reply to post by Vasa Croe
These missiles are designed to intercept ICBMs at orbital altitudes, so technically, yes, they could intercept a rock.
However, the way these missile systems work is based up on ground and naval radar information of incoming missiles, which are normally detected when
launched by military satellites that are watching for them. Not rocks coming in for space, so some reconfiguring would have to be done.
The other thing is the size of the target rock, and the war heads on these missiles. 44 HE (High Explosive) warheads against a solid rock that is let
us say 1 mile wide coming in a planetary speeds?
The missiles would be like bugs hitting the windshield on a Mack Truck.
As for why so many: I guess that would be based on threat analysis that are done. Bush Jr. wanted 44, Obama capped it at 30, and now is raising it to
44 (and I just saw a news article talking about placing 3 more on the EAST coast of the US.......what?).
It's not so much as the missile being crappy at intercepting. They've spent a lot of time testing them to intercept correctly.
It's more along the lines of having more than enough to intercept. Something goes wrong, certain sites have bad weather and can't launch, possible
malfunction during launch, and one last thing to consider:
If you only have 10, and your enemy sends 20, you're screwed. Even if you have 100 percent intercept, 10 of them are still going to arrive here.
Now I know NK most likely doesn't have 1 that can reach, let alone 44. But I think the entire system was designed with other nations in mind (IE
Russia and China).
I don't know why they suddenly want to increase the number either. And with the WH whining about not having enough money now, it makes me raise my
eye brows even further.