Originally posted by davesidious
reply to post by tauristercus
First of all, fantastic work. That is a very thorough analysis of what we saw.
Thanks for the
as I certainly appreciate it !
You assume that the missile was tumbling, which isn't exactly the only failure mode of a rocket outside of the atmosphere. In fact, from the
symmetry of the spirals, I'd say it's pretty unlikely that it was tumbling.
Sorry if I gave the assumption that I BELIEVED the missile to really be tumbling as that wasn't the intention.
I was actually trying to make a comparison between an in control missile, i.e. nose pointed in direction of flight and thrust applied at the rear ...
and a missile that wasn't flying in a controlled manner ... therefore tumbling either to a small or greater degree.
As far as I can think, flying straight and in control or tumbling and out of control are basically it as far as missile flight goes.
I then used these these 2 flight modes to show that both of them were totally inadequate to explain the mechanism of near perfect spiral formation.
In the controlled flight scenario, any spiral generated could ONLY be seen edge on by an observer at Skjervoy.
In the tumbling out of control scenario, I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on how the 3 vectors of forward motion, tumbling motion and rotational
motion along the missiles axis couldn't possibly conspire to generate a stable and near perfect spiral.
Also, even though the Bulava is based on the Topol-M, it is a far different beast. It is designed to have extensive counter-measures and far greater
maneuvering ability. That is a far cry from the Topol-M. It is expected that Russia, especially in times of financial squeeze, is incapable of
perfectly launching most of their test missiles, especially when the missile in question is far advanced compared to that which came before it.
As far as I have been able to ascertain, the Bulava missile series leans heavily on the preceeding Topol-M missile class technology... including it's
use of a 3 stage solid propellant fuel technology ... this technology has been around for many decades and the Russians certainly know how to build
missiles with it.
I agree with you that the Bulava series boasts some impressive stats regarding maneuverability, counter measures, emp hardening, etc ... but the
majority of test failures in the Bulava series so far have been reported as staging failures which as I have mentioned before, seems to be extremely
unusual for solid propellent based technology ... imagine the additional problems they'd have if they instead tried to convert the Bulavas to the
more complex liquid fueled propellants.
Anyway, this is just MY personal opinion that perhaps the Russians have been under reporting their actual success rate with the Bulavas ... after all,
the less your opponent knows about your military hardware and its capabilities ... the better !
Again ... MY PERSONAL OPINION ONLY !!!!