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NEWS: U.S. Missile Defense Test Fails

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posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 08:17 AM
The first full flight test of the missile defense system failed, after it had been postponed several times for a variety of reasons. This time all systems were go, the target missile was launched, but the interceptor "experienced an anomaly shortly before it was to be launched". Earlier tests also were not succesful, only five of eight target missiles were intercepted.

A target missile carrying a mock warhead was successfully launched as scheduled from Kodiak, Alaska, at 12:45 a.m. EST, in the first launch of a target missile from Kodiak in support of a full flight test of the system.

However, the agency said the ground-based interceptor "experienced an anomaly shortly before it was to be launched" from the Ronald Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean 16 minutes after the target missile left Alaska.

An announcement said the interceptor experienced an automatic shutdown "due to an unknown anomaly."

The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Again a failed test. A chief weapons tester told reuters; "This is a serious setback for a programme that had not attempted a flight intercept test for two years." Many people, including defense analysts have serious doubt whether this program will ever be succeful, and if implemented will guarantee 100% safety from ballistic missiles.

Related Websites
- Missile Defense Agency Website
- US Missile Defense Animated guide: How the system works
- Ground Based Interceptor [GBI]
- Ballistic Missile Defense Programs

[edit on 12-15-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 08:33 AM

But despite the more than $80 billion spent by the U.S. on missile defense since 1985, this system will not provide significant protection for many years, if ever. The political pressure to claim that the U.S. is secure against a rogue nation's attack has led to a defense that will not counter even the earliest threats from the emerging missile powers. The MDA's midcourse system is built to intercept long-range missiles fired thousands of kilometers from the U.S.; it can do nothing to stop a short- or medium-range missile launched from a ship off America's coasts. What is more, the interceptor rockets would most likely prove inadequate against long-range missiles as well, because an enemy could easily equip its ICBMs with fundamentally simple and highly effective countermeasures.

Its a long article from Scientific American magazine. I have no idea of how respected this magazine is as I just picked up a copy while I was in the US. I would be interested in knowing others opinion of this magazine for my own benefit.

So is this system really as ineffective as they suggest? I am no military of defence expert, but this seems to be a big waste of time. Any thoughts?

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 08:56 AM
Well its not just a big waste of time, as you put it, its also a huge waste of money.
As covered in that excellent article, the tests do not simulate a realistic ballistic-missile attack.

They have to place hundreds of interceptor missiles to effectively protect cities.
Radar stations, and satellites have to be build (and in case of satellites, launched into geostationary orbit). The article mentions a $900 million floating platform off the coast of Texas.

The article also mentions this:
If an ICBM is hit near the end of the rocket's 'boost phase', the warhead might still have enough momentum (speed) to reach North America.

And last but not least, the defense system doesnt protect the conus from short-range missiles launched from ships.

Very interesting article, thanks!

[edit on 12-15-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:03 AM
The BBC had an article that said:

Wednesday's trial had been put off four times because of bad weather at launch sites and, on Sunday, because a radio transmitter failed.

Are we only going to request that missles get fired at us on sunny days?

"We're under attck!"
"Oh noes111 It's raining!"

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:13 AM
My money is on the High altitude blimps with huge lasers...

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:59 AM
There's a reason we don't have a working SDI program. It was and is (in its current form) expensive, difficult to impliment, doubtfully technologically feasible, and did I say expensive? We spent 34 billion dollars on it from 1984-1994.(though, there was an independent audit that claims it was MUCH higher, closer to 70 billion dollars).

It's been scaled back and renamed a couple of times. It's currently called NMD and is estimated to cost up to another 48 billion dollars by the year 2005.

There's been very little true success with any of the missile interceptors, and what successes there are have been, have had accusations of flaws or out and out rigged.

It's also why we pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 10:09 AM

Originally posted by curme
The BBC had an article that said:

Wednesday's trial had been put off four times because of bad weather at launch sites and, on Sunday, because a radio transmitter failed.

Are we only going to request that missles get fired at us on sunny days?

"We're under attck!"
"Oh noes111 It's raining!"

Hey all you Rogue States out there! Please do not shoot at us on Rainy days. hahaha .

But still, I'm all for weaponization of space.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 11:02 AM
Here's an animated picture of how it works...emm... ericas/2001/us_missile_defence/default.stm

In a very expensive video game,maybe..

I remember hearing something about the possibilety of Sun radiation rays setting off a false alarm..that was the main reason why the star wars project that Reagan wanted was obstructed by other nations...

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 04:19 PM
When is the Bush administration going to realize that this "Shield" just won't help protect America?

All it's gonna do is make "Rogue Nations" create more nuclear weapons so that they can overcome the "Shield" if it even works. It's only supposed to be able to take on 20 missiles.

And why would terrorists or "Rogue Nations" not just sitck the nuke in a freight container headed for the US, or get a suitcase nuke and sneak it into the country, lotta good that shield will do then.

These tests have failed so many times and isn't this thing supposed to be partially operational by 04? I read about a "successful" test where the dummy warhead was carrying a GPS reciever, cause you know i'm sure a real enemy warhead would be carrying one so that it can easily be destroyed.

This program is a colossal waste of money, put an end to it.

[edit on 15-12-2004 by Ponderosa]

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 04:32 PM
I find it funny when there is a successful test it is plastered allover the media world...and with failure you dont see squat. I heard about the failure on tv and all it got was like a 15 sec mention and a cheap map with a arrow pointing to where the test took place.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 04:37 PM
Maybe the ongoing implementation of such a questionably limited system has more to do with high level vested interests in it's procurement than it's suitability or effectiveness. Not that I would suggest that there are any government snouts in the military industrial trough.... that would just be absurd

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 06:30 PM
As long as we keep testing it then we will be able to get more information about how it can work, tweak the systems to work around problems first encountered and continue to improve the efficiency of the project. It isnt just miraculiously going to work overnight. Of course something as advanced as this is going to take much money and time to make it operational. I am sure the aviation industry, properly adjusting to compensate for inflation and such, spent as much money over a longer period of time to get commercial airflight to the point of economic feasibility.

Anyways I think this is a great thing to work on, continued research into this does not only help to protect from enemy ICBM's, but may also be used for systems to protect against rockets andmissles launched in a abttlefield as well. I could definetly see the information gathered helping the Patriot missle defense systems.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 06:55 PM
Hang on a sec...

It failed because it didn't launch. I imagine that there will be more than one missile killer in America, and more than one fired at a missile, therefore the others may operate given another chance.

Also I would imagine it being politically handy to be able to say "look it doesn't work" to nations like Russia, who are against it. This would calm their fears, yet if it did work after minor repairs they could quietly work away on it without upsetting the other nations more.

Also the "only working in good weather" is more of a test situation where you try to reduce the variables that may cause error. Just because they waited for good weather doesn't mean it CAN'T be used in other weather conditions.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 07:11 PM
As the article from Scientific American says [BTW i believe it to be a quite reputable source] the technology was never researched or proven, But Washington decided to deploy it anyway.

This is just stupid, unless you are a pork-barrel military contractor feeding from the American taxpayer fed trough.

I have no problem with doing the research and when they find something that works go ahead and deploy it. But building an assembly line for an automobile that has yet to be designed and proven to run is demented.

Some of the previous tests required that the 'target' had to have a transponder in it for the missile to find it. Maybe the transponder in this target malfunctioned.
*muttering* Now how are we going to convince an attacker to put transponders in their warheads ? . . . . ?

When Washington isn't busy being totally corrupt it is totally stupid.
Osama, please do us a favor and nuke Washington. Thanks.

edit grammar

[edit on 15-12-2004 by slank]

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 07:15 PM
This kind of technology has been avalaible to the military in the undergroud basis already for a while. When they decide to bring it out it is because they are already done with it.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 07:20 PM
I hope Paul Martin heard this here in Canada. This was just a waste of money, and I hope American peoples wake up and reject this as a possible deterent.


posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 08:56 PM
Bush and the Pentagon seem to be working overtime on this system, and his brazen disrespect for the protocol when visiting Canada, when brining it up in public despite the agreement not to suggests there is more to it than that. Aside from North Korea, which knows there would be nothing left of its land, no country is militarily at odds with the US.

What better protection to hide behind and launch pre-emptive attacks on nuclear armed countries, than to have a missile defense shield that no other country does? I hope every test fails and ever missile fizzles.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:07 PM

as posted by slank
Osama, please do us a favor and nuke Washington. Thanks.

Excuse me?
Been drinking?
Wishful thinking?
Would that be like someone, such as myself, saying that they hoped you were there when your plea was ever answered?
I've seen some lack luster comments around here, but this one just took the number one spot.
Get a grip, maybe.....?


posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:10 PM
You would do the entire world a favor. I second that.

posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:27 PM
You real worried about it?
You got lots of Washington connections?
Maybe you work there?

Honestly I think most state governments would be far better off without Washington.


Did you jump Seekerof?

Honestly the one who WILL NUKE a US city is Bush with the CIA, FBI, etc.

911 helped to prop up a sagging presidency. To be a dictator though he will need a bigger attack.

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