From Nuclear Military Strategy to a World without War: A History and a Proposal

By Roger Hilsman | Go to book overview
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A Chapter 11
Developments in Weapons

In the meantime, technology continued apace. By the late 1990s, the weapons already in the stockpile and planned for the future were as follows.


THE MIDGETMAN MISSILE

The Midgetman was designed but never produced. It was to be a small missile weighing 37 thousand pounds as opposed to 190 thousand pounds for the MX. It would have only one warhead, as opposed to the ten carried by the MX. Being so much lighter, Midgetman could be mobile, mounted on trucks that were armored to withstand blast from explosions further away than a near-miss as well as fallout. The idea was to provide a missile that everyone would understand was a second-strike weapon, because it would carry only one warhead and would be less accurate than the MX.

The main objection to Midgetman was the cost to develop and deploy it, estimated at $40 to $50 billion for 500 Midgetman missiles as compared to only $15 billion to build fifty MX with ten warheads each, since the development costs of MX had already been spent and since the MX required only one missile for ten warheads.


THE B-1B BOMBER

The Air Force goal was to have its own "triad": the B-1B bomber armed with cruise missiles, the Stealth bomber, and the MX missile. The B-1B bomber was designed to penetrate Soviet defenses at high speeds and very low altitude, below

-117-

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