It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Missile Defence System

page: 1
0
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 03:50 PM
link   
After the latest test of a ground based interceptor it is starting to look more and more as if we will have a decent chance at knocking down a small scale ballistic missile attack on North America. No system will ever be 100% fool proof but at least it offers some protection. The first voices to decry it will also be the first voices saying "why did't we have this in place" if a missile hits the U.S.

My question is how do you feel about this? Is it worthwhile to you or just not worth the cost or does it destablize things even more?

My opinion is even if it is not 100% perfected or sucessful each time, if it gives a chance to shoot down a lone missile before it can deliver it's payload, it is worth implementing and developing further. The alternative of having no option to shoot down a lone missile is not one I would prefer. Hopefully, it never has to be used and if it does, hopefully it is successful.

We can't develop this defence system after the fact, it must be up and giving us a chance to succeed in intercepting missiles before the threat actually manifests itself from rouge nuclear states.

Lets hear your opinon on this one.




posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 05:02 PM
link   
Good topic.

I personaly don't think the system is worth the investment ($10 bil. per year for several years running now, it's the single biggest item in the defense budget). I see to basic problems with missile defense:

[1] There's noone to defend against.

Missile *defense* is of limited capability, it's only designed to stop one or two ICBMs at most. This rules out Russia and China's rather larger arsenals. And the Ground-based Missile Defense is in a fixed location: the only other country it's positioned to defend against is N. Korea.

And 4th of July test showed just how much of a non-threat that nation is. Their ICBMs are liquid fueled, have to be stored without fuel, and take days to prepare for launch. I'd rather we be ready to destroy the launch pad (100% chance of success) than rely on the vastly more complex system our government has proposed for defense.

But thats not something you have to worry about until they can prove they can keep a missile in the air for more than 30 seconds.

[2] It's too easy to defeat.

FOBS could deliver warheads from an unexpected direction. Manueverying warheads can easily dodge inctercept attempts. Decoys can present so many targets that sorting out and hitting the warheads would be nearly impossible. Or you can simply fire more missiles/MIRVs to overwhelm the system. It wouldn't take that many.

Any one of these solutions would render ground-based interceptors completely ineffective. And while they're more expensive and complex, anyone who wants ICBMs will be certain to implement countermeasures agsint our defense. After investing all that money in missiles, they'd be stupid not to spend a little extra to make sure they work.

********************************************

Which I feel is the real danger of missile defense: it leaves us feeling isolated and protected when, based on the system's abilities, we really aren't. If a missile hits the USA before we get the system running, people are going to demand an explanation. But people will always find something to complain about.

A much more realistic scenario is that missile defense will be implemented, and because we've spent $10s of billions on that implementation, it will be claimed that it's effective. After all, how could we spend that much money on something we can't depend on? And someday in the future we overplay our hands with military action or politics, because our govt. actually thinks our defense will work.

If you don't believe me, skip back a few months to N. Korea's missile tests. We hadn't had a succesfull test in years, and the radar needed to guide the interceptors was in Hawaii being repaired. But the military trotted the sysem out as "fully operational" anyway, ready to knock down any ICBMs N. Korea launched.

It's a good thing Korea's ICBM crashed and burned, because we would have looked all kinds of foolish if we tried to shoot it down ourselves.

So what happens when a missile smacks into the US despite GMD (see point #2) and people start asking why we depended on a system we should have known wouldn't work, but spent $10s of billions on anyway?



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 05:54 PM
link   
Nice post.

Again, you can't develop the MDS after the fact. You have to have it in place before a country with a limited nuclear force attains the level of ability necessary for the attack. You indeed could say that it is a defence for a threat that does not "currently" exist. That still does not mean the threat is not materializing in the near future and we must be ready when that day arrives, not trying to react only when that day arrives. A defence system implies that it must be in place prior to an attack, does it not?

The Missile Defence System is not envisioned to stop a full scale nuclear exchange by a country like Russia or China, M.A.D. still applies. It would give us the chance to take out a small volley of missiles by a small countries that are developing both nuclear and ballistic missile technology.

Is it a costly program, yes. Is it worth the cost if it stops or deters an attack that could land on the U.S., yes. Will it be a 100% shield, hopefully but probably not. Could 9.3B a year be used in a manner that would be just as useful for the purpose of stopping a small ballistic missile attack on the U.S., I'm open to suggestions. The Missile Defense System seems to have many different advanced technologies all vying for a spot.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 06:39 PM
link   
Today C-Span aired a DoD news conference on another missile test.

inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080...

As usual, when it comes to missile defense news conferences, it was all about dodging the questions and painting the rosy picture of complete and utter success.

While Lt. General Obering did know an exact cost of this test and "estimated" it somewhere between 80 to a 100 million dollars, the actual reported cost of this test was 85 million.

As always, numerous questions about target homing beacon use were raised. Lt. Gen held a straight face, again stating that homing beacons are used only as a safety measure, and in no way aid the guidance of the weapon system, even though they do transmit GPS positioning data somewhere.

He did mention that a number of tracking radar systems performed as expected, thus the repeated questions regarding the need for GPS beacons.

Naturally questions about countermeasure use were raised, as usual, and received the usual answers. No decoys/countermeasures were used in this test, but the 2002 test demonstrated a "limited" capability of the experimental kill vehicle, even though it remains in its experimental stage to this day.

Well, in light of yet another peachy missile defense report, I though I'd gather some quick links on the LONG history of our miserably failing missile programs.



Professor Francis Slakey: A global positioning system is placed on the warhead so that it follows the predetermined trajectory. The size and the shape of the decoy is known ahead of time and programmed into the interceptor. The infrared signature of the decoy and the warhead is known ahead of time and programmed into the interceptor and a homing beacon is put on the warhead and that information is transmitted back to the interceptor. And then finally the whole thing is happening at one third the speed that's needed for real combat situation. So does it work? Well if the enemy where to tell us when they are firing where they're firing how they're firing, what they're putting inside the missile, the nature of their decoys and for good measure they put a homing beacon in. then the system has a 60% chance of success."


www.abc.net.au.../catalyst/stories/s478712.htm


National Missile Defense as Sniffer Plane Genre

The United States is not immune to this type of secrecy and the instances of it appear to be rising. There are numerous multi-billion dollar programs that the United States is undertaking that have a striking resemblance to the Sniffer Plane. Consider George W. Bush’s plan to build a national missile defense shield (NMD). The missile defense program has spent 70.7 billion dollars from 1984 to 1994 without any deployable system or technological advancement.2 Billions of dollars are being spent each year for the program. Many missile interceptor tests have required a homing beacon to be placed into the target missile and - even with this beacon - many of the tests fail to intercept the target.3

The Union of Concerned Scientists clearly state that the program is “unworkable” and “counterproductive.”4 The Defense Department has recently moved to restrict access to information about future tests and costs.5 Thereby removing it from public scrutiny and turning it into a Sniffer Plane Secret.

Ted Postol, physicist and MIT Professor - formerly a U.S. Navy scientist, has been so bold as to declare the NMD a “fraud” and that a cover-up was happening.6,7 In the past, Postol declared the Patriot Missiles almost a complete failure when the Pentagon was declaring them 90% effective. It has been determined the Patriot’s were a lot less effective than the Pentagon indicated.


www.aps.org...


During one trial, in April 1998, the rocket never left the launchpad due to a programming error. During four subsequent tests since October 1999, the target missile was equipped with a homing beacon. In two of the tests, the interceptor missed the dummy warhead completely.



What went largely unreported was that the dummy warhead had a target beacon on board. "That's not a bad thing to do for a first test, but it was not a demonstration of something you could deploy," says Philip Coyle, who headed the Pentagon's department of testing and evaluation during the Clinton administration. "Presumably a country that attacks us wouldn't put beacons on their missiles."

More problematic was the performance of the new X-band radar station on Kwajalein, which was supposed to track the last leg of the target's flight, up to and including the collision with the interceptor. Debris completely confused the radar. "Every time there's a stage separation, there are belts and straps and different objects that come loose," says Coyle. Reflections from that debris prompted the X-band radar to indicate that the interceptor had missed the target. This raises questions about how well X-band radar would deal with simple enemy countermeasures, such as dumping millions of pieces of radar-reflecting wire, or chaff, around the warhead. "A chaff cloud would be a great countermeasure," says Coyle. "Lord knows the North Koreans are smart enough to do that."


www.discover.com...



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:15 PM
link   

Originally posted by pavil
Nice post.

You have to have it in place before a country with a limited nuclear force attains the level of ability necessary for the attack. You indeed could say that it is a defence for a threat that does not "currently" exist. That still does not mean the threat is not materializing in the near future and we must be ready when that day arrives.


The "defense against the lone ICBM" justification for missile defense is, to put it as polite as possible, laughable.

To believe this situation is realistic we must assume that a country intends to invest years of time and billions of dollars in R&D to develop the nessesary technoliges for modern ICBMs: solid rocket boosters, multiple missile stages, high-accuracy inertial guidance, warhead buses, re-entry vehicles, decoy systems... and from all that work they produce: one missile.

i.e. call me back when the drugs have worn off.

... Because any country that can afford that level of development is building more than one weapon.

For a bit of perspective: China has 18 to 36 ICBMs depending on who you ask, and we seem to agree that arsenal is more than missile defense is intended to handle. According to "ArmsControlWonk," Iran could produce 25-30 warheads worth of HEU/year once they get their reactors running... so it'd take them 7-18 months to match China's warhead inventory once they get started.


The cost/exchange ratio always favors the agressor with ICBMs. It's always going to be cheaper to add a few more warheads/decoys/missiles than it is to defend agains them. Any country that can threaten the USA with ICBMs can afford enough to ensure they can do a proper job of it.

The lone ICBM threat is a fantasy, invented to create a scenario in which missile defense might be useful, but it's never going to happen in the real world.

[edit on 1-9-2006 by RedMatt]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:27 PM
link   

The lone ICBM threat is a fantasy, invented to create a scenario in which missile defense might be useful, but it's never going to happen in the real world.


RedMatt, I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

One thing though, from the perspective of the citizens and not the military industrial complex. the "lone ICBM threat" fantasy is a VERY expensive nightmare designed specifically to strip mine taxes right out of our collective pockets.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by RedMatt
To believe this situation is realistic we must assume that a country intends to invest years of time and billions of dollars in R&D to develop the nessesary technoliges for modern ICBMs: solid rocket boosters, multiple missile stages, high-accuracy inertial guidance, warhead buses, re-entry vehicles, decoy systems... and from all that work they produce: one missile.


Is that not the path North Korea is pursuing as we speak. How long has Iran's covert nuclear program gone on before it was discovered. They are not there yet put working towards that goal. Developing these systems you describe? Granted it will not be a single missile, but there is a chance that a small volley of missiles from an unstable leader such as we have in NK could be launched at the U.S.

If a country that is developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons reaches a stage that exceeds nuclear force in the 10's or 20's, then the threat would be taken care of by means other more destructive means than a defensive Missile system. As you described, it is much easier to hit them before they launch.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:42 PM
link   
Whats the difference in 10 years the government will be selling it to our enemys behind all of our backs.....



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:54 PM
link   
One obvious failing of GBI and similar anti-ballistic missile defenses is that they are relatively inflexible - they face off against a one dimensional threat. Ballistic missiles are an impressive piece of kit, but they are a 1950s operational concept. If your aim was to attack the US (or anywhere) with a nuclear first strike there are cheaper and quicker ways to develop that capability whilst circumventing the capabilities of the ABM defenses. The most obvious option, and one I believe that countries like India, Pakistan, Israel (if not already), China and Iran will pursue is submarine launched land attack cruise missiles. - with AIP making deisel subs ever more on an endurance parr with nuclear boats, and the prolification of cruise missile technology, this is the obvious choice. Now I'm not suggesting that the US is their target, but the US' defenses ought to reflect the emerging and probable threats. Imagine how difficult it will be to defend the US' ~50,000 miles long coastline:
Standard SM3 = No. Can only intercept targets which fly above 100km altitude
Airborne laser = No. Can only intercept targets which fly above the clouds
Patriot PAC-III/THAAD - Insufficient range. You'd need about 500 batteries to cover the whole coastline, not including secondary layers of defense.
Ground Based Laser = too short ranged. With a 10km range you'd need about 7000 units positioned along the coastline

And then when you've bought 500 batteries of Patriot, they go and put the warhead on a torpeado.....



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:26 PM
link   
Point taken planeman, but isn't any defence preferable to no defence? I'm open to suggestions as to what to do in lieu of our current missile defence configuration.

If a non major power has a way of delivering more than two handfuls of weapons onto the continental U.S., then other methods need to take precendence to take care of that threat.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:57 PM
link   

Originally posted by pavil
Point taken planeman, but isn't any defence preferable to no defence? I'm open to suggestions as to what to do in lieu of our current missile defence configuration.

If a non major power has a way of delivering more than two handfuls of weapons onto the continental U.S., then other methods need to take precendence to take care of that threat.
I think the solution is a foriegn policy less likely to breed enemies. As always I'll leave my personal political views aside, but on a purely objective perspective it's clear that America's interventionist and militarily 'threatening' actions have made it increasingly unpopular around the world, and not just amongst "extremeists". A cynic might suggest that ABM is a self-justifying programme; a kind of perpetual motion that create the situation where it is necessary, thus reinforcing its necessity. Maybe the fuel is capitalist greed, maybe genuine fear or paranoia, maybe ignorance or short sightedness.

Ask yourself this: Does Sweden need an ABM programme in the same way we are told America does?


But on a more hands-on level, I concede that mutually assured destruction is no longer a secure defense for US. It works against well established countries and nuclear deterence works AGAINST America - i.e. America simply cannot have a war with a post-nuclear North Korea or Iran or Pakistan or India. Once a country has even a modest nuclear capability it is beyond even America's direct military reach. BUT, the same is not so true in reverse - I wonder whether if a 'lower tier' nuclear power sought to attack US with a nuclear weapon, they wouldn't do it through the medium of a territory-less "terrorist" organisation. If Al Queada use a nuclear weapon on New York, where does the US mail the return to sender present? And I don't mean to warp the whole "Islamic threat" notion with that example, merely highlight how countries world-wide and on all sides have frequently used easily influenced terrorist groups to do their dirty work, waging war at arms length.

None of this really answers your questions, sorry.

For me the answer is not so much whether the ABM defences would be effective in a "for real" context, but rather in a political and phycological sense. Will the people and businesses in America feel safe and if so what impact will that have on the economy etc.

So all that rambling really just goes to say"I don't know"


[edit on 1-9-2006 by planeman]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by planeman

Ask yourself this: Does Sweden need an ABM programme in the same way we are told America does?


Believe me I understand what you are saying but for better or worse, as it has since WWII, the U.S. will be playing the leading role of Superpower/Policeman/Warmonger/Defender of Freedom/ #1Threat to World Peace ect. for at least the next few decades if not longer. Comparing Sweden's defensive needs to that of the US is stretching. They play completely different roles on the World stage.

The major task for the world as a whole is seeing if we (all of us, not just the US), can put the nuclear proliferation genie back in the bottle. If we don't, sooner or later, a nuclear weapon will be used by someone again and when that happens it will not be a pretty picture for anyone, even those not directly affected by it.

Edit: called you plane can for some reason, lol

[edit on 1-9-2006 by pavil]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:16 PM
link   

Originally posted by pavil
Believe me I understand what you are saying but for better or worse, as it has since WWII, the U.S. will be playing the leading role of Superpower/Policeman/Warmonger/Defender of Freedom/ #1Threat to World Peace ect. for at least the next few decades if not longer. Comparing Sweden's defensive needs to that of the US is stretching. They play completely different roles on the World stage.
That was precisely my point, your democratically elected leaders choose the role America plays on the world stage, in part sculpturing the military threat faced.

An analogy: say I want to learn some self defence like martial arts or something. Now my self defence needs largely depend on my lifestyle and life choices. If I choose to go into rough bars, flexing my considerable muscles and telling everyone about how I could "Regime Change" the local big fish, then obviously my self defence needs would be greater than those of someone who avoided those confrontational situations and didn't go around rubbing people up the wrong way.

In fact learning self defence is a better analogy than I first realised; It doesn't matter how good my physical fighting skills get (the ABM bit), they have a lesser impact on how 'safe' I am than simple things like avoiding potentially dangerous situations. No matter how sophisticated my defensive skills get, I can still get sucker punch KO'd by the skinny guy with an ashtray in his hand. And it's only a matter of time if I keep putting my chin on the line. The same goes for missile defence. The punch that hurts the most is the one you don't see coming.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:26 PM
link   

Originally posted by planeman
Standard SM3 = No. Can only intercept targets which fly above 100km altitude


SM-6 ERAM.


Originally posted by planeman
Airborne laser = No. Can only intercept targets which fly above the clouds


Says who?


Originally posted by planeman
Patriot PAC-III/THAAD - Insufficient range. You'd need about 500 batteries to cover the whole coastline, not including secondary layers of defense.


Why? Focus on major cities and key military/civilian sites. No need to defend grass and rocks on some coastline.


Originally posted by planeman
Ground Based Laser = too short ranged. With a 10km range you'd need about 7000 units positioned along the coastline.


For terminal defense especially when used on key sites like cities or bases can be sufficient.

Your also missing airborne fighters using AMRAAM's with AESA and other radar sources to target cruise missiles.

But lets not forget that the countries with large cruise missile capability are not the primary target of our ABM defense program, nor are they likely adversaries of the US. Cruise missiles require a platform, bombers, subs or ships, we can monitor and stop these systems before they launch their cruise missiles. The only real "threat" are the subs.

[edit on 1-9-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 11:39 PM
link   
Not trying to disagree with what you are stating, but the reality is things are the way they are now and we have to move forward with that knowledge in tow.

To use an analogy, the U.S. is the "sheriff" of Dodge. Knowing this, they try to maintain order in the town, always having to be on the lookout for "trouble". Heck, we probably make trouble by looking out for it, strange but true.

There are those out there who would like nothing better than to "off" the Sheriff. The only way the Sheriff stays Sheriff is by staying one step ahead and being the best "draw" in town.

I don't know if the Missile Defence System is the best thing since sliced bread, but I'm pretty sure that somebody is going to take a "shot" at us at one time or another. Chances are you are right, it will be a shot we don't see coming, hopefully the MDS will be the "eyes in the back of our head" so to speak.

Putting it another way, I'd rather have the chance to stop the missile(s) rather than not having a chance and having to respond in kind. Even though if we can determine the attacker, they are most proabably toast regardless if they succeed or not, or the Missile Defence works or not.

Spell Edit

[edit on 1-9-2006 by pavil]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:17 AM
link   
EDIT:

WestPoint23, I made a point by point type post but this isn't a debate i care to get too deep into.

I'm not anti-US technology, and I'm not saying it's impossible to shoot down a cruise missile. But my observation is that bearing in mind even one nuclear missile getting through is a "loss" for US, I think the scale of the task of defending US against the cruise missile threat is too great. And that's without factoring potential developments in cruise missile technology.

Whether SM-6 can hit a cruise missile becomes moot if there isn't a suitibly equipped ship with active defences in the right position to intercept the missile(s). Against a low flying cruise missile you can bet your bottom dollar that SM-6's engagement envelope is far smaller than the popular figures.


Simple question: do you honestly believe that the US has effective operational defenses of mainland USA to intercept a submarine launched cruise missile attack?

[edit on 2-9-2006 by planeman]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:27 AM
link   

Originally posted by pavil
Not trying to disagree with what you are stating, but the reality is things are the way they are now and we have to move forward with that knowledge in tow.

To use an analogy, the U.S. is the "sheriff" of Dodge. Knowing this, they try to maintain order in the town, always having to be on the lookout for "trouble". Heck, we probably make trouble by looking out for it, strange but true.

There are those out there who would like nothing better than to "off" the Sheriff. The only way the Sheriff stays Sheriff is by staying one step ahead and being the best "draw" in town.

I don't know if the Missile Defence System is the best thing since sliced bread, but I'm pretty sure that somebody is going to take a "shot" at us at one time or another. Chances are you are right, it will be a shot we don't see coming, hopefully the MDS will be the "eyes in the back of our head" so to speak.

Putting it another way, I'd rather have the chance to stop the missile(s) rather than not having a chance and having to respond in kind. Even though if we can determine the attacker, they are most proabably toast regardless if they succeed or not, or the Missile Defence works or not.

Spell Edit

[edit on 1-9-2006 by pavil]
I can't keep responding point for point but I think the policeman analogy is not so great. "World Policeman" is how some people in US, presumably including the adminstration, wish to view themselves. A self-image and not necessarily a reflection of the true motivations. It implies a duty to intervene, and a moral rather than economic motivation for doing so.

Now I'm not necessarily advocating isolationalism - we can see where that got the US in the 1020s~40s.

But the current focus and need, whether percieved or actual, for missile defense is ultimately inextricably linked to the geo-political environment, an environment where many of the participants choose their own fate through their actions.

[edit on 2-9-2006 by planeman]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:08 AM
link   

Originally posted by planeman
The most obvious option, and one I believe that countries like India, Pakistan, Israel (if not already), China and Iran will pursue is submarine launched land attack cruise missiles. - with AIP making deisel subs ever more on an endurance parr with nuclear boats, and the prolification of cruise missile technology, this is the obvious choice.


Uhm, actually ICBMs are much cheaper and reliable option than cruise missiles. One ICBM cost app. 50 milion (the most advanced) and it can carry more than 10 warheads. So it's app. 5 million per target. Subs will never make it to the american coast undetected, not even the AIP ones (yes they can stay longer underwater, but only at very low speed so their range is VERY short). Also they cheapest AIP subs cost more than 300 million $. Also cruise missiles are really relatively easy to shoot down - even by aircraft, much easier than ballistic missiles. That said the easiest and cheapest way how to counter anti missile defense is still simply to build more ICBMs with MIRV warheads.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 06:05 AM
link   
Who are willing to tell me how mach weight that US ICBM could carry at most? I mean the weight of warhead not equivalent.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 11:30 AM
link   

Originally posted by planeman
Simple question: do you honestly believe that the US has effective operational defenses of mainland USA to intercept a submarine launched cruise missile attack?


I'll admit it's one of our weak points in term of defense but we're not totally helpless either, but do know that this topic is being addressed and hopefully "fixed" by the end of the decade. Now to answer your question it depends on how much warning time we get, and how much intelligence we have on the matter. So keeping those two things in mind yes I believe we can mount a somewhat successful cruise missile defense if need be.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join