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PostSubject: Roll forward the doomsday train   Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:45 am

By the middle of this century, a large chunk of the United States’ nuclear arsenal could be located on a doomsday subway system, where unmanned cars move back and forth on a single track, prepared to launch at a moment’s notice.

Or a least that’s one of several ideas that the Air Force is potentially mulling over as it prepares to replace its decades’ old intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). To jumpstart those preparations, the Air Force earlier this month released an open call for proposals that would help the Air Force decide what the future land-based nuclear force would look like for the 50-year period starting in 2025.

At stake is a part of the nation’s rapidly aging nuclear arsenal, which consists of the "triad" of land-based ICBMs, submarine-launched missiles, and bombers armed with nuclear weapons.

Supporters of this deterrent argue that, despite the end of the Cold War, it is still needed to deter a potential enemy from threatening the United States with nuclear weapons, or even other weapons of mass destruction. “The official reason is still one of flexibility, and survivability in the event of a nuclear attack,” says Ivan Oelrich, a long-time defense analyst and expert on nuclear issues. “The real unspoken argument is bureaucratic inertia.”

more here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130201-roll-forward-the-doomsday-train

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