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Old 10-31-2019, 12:03 PM
SamuelA is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,903
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
I'd like to see the assumptions they made in order to come up with that statement. AIUI, SLBMs and ICBMs travel at roughly the same speed when they reach terminal velocity. They take roughly the same amount of time to reach that velocity. Further, SLBMs would be launched closer to their targets than ICBMs, enough so that time of flight should be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes less.

So, for SLBMs and ICBMs to arrive on target at essentially the same time, the SLBM process for issuing, authenticating, and acting upon a valid launch order, is about 10-20 minutes slower than for the land based force?

Or is 10-20 minutes or less, not 'operationally meaningfully different?'
Communication links are slower. You have to use very low data rates to reach a submarine. Measured in characters per minute for extreme low frequency. This means a launch order transmission would take on the order of 10 minutes to an hour.

Probably the war plan is to signal the submarine to ascend to just below the surface, where it would use a faster link like VLF or a 2 way satellite connection.

Still this adds minutes at a minimum.