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Originally posted by NavalFC
reply to post by srsairbags
Stealth ICBMs are forbidden by treaty.
The “bazooka” part is accurate, but not the “hiding” part.
If the spacecraft are torchships, their thrust power is several terawatts. This means the exhaust is so intense that it could be detected from Alpha Centauri.
By a passive sensor.
The Space Shuttle’s much weaker main engines could be detected past the orbit of Pluto. The Space Shuttle’s manoeuvering thrusters could be seen as far as the asteroid belt. And even a puny ship using ion drive to thrust at a measly 1/1000 of a g could be spotted at one astronomical unit.
This is with current off-the-shelf technology. Presumably future technology would be better.
Originally posted by Aim64C
reply to post by StellarX
Most of those systems consisted of anti-missile-missiles with nuclear warheads - guidance systems were not accurate enough to score a kinetic kill on a reentry vehicle. Many of these systems were never tested against threats real or simulated - and while I am certain they would be effective at reducing the number of on-target reentry vehicles, exactly how effective is any one's guess.
1961 began with another string of failures (5 further launches were planned in the first test series). A variety of warheads were wasted in attempting to destroy the incoming missiles. Once, manually, and twice, automatically, the missile made a more-or-less successful intercept. But this was followed by three failures, indicating a great amount of time and effort were needed to develop the intercept method.
On 4 March 1961 the V-1000 achieved a world first - the destruction of the re-entry vehicle of an R-12 IRBM. This was followed by the destruction of an R-5 re-entry vehicle. In all, there were 11 launches with military warheads, plus launches of developmental warheads. The S2TA variant used an infrared-homing self-guiding high-explosive warhead and was designed by Storozhenko at the GOI State Optical Institute in Lengingrad. It was capable not only of determining the moment for warhead detonation, but also was capable of guiding the anti-ballistic missile independently using an on-board computer. The R2TA version used a radio-guided explosive warhead, with two types of proximity fuses used to determine the correct moment for warhead detonation. These were the G2TA, a radio ranging system, developed by Bondarenko and an optical system, developed by Emdin at GOI. Flight tests of the V-1000 with a nuclear warhead designed at Chelyabinsk-70 were also carried out.
As the anti-ballistic missile system reached maturity, a range of anti-ballistic missile countermeasures deployed by the incoming missiles challenged it. These included Verba (inflated decoy warheads); Kaktus (an anti-radar system that generated false targets on the anti-ballistic missile system radars); and Krot (an active jammer). Operation K (including live nuclear-armed target and interceptor missile exercises K1 through K5) tested the effects of nuclear explosions at altitudes of 80 to 300 km on the ability of the anti-ballistic missile system to function. System A demonstrated its ability to continue operation despite the nuclear detonations, although the tests were primarily conducted to obtain scientific data for the design of the next generation of anti-ballistic missiles. At the end of 1961 KB-1 and SKB-30 were transferred to OKB-301 and dedicated to full-time anti-ballistic missile work. In 1966 the developers of System A received the Lenin Prize for their work.
On that note - the NIKE missiles were generally intended to destroy formations of bombers (also with nuclear warheads). Interception of ICBMs was not their primary design purpose, merely an extension of mission once it became clear bombers were no longer the primary system for nuclear warhead delivery.
It has only been recently that we have developed guidance systems capable of delivering a kinetic kill on a reentry vehicle. Even so - these systems are limited in both capability and availability -
a 'surprise' from a concealed satellite would be difficult to defend against on such short notice. Most defense systems presume early detection of an ICBM launch with geosynch infra-red satellites that allows early and accurate radar tracking and prediction of trajectory. Reducing the warning to "object on re-entry" and attempting to successfully engage in that time frame is pushing it.
With military spending down and a general complacency with regards to CONUS security from organized military threats, I do not see these systems being kept on a state of alert that would allow them to successfully engage such a threat scenario.