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Use of SLBM/SSBN in conventional warfare

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  • Use of SLBM/SSBN in conventional warfare

    Can the SSBN/SLBMs of 1970s and 1980s be used in ANYWAY conventional warfare ?

    Obviously they had nuke warheads so the traditional use of their missiles is clearly not possible in a non-nuclear war

    but can the missiles be used with inert warheads [ just to have the missile body,fuel cause damage ] , or with H.E warheads ?
    Last edited by nastle; 03 Apr 20, 19:38.

  • #2
    In theory you could put conventional warheads in them. Or concrete.

    Two problems:

    1) Precision.....they sort of have precision to the Grid Square. So without a nuclear warhead they're really not accurate enough for a conventional payload that would fit inside to do the job.

    2) MAD. Fire a Ballistic Missile, get ready for ALL ZE MISSILES to be fired.....
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #3
      The SLBM might not have any practical use, but the SSBN is still a superb underwater vehicle filled with top-notch sensors and crew. While they may lack manoeuvrability, they can still serve as excellent accoustic detection platforms. If SOSUS posts are rendered inoperable, it might be conceivable to employ an SSBN as a stop-gap measure as a surveillance asset.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
        The SLBM might not have any practical use, but the SSBN is still a superb underwater vehicle filled with top-notch sensors and crew. While they may lack manoeuvrability, they can still serve as excellent accoustic detection platforms. If SOSUS posts are rendered inoperable, it might be conceivable to employ an SSBN as a stop-gap measure as a surveillance asset.
        does that apply to soviet SSBN too like Delta III/IV and Typhoon classes ?

        can they guide other types of friendly submarines with their sensor outfit ?
        Last edited by nastle; 04 Apr 20, 02:08.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
          In theory you could put conventional warheads in them. Or concrete.

          Two problems:

          1) Precision.....they sort of have precision to the Grid Square. So without a nuclear warhead they're really not accurate enough for a conventional payload that would fit inside to do the job.

          2) MAD. Fire a Ballistic Missile, get ready for ALL ZE MISSILES to be fired.....
          The one reason I thought of that is because after mid 1980s the Golf/Hotel and Yankee classes were not only obsolete but also redundant as soviets had more than enough SLBMs on Typhoons and Deltas.Yet the older SSBNs soldiered on until 1991 , esp when funds were badly needed elsewhere.
          Yes the yankee notch was conceived as a way of giving them new life but the leisurely pace is proceeded at I do not think anyone thought it was a very practical or realistic option, afterall when soviets were serious they rather quickly converted almost 12 Echo IIs to P-500s by mid 80s yet only 1 yankee notch was ready [ without its missiles ] by 1990.Would it not have been a better option to just remove the SLBMs from the yankees and just use them as 2nd rate SSNs [ albiet with some poor characteristics]?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nastle View Post
            does that apply to soviet SSBN too like Delta III/IV and Typhoon classes ?
            I do not believe that these SSBNs were all that quiet.

            Originally posted by nastle View Post
            can they guide other types of friendly submarines with their sensor outfit ?
            Submarine communications have always been limited. A sub would need to expose itself to raise the communications mast. It would be vulnerable to counter-detection. Sub-to-sub communication would be virtually impossible and impractical.

            Soviet tactics claimed that submarines would coordinate their attacks with multiple units such as aircraft, surface assets, and other submarines, but I could never figure out how they were were supposed to actually communicate between themselves.
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