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USA successfully tests ICBM defense system for the first time

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by sunstersun, May 31, 2017.

  1. sunstersun

    sunstersun Lieutenant IDF NewBie

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  2. sunstersun

    sunstersun Lieutenant IDF NewBie

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    This is huge if it can be translated into a reliable system.
     
  3. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Post the article man.

    It is boring if I have to do it for you.
     
  4. Sathya

    Sathya Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The U.S. military on Tuesday cheered a successful, first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a major milestone for a program meant to defend against a mounting North Korean threat.

    The U.S. military fired an ICBM-type missile from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands toward the waters just south of Alaska. It then fired a missile to intercept it from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

    Experts compare the job to hitting a bullet with another bullet and note the complexity is magnified by the enormous distances involved.

    The Missile Defense Agency said it was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), managed by Boeing Co (BA.N), and hailed it as an "incredible accomplishment."

    "This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat," Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the agency, said in a statement.

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    People watch as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system launches during a flight test from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

    [​IMG]

    A successful test was by no means guaranteed and the Pentagon sought to manage expectations earlier in the day, noting that the United States had multiple ways to try to shoot down a missile from North Korea.

    "This is one element of a broader missile defense strategy that we can use to employ against potential threats," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

    Prior to Tuesday's launch, the GMD system had successfully hit its target in only nine of 17 tests since 1999. The last test was in 2014.

    North Korea has dramatically ramped up missile tests over the past year in its effort to develop an ICBM that can strike the U.S. mainland.

    The continental United States is around 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from North Korea. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,400 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles) or farther.

    Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, described the test as "vital" prior to launch.

    "We are replicating our ability to defend the United States of America from North Korea, today," Ellison said.

    Failure could have deepened concern about a program that according to one estimate has so far cost more than $40 billion. Its success could translate into calls by Congress to speed development.

    In the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal sent to Congress last week, the Pentagon requested $7.9 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, including about $1.5 billion for the GMD program.

    A 2016 assessment released by the Pentagon's weapons testing office in January said that U.S. ground-based interceptors meant to knock out any incoming ICBM still had low reliability, giving the system a limited capability of shielding the United States.
     
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  5. Luttapi

    Luttapi 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    GMD is part of Aegis BMD, THAAD, Patriot missile defense systems. They are just part of defense systems. gmd-2100-ts600.jpg
     
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  6. sunstersun

    sunstersun Lieutenant IDF NewBie

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    woops sorry. still getting used to the site.
     
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  7. Fox

    Fox Supreme Overlord FULL MEMBER

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    FTG-15 test video.

     
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  8. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  9. sunstersun

    sunstersun Lieutenant IDF NewBie

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    hopefully this translates into a mass produceable interceptor.
     
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  10. Fox

    Fox Supreme Overlord FULL MEMBER

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    The GBI is 16.61 meters, only two meters less then the Minuteman III. Its diameter is 1.2 meters versus the Minuteman's 1.6 meters. GBI is 14,000 kg lighter though at 21,000 kg in weight. Mass producible might be a stretch given the size and resources needed, and that it's silo based meaning it requires a large footprint too. If it could be made mobile that might help though.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the GBI and Minuteman used in the FTG-15 test (GBI the first two, Minuteman the third).

    [​IMG]

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    GBI is itself the size of an ICBM and was designed to down ICBMs up to 4500km from the US mainland with interceptors in Alaska and California. These are for strategic defence and while Russia and China have sizable stocks of missiles, their ICBMs are less in numbers, each numbering roughly 300 and 100 land-based missiles respectively and about 100 sea-based SLBMs. Taken individually, that's less then the American stockpile of 450 Minuteman III and 240 Trident D5s.

    GBI doesn't need large numbers, it need greater reliability and efficiency versus maneuvering and multiple warheads. A MIRV-killer called the MOKV is in development for SM-3 and possibly GBI while THAAD-ER is being developed to counter hypersonic glide vehicles like WU-14, which could have a nuclear armed derivative.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  11. sunstersun

    sunstersun Lieutenant IDF NewBie

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    I obviously don't mean thousands of GMD's. I just want them to improve reliability (90%) and produce a hundred or so.

    Not enough to upset MAD, but enough to defend against any country not Russia/China.
     
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  12. Fox

    Fox Supreme Overlord FULL MEMBER

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    Out of respect for the individual sites I don't usually post the whole article, but here's some key points regarding this test.

    ...

    http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/missile-defense-test-realistic-syring-insists/

    It actually replicated — without getting into classified details — an operational scenario that we’re concerned about,” Vice Adm. James Syring, currently at NORTHCOM HQ in Colorado Springs, told reporters gathered here around a speaker phone. While the Missile Defense Agency director didn’t explicitly say the threat yesterday emulated a North Korean missile, he did say tests replicate threats “from North Korea or Iran. In this case it was a Pacific scenario.” (Protip: Iran is not in the Pacific).

    In fact, MDA tests against the intelligence community’s best estimate of where the North Korean and Iranian missile programs will be “three years” from now. “What we see in 2020…was very well replicated in the tests that we conducted yesterday,” Syring said.

    That cutting-edge threat includes a high-performance target. “It flew at a higher altitude and a longer range and a higher velocity” than any target in previous tests, said Syring. It’s the first time the US missile defense system has actually been tested against a target with the performance characteristics of an ICBM, which is the threat that inspired its creation in the first place, three decades and at least 123 billion dollars ago.

    The threat also included decoy warheads, splitting off from the rocket booster alongside the real one and designed to look as identical as possible on radar and infra-red. Adding just one decoy per live warhead doubles the number of interceptors defenders have to launch to ensure a kill — unless they can tell real and fake apart as they coast through the vacuum of space. This “discrimination” challenge is more demanding than detecting the missile launch in the first place, since the rocket’s red-hot exhaust is visible from orbit. Syring said this is not the first time MDA has tested the system against decoys and defeated them.

    ...

    It's interesting to note the article says this is the first time a missile with ICBM characteristics, meaning performance, decoys... the whole works has been engaged. The US has other strategic target missiles to test GBI such as the long-range Strategic Targets System (STARS), but it apparently can mimic the flight performance, but not the penetration aid capabilities of ICBMs.

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    I'm not suggesting that (thousands of interceptors) either, just making a point that these are strategic assets in the same discussion as the ICBMs themselves in terms of cost and resources. The US currently fields 30 GBI missiles with 14 scheduled to become operational by the end of this year, doubling the total number. Given the average production rate of similar class rockets, that's likely the cap for annual induction and production. The additional 14 interceptors were authorized by then President Obama in 2013.

    The shear size of both the US and the missile limits basing options and their silos themselves aren't small either.



    I'd be possible to rectify the basing issue by converting the interceptors into mobile platforms, similar to the Midgetman system. Midgetman is actually a closer approximation for GBI, albeit not in mission, but in size with the two missiles being close in height, diameter and weight. Given GBI relies on forward deployed sensors and large static radars, a mobile missiles system doesn't need to be in close proximity to the sensors themselves, allowing it a degree of flexibility in basing. Like with Midgetman this might not be economical however.

    [​IMG]

    100-200 sounds appropriate, but they're costly investments and making them works and work reliably is paramount. More so then increasing the number of interceptors.

    ...

    Side note: you can quote me you know:angel:. I don't bite, well not unless you ask:partay:.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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