 3 strategic missile wings based in Montana(Malmstrom AFB), North Dakota(Minot AFB) and across parts of SE Wyoming , W. Nebraska and NE Colorado ((FE Warren AFB in Cheyenne).

Each one has about 150 missiles emplaced in silos well spread across the countryside.

Beyond that, we're not talking about something like a Patriot or Hellfire missile here; we're talking about something that is intended to lift a warhead bus weighing something like 3000-4000 lbs into a very precise ballistic trajectory, such that the warheads on the bus can be put on target within a CEP of 90 meters (or probably less in the GBSD; Peacekeeper had a 90m CEP 30 years ago, and Minuteman III has a 120m CEP).

This is no mean undertaking; historically ICBMs have been repurposed for NASA (the Titan II-GLV, the Mercury Redstone and the Mercury Atlas were all repurposed ICBMs. ), or for satellite launching (the Titan II, Atlas, Minuteman and Peacekeeper missiles (as the Minotaur I through V)).

So we're not talking "build a missile", we're talking something more on the order of "Build a rocket for NASA, and perch a nuclear weapon delivery system on top".

And it has to meet all sorts of readiness criteria and similar stuff in the bargain that civilian launch systems don't.

So in that light, it's not surprising that ICBMs would be extremely expensive.