Talk:LGM-118 Peacekeeper

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Initial questions[edit]

Soviets had silos of 6000 psi or more, there is no way, even with 100 CEP probability Peacekeeper could penetrate those. Also it was 120 meters, not 100:

Changed Mg to t. The link redirected anyway, and megagram is uncommon.

A 300 kiloton groundburst will make a crater 100 feet deep in solid rock. Was their resistance still 6000 PSI when the first hundred feet of concrete and rock above the silo was vaporized? 07:41, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

The Peacekeeper is officially LG-118, although there seems to be much confusion over this, mainly due to the other USAF ICBM weapon system, the Minuteman III, being designated the LGM-30G. The Technical Orders used by Air Force personnel are clearly and correctly labeled as LGM- and LG-.

The Peacekeeper is NOT officially the LG-118A. The ONLY references that use that nomeclature is the Technical Orders. That is purely because of the length restriction for a TO title IAW AFTO 00-5-1. The official designation is LGM-118A per AFI 16-401(I) Attachment 4, para A4-1.Cancellier 19:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Is there any reliable way to sort this out? Doing a search for both of them limited to the .gov domain gets results for both. --Fastfission 20:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  • If you look at this link ( on page 97, it lists the official designator and the official name. This DOD Directive, DoD 4120.15-L, "Model Designation of Military Aerospace Vehicles," 05/12/2004, is THE final source for this info. Hope this clears it up. Cancellier 19:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the image at is a picture of. Are the re-entry vehicles executing a powered descent? Do the warheads detonate on contact with the ground, or in fact are the warheads deployed above ground, and so the tests produce a descent that would not occur in actual use of the system? - [[User:Bevo|Bevo]] 04:15, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

They're streak photos of re-entry vehicles (RV) about to hit the Kwaj. Atoll. The tests are operationally realistic.

To answer the real question, what causes the streak is the plasma surrounding the reentry vehicle caused by entry heating. The photos are time exposures and show the track of the RV from Pierce Point (top of the atmosphere) to the deck. Cancellier 19:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

first stage thrust[edit]

2.2GN thrust would, discounting air resistance, accelerate the LG-118A to escape velocity in 0.45 seconds. Surely this is an error? --Koisoke 19:08, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

It is 2.2MN not GN. A half million pounds of thrust. Cancellier 19:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Why were they really removed from service?[edit]

The article offers no clue as to why the Peacekeeper was removed from service, as opposed to the Minuteman. Given that it was more accurate, carried more warheads, apparently had a higher payload, and offered reliability and safety systems a decade newer, it would seem that if one were to pick 100 missiles to keep, the Peacekeeper would be the natural choice.

So, what happened? I seem to recall discussions of problems with the system, including something on TV of someone finding faulty INS units in the trash. Did these things just not work, or is that unrelated?

Maury 02:21, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

The U.S. has decided not to mount multiple warheads on land based ICBMs. Single warheads would have been required by the START II treaty had it ever come into force, and the plan was to comply by retiring the Peacekeeper and downgrading all Minuteman IIIs to a single warhead (rather than the three they were designed for). Using a huge ten warhead missile like the Peacekeeper for a single warhead isn't very efficent. Even though START II was never ratified, the U.S. went ahead and retired the Peackeeper anyway. Blackeagle 19:08, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the US Senate did ratify START II in 1996. The ratification stalled in the Duma, so the clock ran out. (In 2000 the Duma did eventually ratify a modified form with the deadlines appropriately extended, but this also included some completely un-negotiated parts regarding the ABM treaty, so it was clearly a nonstarter.) 18:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Land based ICBM's are not survivable assets. Their usefulness is severely degraded compared to survivable systems which can be expected to function in the trans and post-OPLAN 8010 environment. The arming of such systems with the bulk of the permitted deployed stockpile is viewed as an offensive posture. With future limits on deployed warheads, the better distribution is to maintain more on submarines and available to bombers capable of penetrating air defenses. (talk) 16:25, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

dense pack[edit]

"This "dense pack" idea involved building super-hardened silos that would withstand more than 10,000 psi of overpressure and spacing them only 1800 feet apart. The reasoning behind this idea was that a nearby nuclear explosion would damage other incoming warheads in the same wave of attack and would allow a substantial portion of the missiles to survive. This idea was fundamentally flawed due to the relative ease with which the Soviets could modify their warheads and circumvent this design."

Can someone include some technical references supporting this claim? It sounds a lot more like uninformed opinion than fact as it is written now.

It is uninformed opinion as the dense pack option caused much concern to our Soviet antagonists. They were very concerned that this technique would actually support a robust second-strike capability from a missile field that was previously engaged. The Reagan Administration was soundly chastised by the press for considering such a de-stabilizing fielding plan. Unfortunately, I don't have access to Lexis-Nexus or other archive retrieval system and don't plan on reviewing microfiche at the local library. This paragraph (as well as other sections in this entry) seems to have a 'certain' POV.

Naming conventions[edit]

In the article, the line, "Reagan pushed the name Peacekeeper, but the missile was officially designated the LGM-118A" makes it sound as if Reagan pushed for one name, but a competing name eventually won out. This is not correct, as there is no contradiction. As with nearly all military equipment, there is the military designation and the nickname, as in "F-15 Eagle". The "Peacekeeper" name does not contradict the "LGM-118A" designation, it complements it.

START-2 Not enforced?[edit]

I was just talking to a friend of mine in the Air Force who says the Russians still investigate the ICBM sites we have as a result of START-2. I don't have anything other than this to back it up, so I'm not making any changes, just throwing it out there. WiseEyes 2006, Oct 21, 9:34pm Arizona Time

Look up the "Open Skies" program for a start on this inspection topic.

Theory of Employment section[edit]

The scenario in this section is a little confusing to read and doesn't provide all that much information to the uninformed reader (myself included). Is this figure of 95% warhead accuracy within reason? Could someone consider revising?

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencing and appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. With appropriate citations and references, this article would easily qualify as B class if not higher. --dashiellx (talk) 18:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Testing of the Peacekeeper caption.[edit]

In this article, this image


has the caption:

Testing at the Kwajalein Atoll of the Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles, all eight fired from only one missile. With live warheads, each line would represent the explosive power of twenty Hiroshima-sized (Little Boy) weapons. In this other article MIRV, the same image has the caption: Testing of the Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles, all eight (ten capable) fired from only one missile. Each line represents the path of a warhead which, were it live, would detonate with the explosive power of twenty-five Hiroshima-style weapons. (talk) 14:07, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

About the MIRV[edit]

Please clarify... the warheads are Avco Mk-12/12A or Mk-21?

Nuclear Blackmail argument is flawed[edit]

In the 70s, the Soviet Union had already begun phasing out their first generation SLBMs, replacing them with more modern missiles, and introducing capable balistic missile submarines like the Yankee class submarine. This article states that "So the United States needed weapons which could survive a Soviet first-strike and neutralize the remaining Soviet strategic arsenal, in order to avoid nuclear blackmail", i.e. the Soviet countercity threat mentioned one sentence earlier. However, the Peacekeeper missile was unable to neutralize the Soviet missile subs, and in fact was "to be aimed at hardened enemy missile silos with first-strike capability", which means the argument ignores a sizeable portion of the Soviet Countervalue threat. This leaves three options: 1) Use of another weapon system was planned to neutralize the Soviet subs (inconceivable); 2) Peacekeeper was in fact rather meant to be a first-strike weapon; 3) Peacekeeper was in fact just pork barrel spending for arms manufacturers.--Cancun771 (talk) 15:20, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Flawed Argument that the USA would be Beaten Without This Weapon[edit]

I have noticed that there has been some improvement to this article, so I want to congratulate people. But I should point out that there is still some info here that is a duplicate of the argument put forth wholly and in full part by the show created to convince congress or the senate to support the MX missile program and as an attack on then-president Carter, titled First Strike (1979) .. it's a pretty interesting video (the first part) which depicts actual US nuclear forces servicepeople in action)... but I have talked to US service people in the Air Force and Navy and other branches of the US military and they have been quite offended by the depiction of the United States as "weak" and the pretending that the tripwire policy would not have been followed (we would have attacked right away if masses of Russian subs got to close to the US shores... never mind the fact that we shadowed them and could have used our attack submarines on them, because of our undersea listening devices.) I understand that patriotic people or people in the US government or pro nuclear right-wingers may feel that nothing bad must be said about the MX missile or of US nuclear proliferation, and I ask you to reconsider this. We need accurate information about the foibles of the MX missile policy, and not simply the "good" arguments for it. There have been people at all levels of the US government and military who have been against nuclear war actually happening, while serving their country (including Republican presidents). We need to be honest and accurate about this. I am asking people, especially "pro nuke" and right wing people, to not censor criticisms of the MX nuclear missile program in a knee-jerk way. We need accurate information here, not propaganda or made up arguments that imply a single propagandist point of view. Radical Mallard (talk) 01:46, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

1) There's plenty of pages that deal with criticism of nuclear weapons.

2) Considering how you're already attacking people in your post, I'm doubting that you're looking for unbiased information. You'd probably be unhappy if pages related to abortion, socialism, social democracy, and mass extermination of poor people (i.e. environmentalism and leftist 'solutions' to overpopulation, etc) all had the same level of criticism put in them.

3) If someone is already reading up on specific ICBMs, then they're probably well aware of the debated related to nuclear warfare and most of them are probably smart enough to be in favor of our nuclear arsenal (I used to be anti-nuke but then actually learned about the issue).

4) Considering that you're only attacking American ICBMs and only American political groups, I'm wondering about your feelings towards the Russian/Soviet arsenal? Are you in favor of plastering pages on their missile systems with the same anti-nuclear propaganda you want on American pages? Russia would have incinerated you or your parents long ago had an American nuclear deterrent not existed.

5) You're asking for propaganda that's not in America's best interests.

Personally, I think we should nuke Russia today but I'm not going around demanding that pages on Russian weapons be turned into centers of anti-Russian propaganda. If you don't like American ICBMs, then too bad. There are plenty of anti-American anti-nuke articles you can edit and improve. (talk) 02:41, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

10 warheads[edit]

I'm struggling to imagine how 10 warheads would fit in the missile, given the dimensions and the photo at W87. Does anyone have any idea how these were arranged? Thom2002 (talk) 00:34, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

W87 MIRV.jpg
Huh. Looking at the image now I see what you mean. But it's a bit of an illusion. They've got a couple of RVs in there that makes it look like a complete ring, especially on the right - it looks like the RV at the front and the one behind it, just to the left, represent the outer ring of the bus. But if you look closely you can see there's actually quite a bit of room over there, two RVs will sit between the two already in place. Same on the left side, where the "rear" partner hasn't been placed yet. To answer more directly, it's a ring of 8 around the outside diameter, and 2 more in the middle. Like this. Maury Markowitz (talk)

POV in the SLBM section[edit]

There were some serious POV issues in the SLBM section. It asserts without citation to a reliable source that that an SLBM had the same counterforce capabilities as the MX. This appears to be based on an assessment of the Trident II, but work did not even begin on that missile until late 1983--twelve years after work began on the MX project.

But even if the MX should have been delayed in favor of a missile that the Pentagon had not even put out a request for, the article cannot say that it was "bizarre" to stick with the triad concept. It's ok to add a reliable source arguing against the triad, but it's blatant POV to pejoratively dismiss any disagreement as "Air Force intransigence" or "political forces." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Samharen (talkcontribs) 04:20, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

No need to post here, those are fine edits. Maury Markowitz (talk) 20:51, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Further update to this section is needed to reflect the latest sources, e.g., Nuclear Posture Review. I will do so when I have a chance. JoeSperrazza (talk) 14:28, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Childish sarcasm[edit]

The use of quotation marks to mock the name should be removed in this line: the last of the LGM-118A "Peacekeeper" ICBMs (but not their warheads)

Of all weapon names, the name Peacekeeper is actually appropriate in this case due to the function as a deterrence and the effectiveness of the nuclear forces at preventing war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Ambiguous link – Ares (rocket)[edit]

It looks to me as this might be a typo for Aries (rocket), but I don't have proof. This needs checking by a specialist. Narky Blert (talk) 11:51, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Ares V is the best link, although I don't know if this was just during the 2009 test programme or if it's intended as a long-term repurposing. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:26, 29 March 2016 (UTC)