HA Orbital bombardment. Anyone read Moon is a harsh mistress from R.A. Heinlein? So now you know why Bush wants to colonize the Moon.
But seriously, it would be really expensive to fire this things from the space. But US are now developing the weapon with similar effects the
HyStrike will begin the development of an operational hypersonic weapon that will be fielded in the 2005 to 2012 time frame. The surface-launched
system could hit underground targets to a depth of 12 meters after flying at beyond Mach 4. The wingless missile would change direction in flight by
using a bending body joint.
A unique aspect of this Navy programs is that the goal is a single hypersonic strike weapon that will be launchable from air, surface and subsurface
platforms. This is a first-time collaboration between these three communities to develop a common weapon system for time-critical and deeply buried
targets. It is intended to produce increased operations effectiveness as well as life-cycle cost saving.
When fielded, the hypersonic strike weapon is intended to have a major positive impact on battlespace management. The weapon's greatly decreased time
to target will give the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) components more time to search for and identify
time-critical threats. Powerful kinetic penetrators will defeat the enemy's tactic of burrowing deeper or building stronger bunkers. And the ability
to take out threat weapons before they are launched will increase US and allied survivability, efficiently, cost effectively - and soon.
The hypersonic weapon's immense destructive power results from kinetic energy. An object striking a target at Mach 8 will generate 64 times the force
of an object of the same mass striking the target at Mach 1. This phenomenon makes hypersonic weapons well suited to attacking hardened or deeply
buried targets such as command bunkers or biological-weapon storage facilities.
Aerothermic heating, caused by the friction of air passing the weapon body, is one area of intensive research. At Mach 4, as the hypersonic weapon
passes through the lower atmosphere in the terminal phase of its flight, its surface reaches about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This level is within the
tolerance range of new titanium and inconel materials. At Mach 6, however, the surface temperatures exceed 2800 F and at Mach 8 over 5600 F; skin
materials, as well as internal temperature control, become a much larger issue.
The compliance of this long-range system with various bilateral arms control treaties remains an unresolved issue.
Mission Attack, Destroy, & Hold at Risk Short Dwell and/or Time-Critical Targets at Long Standoff Ranges
Range up to 600 nmi / over 700 nmi
Average speed Mach 3.5 to Mach 7
2600 mph - 5200 mph
Features High weapon survivability
Penetration of 18-36 feet of concrete
Day, night, adverse weather operation
Operational 2010 IOC
Platforms Navy/Shipboard compatible F/A-18 E/F, JSF, F-22, F-16, F-15E, B52, B-2,B-1, MLRS, Surface ships, & submarines .
You can read more and also see some movies here
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[Edited on 20-5-2004 by longbow]