Strategic Nuclear Warfare (Full Version)

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acbennett3 -> Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:54:08 AM)

This is not an AAR of a single scenario, instead it is a test of the Strategic Nuclear Warfare simulation capabilities of CMNAO. I used to be on a Ballistic Missile Sub (SSBN) in the Navy so I have interest in this area, and after I read somewhere during the Beta test that someone had parked a Soviet SSBN off the US coast and nuked New Orleans I had to give it a try. At first I just wanted to launch a few nukes and see what happened but it quickly turned into an experiment to determine how much CMNAO can simulate in this area.

I started simple by creating a blank scenario and placing a Soviet Delta IV class SSBN off the US East coast. Then I put a cluster of 3 targets/facilities in the middle of the country - Ohio maybe?

In the image below you see the SSBN has launched a single SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) that has 4 warheads/re-entry vehicles.
"A multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) is a ballistic missile payload containing several warheads, each capable of hitting one of a group of targets." (Wikipedia)
At this point the SLBM is at approx 265 miles altitude and 5000 knots and still ascending.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:54:56 AM)

In the below image we see it close to Apogee (highest point) and 7100 knots/8200 mph/13200kph. I am pointing out altitude and speed here because in later examples these extreme values are what makes it tough to detect and knock down the warheads.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:55:56 AM)

When I first saw the below image I thought something was wrong but then I realized what I was looking at. The SLBM has MIRVed - the 4 re-entry vehicles have separated from the missile (MIRV bus) and are now descending to the targets. Also, when I launched the missile I only assigned it to one of the facilities but now you see that some of the warheads have targeted the nearby facilities.

Here is a more detailed explanation:


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:56:35 AM)

In this image one of the warheads has impacted/detonated and the remaining two are on their way.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:57:46 AM)

Next I decided to test a similar situation except the target would be hardened missile silos - in this case Minuteman III silos close together. In the image the Delta IV has launched another missile initially targeted at one of the silos.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:58:20 AM)

Below is a part of the database info on the Minuteman III Silo. Specifically it has 4000 damage points and contains a single Minuteman III ICBM which has 3 warheads/MIRV. My goal here was to test the survivability of the silo from a short notice enemy first strike - like from an SSBN off the US coast.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:59:05 AM)

In this image the warheads have separated from the SLBM and as before they have targeted the nearby targets/missile silos.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 6:59:47 AM)

The results are two of the silos are destroyed but one has survived.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:00:26 AM)

I had the Soviet SSBN on computer control so in response she fired another SLBM to destroy the remaining silo. But before the warheads arrived I fired the Minuteman III in reaction to the initial attack - simulating what probably would have happened following a first strike. The Minuteman III has three re-entry vehicles of 170kT's each.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:00:57 AM)

Here we see the target - something close by on the island of Cuba…


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:01:57 AM)

Next I setup something a little more complex. First, instead of launching a single SLBM, the Delta IV launches 12 SLBM's in rapid succession. This is what would have happened in the case of full scale nuclear exchange. In the image the 12 SLBM's have been launched and are building up speed and altitude.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:02:42 AM)

An actual nuclear attack of this type would be detected by satellite and the phased array early warning system:
"The radar, developed by Raytheon, is used primarily to detect and track sea-launched (SLBM) and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)."

And this radar is in the database. I have placed one Pave Paws site near the coast and we see in the below image that it has successfully detected the inbound SLBM's as hostile.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:03:32 AM)

In this next image the Pave Paws continues to track the SLBM's as they head towards their target - New Orleans. In the logs it actually reports the MIRV process - first the missile is reported as lost on radar, then 4 new contacts/vampires are reported corresponding to the 4 re-entry vehicles/warheads. Pretty cool.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:04:18 AM)

In this image is the defense I setup as well as the ultimate target. Off the coast is an Arleigh Burke DD (w/Aegis phased array radar) which provides the tracking of the warheads as they descend towards their target. To the northwest of the target is a late model Patriot missile battery. In this example I learned I badly placed the battery. The Patriot tracking radar can only lock on the incoming warheads when they have slowed to approx 6000knots. This did not occur until the warheads were relatively close to the battery. So the Patriot missiles fire but they cannot build up enough speed to catch the warheads before they impact. So all 12x4=48 100kT warheads hit the single target making a really deep glass hole in the ground…


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:05:27 AM)

So I try another setup with a facility straddled by two Patriot batteries directly in the path of the incoming SLBM/warheads.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:06:34 AM)

This time the Patriot systems are able to lock on to the warheads and since they are directly in the path of the inbound warheads speed is not as critical. Both batteries fire 2 missiles each at the 4 warheads (close together).


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:07:45 AM)

The first 4 Patriot missiles only succeed in knocking down 1 warhead and the remaining 3 warheads pass over the first Patriot battery. In response the more distant battery launches another 6 missiles.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:08:33 AM)

2 more warheads are taken out but 1 warhead makes it to the target and detonates. In the below image the 'mushroom cloud'/area of damage - represented by a white circle - is slowly expanding after detonation.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:09:06 AM)

In this last image the damage from the detonation expands enough to also destroy both Patriot batteries. So even though 3 out of the 4 warheads were destroyed - it only takes 1 getting through to destroy the target. Defending against an SLBM/ICBM looks to be very challenging with no room for error.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:09:58 AM)

In this next example I setup another defense of New Orleans using some new weapons systems. First off the coast is a Zumwalt class DD. It has an advanced Aegis radar system for detection of the inbound nuclear warheads. It also has SM-6 AAM/ABM missiles to attempt shoot down the warheads. Second is a pair of AL-1A Airborne Laser A/C - a 747 with a chemical laser in the front:

Both of these are planned or experimental weapons.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:10:43 AM)

In this image the Zumwalt's radar has detected the inbound warheads (single SLBM/4 warheads).


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:11:18 AM)

In this image the AL-1A's are firing at the inbound warheads - which are still at high altitude/high speed. Pretty impressive.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:11:50 AM)

In this image the AL-1A's fire at the last 2 warheads and take them out. Success - against 1 SLBM.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:12:24 AM)

Against 3 SLBMs/12 warheads the defenses are overwhelmed. The AL-1A's take out some of the warheads but can't keep up. For whatever reason the Zumwalt fires the SM6's late so the missiles never build up enough speed to pick off the remaining warheads. Result - 1 target destroyed.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:13:06 AM)

In the last case I fire 2 SLBM's and let the Zumwalt handle everything. This time the SM6 missile launches are more timely and take out a number of warheads. But in the far north you can see at least 1 warhead slipping by…


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:14:25 AM)

In my last example I setup a B-52D bomb run against a target in Cuba. The defenses for this test are a long range P-40/Long Track radar for detection, an SA-2b SAM battery and a single Mig-21MF. In the below image are a group of 3 B-52D's armed with B-28/1.45mT nuclear bombs. The JAM next to them indicates their Offensive ECM (OECM) is turned on. Just going feet wet to the south is the Mig-21. Finally near the bottom right corner is the target with the nearby radar and SAM battery.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:15:00 AM)

The Mig-21 closed the bombers but by the time it had identified them as hostile they had flown by and the Mig-21 was stuck in a stern chase. Eventually it was able to catch up with the tail end B-52 and fire its Atoll AAMs at extreme range - but they missed. Intercepting high altitude/relatively high speed bombers is tough - hence Interceptor fighters were developed for this - which the Mig-21 is probably not.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:15:29 AM)

In this image one of the SA-2 missiles is about to destroy the lead B-52. A number of other missiles were fired but they failed due to the B-52 OECM and maneuvering.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:16:01 AM)

A remaining B-52 is able to successfully perform a bomb run over the target - the red dots/line just next to the target represent the bombs. The Mig-21 is still chasing the bombers but at this point it is Winchester/out of missiles and ammo. Not sure if CMNAO can model ramming - although in this case it would be warranted.


acbennett3 -> RE: Strategic Nuclear Warfare (9/28/2013 7:16:35 AM)

Detonation occurs and the damage area is growing. One of the B-52's appears to be already over the expanding damage area.


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