posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 03:15 AM
I appologize for my absence - first a mission trip, then internet troubles. Although I doubt it's the forefront of anyone's concerns.
The problem with ICBMs being used as offensive weapons is a simple one - they are easily tracked and intercepted. Northrop-Grumman has a proposed
missile defense grid that is nearly impermiable. It also dual-functions well to fend off against aircraft coming in over seas or plains. Better
still, the entire defense grid can be set up in 48 hours or less, with the first Kinetic Energy Interceptors being deployed anywhere in the world in
The grid is effective against just about everything that flies and can be tracked by radar.
More primitive systems could be used to defend against ICBMs by other countries - rather easily. Unlike an aircraft - a ballistic missile has a
predictable course and several key points that are very opportune for an interception.
Cruise missiles are harder to defend against, however they are very limited in range and are not effective against targets en mass or highly mobile
targets. When most cruise missiles have to strike at targets deep within enemy territory - they must be launched by aircraft to begin with.
Land-locked countries are barely within range of ship-launched missiles, and ground based launchers are restricted to friendly territory - as a
battery of Tomahawks falling into the hands of hostile forces would NOT be very good tactics, much less publicity.
A highly maneuverable, mobile, and stealthy fighter-bomber would offer a wide range of flexibility, as well as additional functions such as recon,
interception, search and destroy, CAP, CAS, and JSOW weapons delivery.
ICBMs are also not practical for an extended engagement. Sure - they're intimidating. But they are more effective at delivering fission or fusion
warheads - weapons that do massive amounts of damage. They would work okay in the precision-strike role, however, you would have to erect massive
missile bases around the U.S. to be able to handle an extended engagement.
In short - they would work nice as a supplement - but, alone, are not and cannot be the answer. They are too ineficient, vulnerable, and very costly
to field or base. The price margin is, in total, about the same as running a bomber fleet.