The Sword of Armageddon will take off in 2023

The Sword of Armageddon will take off in 2023
The Sword of Armageddon will take off in 2023

We have noted more than once that the US nuclear triad has not been an example of perfect balance for a long time. And the air component in the person of the B-52 and B-2 is far from ideal, and the ground component in the person of the third "Minuteman".

And now our American friend Kyle Mizokami, who does not let us get bored, gave information on the pages of Popular Mechanics that in 2023 a new ICBM (Armageddon Sword) will begin the stage of final tests.

In fact, this has been asking for a long time. Yes, Ohio, with their Tridents on board, is a force to be reckoned with. But frankly old B-52 bombers, which have little chance of reaching the missile launch lines (not because there is air defense, but because there is air traffic) and B-2, which only carry bombs - this does not cause tremors in the knees.

It's the same with the Minuteman.


The rocket is old. It has been in service since 1970, while in "backward" Russia, the Topol, which were developed and adopted much later, are gradually being withdrawn from service. Yes, "Topol" - there is a nuance in the form of the "Yuzhnoye" design bureau, but nevertheless.

You can endlessly upgrade, you can change blocks, shaman engines, everything is possible. But the general fatigue of the structure and the associated possible failures cannot be removed from the accounts.

And many unsuccessful test runs associated with this. The latter, by the way, took place on May 5, 2021. The computer canceled the launch of the rocket, for some reason, it was not disclosed. But the fact is that "Minutemans" systematically and regularly "please" their operators with various refusals.

And now, apparently having already carried out some of the tests, the US military announced that the new ICBM, which is called the "Ground-Based Strategic Deterrence" (GBSD), is entering the final stage of testing, according to the results of which the ground unit will be formed. strategic triad.


In general, here, as it were, without options, it is necessary to change the ancient "Minutemans". Until it exploded in the mine or when launched over the country. Purely for safety reasons, but not the one that the rocket is supposed to store. The point is that the "Minutemans" can be more dangerous for the Americans themselves than for those at whom they could hypothetically be launched.

Of course, there are many critics in the United States who believe that this is nonsense, and it would be possible to operate the old missiles for a while without spending so much money.

How much one rocket will cost, of course, was not disclosed, but there is a figure that is planned to be spent on rearmament: $ 61 billion over the next 10 years.

The figure is impressive, isn't it?

But there is an interesting option: to maintain and modernize the old "Minutemans" for the same period will require $ 25 billion. And then, after 10 years, if nothing fatal happens, then … you will have to take on the GBSD project again! Because in 10 years "Minutemans" will be over 60 years old and even just keeping them in mines will be dangerous.

Replacing 400 silo-based missiles is a big task that will take more than one year and more than tens of billions to complete. It's clear. But at the exit, the United States will have a new missile capable of solving problems in the future for another 30-40 years.

GBSD is currently in the testing phase of subsystems, according to the BBC magazine. There is no doubt that the rocket will be brought to test. The company "Northrop-Grumman" is working on it, which is really at its peak. And GBSD, and B-3 / B-21, work, apparently, is in full swing.The press service of the company is publishing very encouraging releases, assuring that "everything is going according to plan."

Northrop is pleased to report that the GBSD was developed using the latest digital engineering techniques that allow contractors to build rockets faster and learn different configurations without actually building them. That is, 3D modeling.

Engineers "Northrop-Grumman" during the work on the GBSD made more than 6 billion calculations, choosing the best configuration for the rocket. And only then they began to work on the layouts.

Of course, an order for 400 ICBMs - there is something to explode for. So, most likely, something will start from the sites of Vanderberg Air Force Base in 2023. With what success - we'll see, moreover, very carefully. We are, after all, an interested party …

By simple calculations, we get that the cost of one GBSD project ICBM will be $ 152.5 million. This is taking into account the cost of the warhead, R&D, modernization of mines, work on replacing missiles and disposing of Minutemans. If we talk about the missile itself and the warhead, then we can safely call the figure of $ 50-60 million per missile.

For comparison, our Topol without a warhead cost about $ 30 million. So - quite a normal price. And the fact that so much has been laid for the work - so a lot of work is foreseen. Replacing 400 ICBMs is no joke.

The GBSD will be armed with the W87-1 thermonuclear warhead. This is a further development of the W87 warhead, which was created at Livermore National Laboratory in 1982. W87 was deployed on Peacekeeper missiles, then switched to newer Minutemans.

Development of the W87-1 began in November 1987, the warhead was supposed to become more powerful than its predecessor through the use of more enriched uranium. The planned capacity was to be about 475 kT.


The W87-1 planned to equip the new MGM-134A "Midgetman" missiles with a monoblock warhead. But the time has come for disarmament and reductions, then somehow the main rival, the Soviet Union, disappeared and the development of the rocket ceased. The warhead was also put aside in 1988.

Now, in connection with the arisen need to get into service with a more modern missile, respectively, a warhead was required.

Work on the W87-1 has been resumed, and GBSD will receive a new warhead with a capacity of 335 kT to 350 kT in TNT. For comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of about 15 kilotons.

If you can compare GBSD with a nuclear club, then this is a very weighty club.

But - $ 61 billion. 6 billion for each year of the rearmament program.

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