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Nikos
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Posts: 91
Unit: ME038

« on: May 01, 2016, 01:37:47 PM »

I have read where the Air Force has missiles on nuclear alert.  My question is, does the Air Force still keep part of the bomber force on nuclear alert?
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PHall
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Posts: 5,877

« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 02:14:20 PM »

Currently there are no bombers on Alert. That can be changed in as little as 6 hours.
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JeffDG
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2016, 02:24:03 PM »

It's not like the missiles can be used in non-nuclear roles, like the bombers can.

There was talk of a "Prompt Global Strike" program to put precision guided munitions (conventional, non-nuclear) on ICBMs such that a target half-way around the world could have a smart-bomb down it's chimney in a very short time, however, the issue there is verification that the launch is a conventional weapon. 

If the Russians see an ICBM lifting off out of Montana, how are they going to be sure it's a conventional weapon, and not a MIRV heading for them, and what's to stop them from firing a counter-strike if they think it's a first-strike?
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Mordecai
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2016, 02:56:55 PM »


If the Russians see an ICBM lifting off out of Montana, how are they going to be sure it's a conventional weapon, and not a MIRV heading for them, and what's to stop them from firing a counter-strike if they think it's a first-strike?

Indeed. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident for an example of what can go wrong.
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Flying Pig
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2016, 03:00:50 PM »

There are, however, fighters that sit on alert, loaded and ready to go. 
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PHall
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Posts: 5,877

« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 03:24:46 PM »

It's not like the missiles can be used in non-nuclear roles, like the bombers can.

There was talk of a "Prompt Global Strike" program to put precision guided munitions (conventional, non-nuclear) on ICBMs such that a target half-way around the world could have a smart-bomb down it's chimney in a very short time, however, the issue there is verification that the launch is a conventional weapon. 

If the Russians see an ICBM lifting off out of Montana, how are they going to be sure it's a conventional weapon, and not a MIRV heading for them, and what's to stop them from firing a counter-strike if they think it's a first-strike?

The fact that it takes a full day to change out the software and the weapon payload doesn't help either.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 03:58:12 PM »

Bombers don't carry just bombs. The B-52 can carry air launched cruise missiles, which have seen major use in recent Middle East activities.
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Dave Bowles
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PHall
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Posts: 5,877

« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 04:09:07 PM »

Bombers don't carry just bombs. The B-52 can carry air launched cruise missiles, which have seen major use in recent Middle East activities.

B-52's can also carry and launch anti-ship missiles (Harpoon) and mines too.

The B-52 is the "Swiss Army Knife" of bombers. It can carry just about everything in the arsenal.
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arajca
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Posts: 4,168

« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 05:29:32 PM »

Bombers don't carry just bombs. The B-52 can carry air launched cruise missiles, which have seen major use in recent Middle East activities.

B-52's can also carry and launch anti-ship missiles (Harpoon) and mines too.

The B-52 is the "Swiss Army Knife" of bombers. It can carry just about everything in the arsenal.
At one time. :)
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PHall
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Posts: 5,877

« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 08:49:54 PM »

Bombers don't carry just bombs. The B-52 can carry air launched cruise missiles, which have seen major use in recent Middle East activities.

B-52's can also carry and launch anti-ship missiles (Harpoon) and mines too.

The B-52 is the "Swiss Army Knife" of bombers. It can carry just about everything in the arsenal.
At one time. :)

So what weapons can the B-52 not carry? 
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 09:27:14 PM »

Tanks?

Self-Prop guns?

But what it can... will beat those!

 ;)
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,877

« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 11:27:52 PM »

Tanks?

Self-Prop guns?

But what it can... will beat those!

 ;)

No, but it can carry, and drop, a 10 Megaton Nuke on your house!
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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,530

« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2016, 01:26:51 AM »

Like I said, a B-52 can beat any of those!

 ;)
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