Why No Conventional ICBM?

The Air Force had been weighing the utility of a conventionally armed ICBM, but DOD officials judged the naval option to be superior, a senior defense official said Tuesday. First, the Minuteman III is an old design, delivering less accuracy than an upgraded D-5 missile, which is still in production. Also, land-based ICBMs would almost always have to traverse Russian airspace to reach a useful target. Moreover, their boosters likely would fall onto Canadian soil. Further, submarines are mobile assets, allowing them to get closer to potential targets near or south of the equator or inside the Eurasian land mass. Limitations with landbased ICBMs would not be overcome by basing the missiles on the US coasts, the official said.