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Pentagon Has Far-Reaching Defense Spacecraft in Works

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posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 09:58 AM
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I was browsing the spacetoday.net site and this one was there its a recent story in the washington post but you'll have to register something I don't like to do and it is hard if you are living in europe and the site is based on inhabitants of usa.

so if some one can help me out if he / she got access and is willing to paste it down bellow in a reply.




www.spacetoday.net...




posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 11:32 AM
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Here's the article:

washingtonpost.com
Pentagon Has Far-Reaching Defense Spacecraft in Works
Bush Administration Looking to Space to Fight Threats
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2005; Page A03


The Pentagon is working to develop a suborbital space capsule within the next five years that would be launched from the United States and could deliver conventional weapons anywhere in the world within two hours, defense officials said.

This year, the Falcon program will test a launcher for its Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), an unmanned maneuverable spacecraft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and could carry 1,000 pounds of munitions, intelligence sensors or other payloads. Among the system's strengths is that commanders could order a CAV -- an unpowered glide vehicle -- not to release its payload if they decided not to follow through with an attack.

The first-generation CAV, expected to be ready by 2010, will have "an incredible capability to provide the warfighter with a global reach capability against high payoff targets," Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, told the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday.

Within the next three years, the Falcon program hopes to enter a second stage of the effort: flight-testing two versions of a reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle, sometimes referred to as a space plane, that could travel a suborbital path, about 100,000 feet high, carrying a CAV anywhere in the world. Unlike a missile, the vehicle could return to its base after releasing the CAV to deliver bombs or intelligence sensors.

The Falcon program vehicles "will improve the military's ability to quickly position intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads, while reducing its reliance on forward and foreign basing," Anthony J. "Tony" Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week.

While most public attention today focuses on meeting threats abroad with traditional land, sea and air forces, the Falcon program reflects how the Bush administration is increasingly looking to space to meet dangers it anticipates.

The use of space "enables us to project power anywhere in the world from secure bases of operation," says the Pentagon's national defense strategy, which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed on March 1. Among the key goals in the strategy paper are "to ensure our access to and use of space and to deny hostile exploitation of space to adversaries." The strategy paper, done every four years, provides the policy basis on which the armed services plan their research, development and acquisitions of weapons systems. This year's strategy, Rumsfeld wrote, "emphasizes the importance of influencing events before challenges become more dangerous and less manageable."

In congressional appearances over two weeks, Lord, Tether and other senior Pentagon officials have described a variety of new space initiatives for meeting challenges such as updating intelligence and communications satellite programs and even fielding systems that would allow the United States to temporarily silence enemy satellites if the need arose.

Space communications have already become important to U.S. warfighting. As Lord put it, "Our most recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq prove our nation relies on capabilities coming from and through space more than ever before." For example, more than 60 percent of all communications at the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom came through satellites, which also guided munitions to targets and today transmit intelligence from the United States directly to troops fighting in the field.

Looking to the future, the defense strategy calls for the use of space vehicles that provide capabilities beyond the current intercontinental missiles to thwart any future adversaries that move to prevent U.S. use of land or sea bases.

Such abilities, Lord told the House members, are dubbed "prompt global strike" and represent "a top priority for our space and missile forces." Because CAVs, unlike missiles, can be recalled, they could be launched toward a potential target even before a final decision was made to attack. The system could, Lord said, "deliver a conventional payload precisely on target within minutes of a valid command and control release order."

The capability offered by CAV would also reduce the need for overseas bases and enable the United States "to react promptly and decisively to destabilizing or threatening actions by hostile countries and terrorist organizations," according to DARPA's early solicitation for bids put out in mid-2003.

John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a nongovernmental defense think tank, said yesterday that the Falcon and CAV programs will allow the United States "to crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice with no need for a nearby air base."

In addition to creating attack weapons, the Pentagon is working on new defense systems to protect the ever-more-important satellites the United States has in space.

"I think everybody that I know in the United States military and the Department of Defense understands the important role that our space assets play in our national security," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday.

Last October, the Pentagon announced deployment of its first mobile ground-based system that could temporarily disrupt satellite-based communications from an enemy satellite. The counter-communications system uses powerful electromagnetic radio frequency energy to silence transmissions from a satellite in a way that is reversible if the need passes. Two more units are due later this year.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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I welcome this news, and can't wait to start reading about the upcoming Indian, Iranian, Russian and Chinese versions that will be touted as even more advanced.

What would all these countries do without the good-old U.S.A. giving them a goal to reach just so that when they finally do achieve it - they find out that the U.S. is no longer there. And so the process starts all over again.



[edit on 3/16/2005 by centurion1211]



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
I welcome this news, and can't wait to start reading about the upcoming Indian, Iranian, Russian and Chinese versions that will be touted as even more advanced.

What would all these countries do without the good-old U.S.A.

[edit on 3/16/2005 by centurion1211]


Is it really all that neccessary for you to attempt to turn every thread into one about how this country just copies off the US? That's really all I've seen you do on ATS. Not only is it off-topic, it's just plain rude. If you have nothing constructive to say, don't say anything at all.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
That's really all I've seen you do on ATS.


All you've accomplished is admit that you've hardly read any of my posts. Yes, I give occasional digs at all those people posting new threads (daily) about how their air force is now the bestest in the world. No different that others on this board who often express their opinions on the validity of whatever post they're reading at the moment. I don't want to name avatars, but I'll just say that I can think of 5 whose point totals added together would be close to a half million.

I suggest you go back and try on a thicker skin before venturing out here again.

See ya!



[edit on 3/16/2005 by centurion1211]



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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In either case guys, this is a good post and lets keep it to the subject. Maybe some of us might post something relavant...



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 02:39 PM
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Seems like this would be like dropping a 1 million dollar bomb to blow up a mud hut to me, but ok....


Better be some damned target to justify the expense of using this thing. Hell, just reloading it would cost a fortune... Wouldn't an ICBM be quicker and cheaper?


John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a nongovernmental defense think tank, said yesterday that the Falcon and CAV programs will allow the United States "to crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice with no need for a nearby air base."


A capability we've had since the 60's...his point?



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Gaz, I bet they integrate that new nano-explosive tech in here someplace. Or at least that new mini bomb tech. If they dont, it does sound like an expensive way to drop 1000lbs of standard munitions.

One benifit I do see though, is a great gain in covert strikes against the likes of Osama and such. Imagine a small cell of Spec Ops roaming about the desert with nothing but targeting devices. They could paint a target and have some serious destruction withing 30 minutes without planes or otherwise in the area giving the attack away.

Heck, the US could "invade" a country without ever sending in more than a few handfulls of special operators painting targets.



[edit on 16-3-2005 by skippytjc]



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 03:33 PM
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The FALCON program is the renamed HYPERSOAR program,

The US military is extending the lead it has on the rest of the world....


MWUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

HYPER SOAR

EDIT:

Interesting - I didn't read the artical because I knew that the Falcon program was the updated HYPERSOAR program. It seems that the design has been changed from a vehical that could attain orbit under it's own power to something that requires assistance???


Personally, if this is the case, I would much rather they simply make a reusable space plane that undeer it's own power could take off, reach orbit, and land.

[edit on 16-3-2005 by American Mad Man]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Seems like this would be like dropping a 1 million dollar bomb to blow up a mud hut to me, but ok....


Better be some damned target to justify the expense of using this thing. Hell, just reloading it would cost a fortune... Wouldn't an ICBM be quicker and cheaper?


well maybe an icbm would be cheaper, however an icbm can't be recalled once launched. they are after all one time throw away weapons



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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Well, sometimes a mud hut is all it takes, I believe they had several times info where guys like Bin Laden might be at a certain moment, but couldn't get there in time, now 30 minutes, will increase the odds.

I would expect the the CAV is to be a first proof of concept wich could be extended to become a large bomber some time later ???

I will grant our cocky centurion that the u.s. DOD has a big upper hand in creating a near earth space denial area in terms of R&D & Buckets of money spent, I would think that it makes more sense for countries like India and China, not to franticly try catch up with the u.s. (and create deficits etc.) but rather focus on clusters of stratospheric blimps that hold in place your local GPS and antimissile lasers, serve as awacs, comsats etc.


[edit on 19-3-2005 by Silenus]



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 11:38 AM
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Silenus
I would think that it makes more sense for countries like India and China, not to franticly try catch up with the u.s. (and create deficits etc.) but rather focus on clusters of stratospheric blimps that hold in place your local GPS and antimissile lasers, serve as awacs, comsats etc.

- can you explain on this further, I have never heard of it before and i'm clueless on how you think it might work.

American Mad Man - Are you sure that this is the FALCON/HYPERSOAR craft, sometimes they use the same name for different projects. It has some similarities, like the "anywhere in 2 hours" thing and that it "resembles a space plane", but it still sounds a lot different then the FAL/HYP, like: It says that it will glide, so that means its unpowered.

agh- this article needs more facts, like what is its propulsion system, it says it will go mach 5, wich means it doesn't use a jet engine, it could be rocket or ramjet or scramjet or PDE. Wasn't the Hypersoar/FALCON a scramjet? In which case if this is the same vehicle they why go only mach 5, when you could at least triple that speed? This is a confusing article, through-out the article it says that they can strike anywhere in the world in 2 hours, but then in the 4th to last paragraph it says "crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice", ahhhh- where did the other hour in a half go?


Gazrok
Seems like this would be like dropping a 1 million dollar bomb to blow up a mud hut to me, but ok....


Better be some damned target to justify the expense of using this thing. Hell, just reloading it would cost a fortune... Wouldn't an ICBM be quicker and cheaper?

We have no idea on the price yet.

reload it: seems to me it would be as easy as loading any other aircraft with a couple of bombs. and no, an ICBM would be much more costly, it destroys its silo once it leaves, also...I doubt when this thing takes off it leave a large plume of smoke, which the ICBM would, the an enemy sat could see that and know that you launched an ICBM even before it hits.

I think its hard to judge something with out knowing much about it.

Did anybody else think this is very wierd: OK, they siad that this will mean less forieng bases, and give us the ability to launch from CONUS and strike, however then it says that it goes into a unpowered flight after its ordinances have being dropped or if the canceled the mission alltogether, but the point is that whether or not you dropped the bombs you still have an aircraft that needs to land somewhere, and since its a glider, it cant make it back to the United States...So they would have to land it on a foriegn base. kinda odd.



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Are you sure that this is the FALCON/HYPERSOAR craft, sometimes they use the same name for different projects. It has some similarities, like the "anywhere in 2 hours" thing and that it "resembles a space plane", but it still sounds a lot different then the FAL/HYP, like: It says that it will glide, so that means its unpowered.

agh- this article needs more facts, like what is its propulsion system, it says it will go mach 5, wich means it doesn't use a jet engine, it could be rocket or ramjet or scramjet or PDE. Wasn't the Hypersoar/FALCON a scramjet? In which case if this is the same vehicle they why go only mach 5, when you could at least triple that speed? This is a confusing article, through-out the article it says that they can strike anywhere in the world in 2 hours, but then in the 4th to last paragraph it says "crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice", ahhhh- where did the other hour in a half go?



You know, I can't say for sure it is the same program. I assumed it was because it has the same names and the same mission.

The "gliding" part I think is the "skipping" on the atmosphere that the HyperSoar supposedly would do.

To be perfectly honest, maybe I jumped the gun on saying it was the HyperSoar program. They had the same name and mission, but perhaps it is different.

Or perhaps the HyperSoar would fall under the FALCON program, as part of the project?

I agree, this artical needs more facts!



Gazrok
Seems like this would be like dropping a 1 million dollar bomb to blow up a mud hut to me, but ok....


Better be some damned target to justify the expense of using this thing. Hell, just reloading it would cost a fortune... Wouldn't an ICBM be quicker and cheaper?


Do you really want Russia and China to see ICBMs going off everytime you want to kill a terrorist?



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 09:02 PM
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This previous ATS page talks about it.
Falcon

From what i've read about it, I think that it is related to the FALCON (formerly known as Hypersoar). I believe its a early-on version, in the process of making the full fledged FALCON craft. and its designation is X-41.

Global Security info on FALCON

Apparently it takes off from a conventional runway, and i think uses rockets to get to its hypersonic speed.
This site disscusses Phase 1 & Phase 2. and after the CAV is built, they will start on the ECAV, basically an all around better craft the the CAV (common Aero Vehicle).
more Falcon info



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 10:15 PM
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ok, did a little more looking.

oh, and AMM is right, glidding means skipping.

the first picture is what the USAF plans on in 2010, and the second picture is what the USAF is planning on in 2025.



[edit on 19-3-2005 by Murcielago]



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 09:11 PM
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Just a lil info.

A manned version has already been built and is operational. It is the unmanned version that is the next step.



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 03:34 PM
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A manned version has already been built and is operational.

Any links, pics, info on that?



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 04:54 PM
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I'm sorry but I see nothing but new problems with this project.

First, I seem to recall a treaty signed by the US stating space is to be used for peaceful purposes only. So wouldn't this project be in defiance of that treaty?

Second, I see a start to future space wars. Other countries will have to come with a defense to this weapon. How long until civilian satellites get damaged by these space wars. And then we have to launch more rockets and spend millions more to replace bad satellites.

Third, there are other treaties that keep our military presence on foreign soils. So how could this project close down those bases?



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 07:46 PM
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ICBM use is problematic, given that space based early warning systems can detect thier launch and interprate this as a first strike nuclear attack.

The system described on this thread seems to be a derivation of the vehicle Eugene Sanger devised for the Nazis 60 years ago!



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Qwas
I'm sorry but I see nothing but new problems with this project.

First, I seem to recall a treaty signed by the US stating space is to be used for peaceful purposes only. So wouldn't this project be in defiance of that treaty?

Second, I see a start to future space wars. Other countries will have to come with a defense to this weapon. How long until civilian satellites get damaged by these space wars. And then we have to launch more rockets and spend millions more to replace bad satellites.

Third, there are other treaties that keep our military presence on foreign soils. So how could this project close down those bases?

This would not interfere with any space related treaties, just because it goes high (sub-orbit), it doesn't get to satellite height. It poses no threat to satellites.

Space Wars...turn off Star Wars there buddy, spaceships arn't shooting at eachother with phazers.



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