posted on May, 22 2004 @ 04:03 PM
Colloquially called "Rods from God," this weapon would consist of orbiting platforms stocked with tungsten rods perhaps 20 feet long and one foot in
diameter that could be satellite-guided to targets anywhere on Earth within minutes. Accurate within about 25 feet, they would strike at speeds
upwards of 12,000 feet per second, enough to destroy even hardened bunkers several stories underground.
No explosives would be needed. The speed and weight of the rods would lend them all the force they need.
This is technically feasible, but politically difficult. Placing weapons platforms in space would cause all the usual suspects, from the angry left to
our "allies" in Europe, to protest their deployment. Plus the cost would not be trivial. Each rod would weigh around 1500 lbs and each satellite
would need at least 4 or 5 to be useful which means each satellite would need its own launch vehicle. And to get full coverage of the Earth from low
Earth orbiting satellites requires around 50 satellites. With each launch costing around $100 million, and each satellite costing approximately the
same amount, the cost of just the launches and satellites would be around $10 billion. This is just a rough estimate and it does not include design
and testing of the satellites or program management of the system once it is in orbit. This would be a nice system to have, but the cost seems a
little high to me.
The FALCON (an acronym for Force Application and Launch from the Continental United States) would be sent into the upper atmosphere by a boost vehicle
and cruise at an altitude of 100,000 feet at speeds up to 12 times the speed of sound. The first flight demonstration is scheduled for 2006.
Besides being able to engage a target faster than conventional bombers, the FALCON would be virtually invulnerable. No fighter aircraft or
anti-aircraft missile could fly as high, and at Mach 12, the FALCON could outrun antiaircraft missiles. No foreign bases would be needed because the
FALCON's range and speed would allow it to be based on U.S. soil.