Launch control center (ICBM)


Launch control center (ICBM)

The launch control center, or LCC for short, is the main control facility of any U.S. ICBM complex. From here, the crew can monitor the complex, launch the missile, or relax in the living quarters (depending on the ICBM system). The LCC is designed to provide maximum protection for the missile combat crew and equipment vital to missile launch.

General Information

All LCCs were dependent on a "missile support base" (MSB) for logistics support. For example, Minot AFB is the MSB for the 91st Space Wing. This is important to note, for some wayward maintenance crews have strayed from their MSB/missile complex, into another base's complex unwittingly.

Three types of Minuteman LCCs exist:
#Alternate Command Post (ACP) - performed backup functions to missile support base; control missile wing communications
#Squadron Command Post (SCP) - perform backup functions to ACP; control squadron execution and communications
#Primary LCC (PLCC) - perform execution and rapid message processing

There are four configurations of the LCC, differing primarily in the amount and location of communications equipment. Functionally, there are three LCC designations. One Alternate Comniand Post (ACP) LCC is located within each Minuteman wing and serves as backup for the wing command post. Three Squadron Command Posts (SCPS) serve as command units for the remaining squadrons within the wing, and report directly to the wing command post. The ACP doubles as SCP for the squadron it is located within. The remainder of the LCCS (16) are classified as primary LCCS. Four primary LCCS are located within each squadron and report to their respective command post.

Atlas LCC

Atlas D Configuration

Atlas E Configuration

Atlas F Configuration

Titan I LCC

Titan II LCC

The Titan LCCs held four crew members: the Missile Combat Crew Commander (MCCC), the Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander (DMCCC), Ballistic Missile Analyst Technician (BMAT), and the Missile Facilities Technician (MFT).

Titan II had a three story LCC dome. The first level was the crews living area and contained a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and a small equipment area that housed an exhaust fan and a water heater. The second level was the launch control area and held the LCCFC (Launch Control Complex Facility Console, the main launch console), the ALOC (Alternate Launch Officer Console), the Control Monitor Group (monitored the missile), and several offer pieces of equipment. The lowest level, level 3, held communications equipment, the two battery backup supplies, the sewage lift station, the motor-generator, and several other pieces of equipment.

There were two types of Titan II sites: standard, and ACP (alternate command post) sites. ACPs had all of the equipment that one would find on a standard site plus additional communication equipment.

Minuteman Facilities

Launch Control Center

The LCC is an underground structure of reinforced concrete and steel of sufficient strength to withstand weapon effects. It contains equipment and personnel capable of controlling, monitoring, and launching 50 missiles in the unmanned launch facilities within the squadron.

The LCC outer structure is cylindrical with hemispherical ends. Walls are approximately 4.5 feet thick. A blast door permits entry into the LCC from the tunnel junction. An escape hatch 3-ft in diameter is located at the far end of the LCC. The escape hatch and associate tunnel are constructed to withstand weapon effects and allow personnel egress in the event of damage to the vertical access shaft. Essential LCC launch equipment along with the missile combat crew are located in a shock isolated room suspended within the blast−proof outer structure. The room is steel and suspended as a pendulum by four shock isolators (see picture below).

REACT-A LCCs

REACT-B LCCs

CDB LCCs

Command-data Buffer (CDB) was a configuration for early Minuteman missiles. The overall layout of the LCC did not change through the upgrade to REACT, however there are some major equipment changes.

Launch Control Equipment Building

Missile Alert Facility

The Missile Alert Facility (MAF), previously known as the Launch Control Facility (LCF), consists of

Netlink

As of 2006, all Minuteman LCCs were modified to handle the LCC Netlink upgrade. The Netlink system brought internet access underground for missile combat crews. [http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070322-103.pdf "LCC Netlink", High Frontier Journal, Vol 3, No. 2]

Communications Equipment

*Strategic Automated Command Control System (SACCS) - formerlly known as Strategic Air Command Digital Information Network (SACDIN)
*Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) [http://www.afmc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123013488]
*AFSATCOM, using both MILSTAR and DSCS satellites
*Survivable Low-frequency Communications System (SLFCS, aka Program 487L)
*ICBM SHF Satellite Terminal (ISST)
*Hardened Intersite Cable System lines (HICS)
*Voice Dial Lines 1 & 2

The Minuteman LCC differs from previous missile systems in that it only held room for two personnel, the Missile Combat Crew Commander (MCCC) and the Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander (DMCCC).

Peacekeeper LCC

The Peacekeeper LCCs were just non-REACT modified CDB LCCs. Instead of replacing the command and control equipment, the 'old' Minuteman CDB C2 system was modified for the 50 Peacekeeper ICBMs.

Photo Gallery


References

External links

* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/mimi/hrs2-5.htm U.S. National Park Service article] with detailed information on Minuteman missile launch control centers.
* [http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org/ Titan Missile Museum: Pima Air & Space Museum]
* [http://missilebases.com/ 20th Century Castles: LCC real estate sales]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Missile launch control center — A guide (right) conducts a tour of the Launch Control Center at the Titan Missile Museum …   Wikipedia

  • Launch control — The term launch control can refer to:*Launch control (automotive), an automotive control option *A launch control facility in aerospace and rocketry *A launch control center (ICBM), used to launch US ICBMsThere are also specific facilities that… …   Wikipedia

  • Missile launch facility — The cupola of an underground R 12U launching facility in Plokštinės missile base, Lithuania …   Wikipedia

  • Kennedy Space Center — The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the NASA space vehicle launch facility and Launch Control Center (spaceport) on Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida, United States. The site is near Cape Canaveral, midway between Miami and… …   Wikipedia

  • Space and Missile Systems Center — Infobox Military Unit unit name= Space and Missile Systems Center caption= Space and Missile Systems Center emblem dates= July 1954–Present country= United States branch= Air Force type= Space systems development and operations size= 1,125… …   Wikipedia

  • Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center — [This is the English language name given at http://www.khrunichev.ru/khrunichev eng/live/contact.asp.] ( ГКНПЦ им. М. В. Хруничева in Russian) is a Moscow based producer of space launch systems. It is named after Mikhail Khrunichev a soviet… …   Wikipedia

  • Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center — Infobox Military Unit unit name= Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center caption= Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center emblem dates= 1 January 1974 country= United States allegiance= branch= United States Air Force type=… …   Wikipedia

  • Missile combat crew — A missile combat crew (MCC), is a team of trained specialists manning Intermediate Range and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile systems (IRBMs and ICBMs, respectively).[1] In the United States, men and women of the United States Air Force operate …   Wikipedia

  • Command Data Buffer — (CDB) was a system used by the United States Air Force s Minuteman ICBM force. CDB was a method to transfer targeting information from a Minuteman Launch Control Center to an individual missile by communications lines. Prior to CDB, new missile… …   Wikipedia

  • LCC — may refer to, among other things:Language* Language Creation ConferenceGovernment* Lancashire County Council * Leeds City Council (UK) * Leicester City Council * Leicestershire County Council * London County CouncilEducation* La Consolacion… …   Wikipedia