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Raytheon's Trillion Dollar Gamble

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posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 02:13 PM
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While the Navy is busy putting out amazing looking eye candy during Valiant Shield 2006, Congress is busy looking into the future cost of such an expensive fleet.

Since September 11th, 2001, the US Navy has been the odd man out of the Global War on Terror, and has continued to pursue building bigger, larger warships to face off against a potential peer. The problem for the US Navy though, there is no peer, and even long term it is hard to tell if China will ever truly develop into one.

This has left the US Navy looking for a role, looking for justification for a large fleet, a reason to build giant stealth destroyers and continue to be the only nation operating cruisers. Current price models show the future fleet will only have 7 carriers at most, much less the 12 enjoyed today. How can the Navy justify the high cost of new warships in a changing world that provides few if any real threats at sea?

Well, entering stage left is North Korea. As several threads have already discussed, there is a Ballstic missile that is reported to of been fueled and ready for launch. This has led to the US activating the Ground Based Ballistic Missile Shield into operational status. This has also provided the oppertunity for the US Navy to justify the cost of its expensive surface fleet.

You see, North Korea has given the US Navy and US Indutrial Military Complex a major gift, and I imagine in the halls of the Navy brass they are cheering for North Korea to launch. There are two ships in the Sea of Japan, the USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Fitzgerald, both based in Japan, these ships have been outfitted with ballistic missile tracking versions of the AEGIS weapons systems, and they both carry the SM-3 interceptor. Normally, with limited range and capability, these ships would be largely ineffective for anything but last line of defense against ballistic missiles, but not this time...

Because this time, we know exactly where the missile launch will take place from. We also have weather issues that allow the ships to get into optimal position for intercept.

So we have 2 ships with the technology to intercept missiles under the right conditions, and oh btw, the right conditions exist because the US knows where the launch site is AND has time to position the ships correctly. All that is left to happen is for North Korea to launch.

Because it is a fact the US Navy will try to intercept, you can bet your life savings on it. If the intercept is successful, all the eye candy in the world will pale in comparison to the positive press result of the US Navy successfully intercepting a ballistic missile from North Korea, and the trillion dollar gamble for anti-ballistic missile technology for Raytheon to the US, Japan, and who knows how many other countries, not to mention the badly needed justification for a large US Naval fleet during peacetime will be on display.

There is no way the Navy will pass up the chance to shoot the missile down, because it is worth more money to the US Navy than the entire defense budget of North Korea. Think about it, that statement is factually true.




posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 02:38 PM
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Good info, but I fail to see the gamble. Sounds to me there is no down side unless of course the SM-3 fails to intercept.



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by bobz086
Good info, but I fail to see the gamble. Sounds to me there is no down side unless of course the SM-3 fails to intercept.



That is a huge gamble though, if it was to fail to intercept, it would be a big deal. People who oppose ballistic missile defense due to cost base that opinion on it being too much for not enough result. If it was to fail to intercept, it would provide more reasons to those who say the US is throwing money away on ballistic missile defense since it does not work.



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:03 PM
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I've been thinking hard about this since I read we activated the system today.

Im not sure I share your absolute belief.

Of course destroying the missle would be the Navy's greatest moment, ever?

But, failing to hit that missle might be the Navy's worst moment, ever.

Then again, the good ol Navy could just deny any failed attempt, but NK should be watching very closely to see if we fail, so we're back to the original dillema.

Should be quite interesting.



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:17 PM
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I agree with the original post, but want to add this:

If you think for one second they won’t send up MULTIPLE interceptors you’re crazy. I see one from Alaska, and at least 1 more from one of the Aegis cruisers, maybe two.

There will be no miss, but how many will it take? And will we even know how many they use to get it?



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by Philadelphite
Of course destroying the missle would be the Navy's greatest moment, ever?


Not quite, greatest moment since the cold war. Remember, Reagan wanted to build a 600 ship fleet. Today's Navy has 281 ships. The current plan is for 313 ships, but it would cost about 10 billion more annually per year, so the more realistic fleet if current trends of decline continue is more like 250 or fewer ships.

The Navy needs a major boost to get the money, reliable (and expensive) ship based anti-ballistic missile systems has been seen by the Navy as a potential golden ticket, which is why all AEGIS ships based in Japan have been equipt with the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system.

They have been waiting and planning for this oppertunity for years, unless you think it is coincidence the Navy has spent all of its money on anti-ballistic missile technology on Pacific ships (almost all forward based in Pearl and Japan) and here they are in the right place at the right time with the right equipment....

and they will pass up the chance?

Not likely.

If the Navy is successful, you can bet they will pitch AEGIS ship based anti-ballistic missile system for the 5th fleet operations as well to counter Iran, which would allow the Navy to go for the funding required to incorporate ABM into all AEGIS ships with the upcoming modernization programs for the CGs and DDGs. If they could get that money, that could keep the 313 ship plan alive for at least another 10 years.

It is all about the money...



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Philadelphite
But, failing to hit that missle might be the Navy's worst moment, ever.



I fail to see the correlation between a potential potshot miss at a test launch, and a really bad day.


Historical perspective is key when using definitives like "ever."



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
I agree with the original post, but want to add this:

If you think for one second they won’t send up MULTIPLE interceptors you’re crazy. I see one from Alaska, and at least 1 more from one of the Aegis cruisers, maybe two.

There will be no miss, but how many will it take? And will we even know how many they use to get it?


Well...

Keep in mind, the interceptors only have a range of about 300 miles. Anti-ballistic missile technology is very limited, so if for example the US Navy didn't know the launch location it is unlikely their ships would even have the option to engage the missile.

The same for the land based interceptors, unless the missiles are heading for the US, it is unlikely the US would even be able to engage the missiles with ground based defense systems.

That is why I think the Navy will do it, they will be able to engage shortly after launch, and can engage from about 150-200 miles off shore of the launch site (which is on the coast) from international waters without violating any treaty before the missile reach the high altitude ballistic orbits that would make shooting the missile down very difficult, if not impossible until decent, and even then assuming an interceptor is in place at the point of decent.



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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I wonder what the guys are thinking of right now that make the ABL.


*hand in air* "oo.....oooo.....oooooo..... I wanna do it!"

What if they pulled that out and burned it out of the sky! would that not be amazing!
lol!!!


Airborne Laser (ABL)



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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The USS Lake Eerie has had ONE miss out of IIRC 8 attempts and that was a mechanical malfunction of the missile. The Aegis system is the best we're going to have until ABL is up and running.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 12:03 AM
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The ultimate cool thing would be to have the missile miss, then the abl comes out of nowhere and saves the day. Just to prove that were off to bigger and better things.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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I've thought about this, too. What a great display it would be if we did bring down an ICBM! It would truly be the Navy's turn to shine, and justify the money spent on "Star Wars" over the past two decades. I thought about the amazing degree of political clout such an event would stir.

A nuke is serious business at all times, but the U.S. almost needs a shot in the arm and a chance to succeed instead of being the world bully as they are currently perceived.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
There will be no miss, but how many will it take?

Like missiles are sturdy. Do you know what you're talking about?



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 03:45 AM
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Originally posted by Anon4this1
A nuke is serious business at all times, but the U.S. almost needs a shot in the arm and a chance to succeed instead of being the world bully as they are currently perceived.

They are the world's bully if they shoot it down. North korea has the right to test such missiles and to attempt space launches, like any other sovereign country. Like North Korea would attack the US with just one missile. exactly WHO would be the agressor in such a case?



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 07:07 AM
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Originally posted by Simon666
They are the world's bully if they shoot it down. North korea has the right to test such missiles and to attempt space launches, like any other sovereign country. Like North Korea would attack the US with just one missile. exactly WHO would be the agressor in such a case?


Not quite.

With only 2 ships, due to the limitations of the system, the US Navy could only defend the angles that lead to Japan or South Korea, meaning they could only shoot it down if North Korea shoots a missile in the direction of the US allies in the region. This is also prudent in other ways, because it wouldn't effect a launch if it was designed to place a satellite in orbit.

Clearly North Korea would be the aggressor in any case where the missile gets shot down, shooting a ballistic missile over another country is in fact an enormous no-no, and any implication by anyone that it isn't is pure idiocy. As has been reported by virtually every media outlet, Japan and South Korea have both indicated this would be a serious problem and potentially an act of war if the missile flies over their airspace, so the suggestion the US should ignore the responsibilities to their allies, particularly Japan which the US is obligated to protect since 1945, would be a terrible idea.

In the case of Japan, if the US ignores its obligation and treaty to protect Japan, the consequences could be devestating to the stability of the region, because those consequences could include a nuclear Japan which would highten tensions considerably over in China.

Keep in mind, there are only 2 cases in world history where a ballistic missile was fired over another country. The first was in 1991 during the Gulf War when Iraq shot scud missiles at Israel over Jordan. The second was when North Korea fired a test over Japan in 1998. If anyone is suggesting North Korea has the right to fire missiles over another sovereign country, they would be absolutely wrong.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 07:13 AM
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There are two big questions with Korea:

1. Will Little Kim follow the Hitlerian and Kruschev models of a coward living in a bully's skin? If so, then s/he gets more utility from the politics of this foolishness than simply being ignored until s/he realizes that nukes don't mean anything when you have so little defensive options to stop the counterstrike. If not, if KJI is truly a paranoid megalomaniacal personality 'without limits', you could potentially see the Norks do something which fails to acknowledge the consequences of the action in the rah-rah driven excesses of power-propoganda leading up to a dire confrontation.

2. If there is a failure in the export of nuclear materials and /another/ agency or group makes use of Korean WMD. In which case, no matter how much we punish the Norks, the ability to interdict the threat of already exported technology and materials is ZERO SUM GAME because they themselves cannot 'call it back'.

In this sense, mucking about with a _liquid_ fueled ICBM is just so much bluster. Like a very small boy putting an M80 in a Big Bertha ESTES kit. Liquid fuel systems are finicky as to launch conditions and sequences, they need lots of maintenance, and they don't work well with CGE silo systems.

The infrastructure for which all adds up to easy tracking of alert status as much as (post launch) country of origin retaliatory efforts.

i.e. At least with a missle, the Norks are 'playing the game' of brinksmanship on a mouse-who-roars level. Rather than having that mouse fart an atom bomb via a terrorist group which is so much more likely to be effective (say survivable) against the U.S.

This only leaves the ROKs and the Japanese as the ones under the gun, which I'm sure makes the PRC just tickled pink to think of (Two Tigers pinned by a single Dragon's Claw). Here things are a bit different. Because while one can assume that the U.S. would nuke the Norks regardless of the skin color or epicanthic fold of their Asian Client States (though there is historical proof to the contrary), the fact remains that the Norks could do significant economic damage to U.S., simply by killing two major sources of economic slave manufacture while 'daring us' to fight over burnt ground.

I don't know whether the Japanese have the technology base, money AND popular support to pursue their own NMD effort but I'm sure that the Koreans are reliant upon U.S. to temper the way forward without either leaving them to stare down the barrel of Little Kim's gun. Or create a confrontational situation so severe that any resulting war lead to multiple wardets on Korean soil 'anyway'.

Thus the typical solution: "Don't be stupid... we will irradiate you like the mindless ants you are acting." has multiple levels of response. It may well be that the only true way forward (towards Korean reintegration under ROK dominance) is to deliberately start the South's own militarized nuke development. Probably through seeded dual-key U.S. weapons to start.

Kim wouldn't be pulling this stunt if there was no single-sided leverage and the Chinese yanking HIS strings would be doing a lot more to bring him up short if they realized that, in the process of washing our hands of the situation, we were creating a nuclear power showdown within the Peninsula (and less than 500nm from Bejing).

Silence is often the best way to deal with tantrumy brats. But silence must be accompanied by _action_ so that they realize you are not buffalo'd into doing nothing by their screams. And given how very little the ROKs like the North, Little Kim would be wetting her panties if s/he knew that these infantile cross-a-drawn-line tactics had in fact resulted in the DPRK facing a ROK economy which had the both the engineering and the fiscal strengths to outproduce her own pathetic nuclear industry 10:1.

The U.S. 'not being of a mind to dictate to other _allied_ nations the direction and extent of their defense' would then leave Little Kim with nowhere to go after all the ranting about bully-for-U.S. interference in sovereign national rights yadda-de-yadda-yadda.


KPl.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by darksided
Clearly North Korea would be the aggressor in any case where the missile gets shot down, shooting a ballistic missile over another country is in fact an enormous no-no, and any implication by anyone that it isn't is pure idiocy.

Satellites pass over your head every day. Who says it's a ballistic missile and not an attempt for a space launch as last time? Besides, if you look on the map, according to your logic North Korea couldn't fire any long range ballistic missile as there are countries all around it. So I'd say it's not pure idiocy. Doing so unannounced however is indeed a no-no.



Originally posted by darksided
As has been reported by virtually every media outlet, Japan and South Korea have both indicated this would be a serious problem and potentially an act of war if the missile flies over their airspace, so the suggestion the US should ignore the responsibilities to their allies, particularly Japan which the US is obligated to protect since 1945, would be a terrible idea.

In outer space, claims of national sovereignty have been prohibited. If it flies over their airspace, not in their airspace, a Japanese declaration of war would be an illegal act of war. The US following Japan would be yet another illegal US war.
Problem is however noone has established legally exactly where out space lies. An interesting paper on the subject can be read here.



Originally posted by darksided
Keep in mind, there are only 2 cases in world history where a ballistic missile was fired over another country. The first was in 1991 during the Gulf War when Iraq shot scud missiles at Israel over Jordan. The second was when North Korea fired a test over Japan in 1998. If anyone is suggesting North Korea has the right to fire missiles over another sovereign country, they would be absolutely wrong.

Read the paper above and you'll see legally it's not so clear cut and depending on the height of the missile above Japan, it seems rather that I'm pretty right in saying otherwise.

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Simon666]



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Simon666

Originally posted by skippytjc
There will be no miss, but how many will it take?

Like missiles are sturdy. Do you know what you're talking about?


He may or may not, but I do. It's not a perfect science, missle intercept. You might ask Raytheon about their EKV which hit some and missed others. It's not WHEN you hit the missle it's IF you hit it.

Get it?

Good.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 12:15 PM
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Does China even have to be a peer to the US navy to justify a large fleet? They dont have to beat the US Navy in open water only in the tight Taiwan Strait which allows them to use many land based missiles and aircraft aswell.The US does not have that luxury and needs to ship all their planes and missile over there.

Really the US Navy is the police of global shipping lanes. When Iran was sinking supertankers in the Persian Gulf who stepped in to stop them? Commercial shipping makes the world go round and these are soft targets even mundane Navies could wreck havoc with. Knowing that theres a massive and powerful navy read to stop that from happening is a huge boost in confidence and security IMO.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Simon666
if you look on the map, according to your logic North Korea couldn't fire any long range ballistic missile as there are countries all around it. So I'd say it's not pure idiocy. Doing so unannounced however is indeed a no-no.


That isn't true at all, when Israel was testing long range missile systems they tested their missile systems off Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean to insure they wouldn't accidentally fly a missile over another sovereign nation. That is an example of what responsible nations do.

There is a big difference between a space vehicle deploying a satellite and a ballistic missile. No one is suggesting that it couldn't be a space vehicle, but the trajectory would be different once in flight, and it also wouldn't require sending the launch vehicle over Japan or South Korea for example.

No matter how you cut it though, if North Korea does not announce intentions, they are the aggressor, nobody in their right mind chooses to ignore the unannounced launch of a ballistic missile. Even Iran announced their missile test in Feb. 06.

But you went the "legal" route, which is where I am comfortable going too, considering I am married to an attorney who specializes in international law. Monday night, I had 6 attorneys over for drinks and this issue came up.

Under international law, the US or any other country is well within its rights to shoot down a missile launched on a threatening flight pattern towards the US, or in this case for Japan or South Korea if given their permission to act.

But in this specific case, under International Law, the US could shoot down any missile test in North Korea regardless of the flight path. In fact, it would be 100% legal under international law for the US to bomb the missile on the missile launcher if the US chooses to do so. You see, there has never been a surrender or formal truce agreement officially ending the Korean War in spite of years of negotiation. Only a fragile cease-fire agreement is in place and technically, the countries remain at a state-of-war. Since 1954 there have been over 40,400 breaches to the cease-fire agreement by North Korean Forces. At least 1,200 U.S. personnel have died, hundreds wounded, and 87 captured and held prisoner.

So legally, the US can do whatever it is ready to handle the political fallout for, because there are no 'legal' repercussions.



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