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The future of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile force

The future of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile force

Caston, Lauren, author

In the lead-up to the Air Force Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Analysis of Alternatives, RAND was asked to examine and assess possible intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) alternatives against the current Minuteman III system and to provide insights into the potential impact of further force reductions. The researchers developed a framework consisting of five categories - basing, propulsion, boost, reentry, and payload - to characterize alternative classes of ICBM and to assess the survivability and effectiveness of possible alternatives. Using existing cost analyses and cost data from historical ICBM programs, they derived likely cost bounds on alternative classes of ICBM systems. Finally, they developed force reduction scenarios, examined their impacts on several key nuclear specialty career fields to understand the implications of reductions on the current organizational structure, and compared sustainment and requirement profiles within the various reduction scenarios

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2014

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Lauren Caston, Robert S. Leonard, Christopher A. Mouton, Chad J.R. Ohlandt, S. Craig Moore, Raymond E. Conley, Glenn Buchan ; prepared for the United States Air Force
ISBN: 083307623X, 0833076264, 0833076280, 9780833076236, 9780833076267, 9780833076281
Note: "Approved for public release; distribution unlimited."
Note: Online resource; title from PDF title page (RAND, viewed November 5, 2014).
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 149-156).
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xxvii, 156 pages) : illustrations (some color).
Series: Rand Project Air Force; RAND Corporation monograph series
Subject: Minuteman (Missile); United States.; TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING Military Science.; Intercontinental ballistic missiles United States.; Intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Series Title: Project Air Force report.; Rand Corporation monograph series.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Roles of Strategic Nuclear Forces
  2. A Framework for ICBM Design Decisions
  3. ICBM Basing
  4. Effectiveness and Lethality
  5. The Cost of ICBM Alternatives
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix: Manpower Thresholds.