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    Missile Defense

Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped give us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system. What will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical climate and in the new scientific era?

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dirac_10 - 05:51pm Jan 6, 2001 EST (#538 of 540)

charliezero - 06:20am Jan 6, 2001 EST (#535 of 537)

The Airborne Laser Missile Defense System

Uhh, is this the 10k thing the Israelis just bought? That already works in prototype? That will be deployed next year? I thought it was on the ground.

is exciting and has great promise as a major component of Theater Area Air Defense but would be of little use in a larger scale conflict owing to the 10km range limitation -

Well the Israeli/American one just zaps Katuchka rockets and the plastic bubble the pilot looks through. (As if the pilot wouldn't feel some heat too before the plastic turned to foam.) 10km is al lot in Israel though.

we would need over 1,000 of the things just to catch cruise missiles coming from offshore, not to mention the hundreds of thousands for the interior to zap ICBM warheads.

Yes, the great weakness to limited range lasers. Even being able to zap an ICBM at 100km though swell requires a heck of a lot of lasers to cover the US. If they don't have range, we will need a lot of them.

That having been said, I am hopeful that more powerful ground based lasers will be capable of targeting and vaporizing a warhead in space within 20 years,

With a Manhattan project attitude, I figure 5 years for results, 10 years easy.

and that will be all she wrote for the ICBM

Yep. It's the speed of light. And if a big ground based laser has the range and power, It could knock down every ICBM in the world.

ICBM's are easy to hit. The B part stands for ballistic. It might as well stand for sitting duck. Little rockets won't help. They are coming at us a 30,000km/hr, a little rocket won't change that much.

Chaff won't help. We could probably zap chaff faster and cheaper than it could be put in orbit.

I mean, even with terrible efficiency, a trivial part of the energy in the national power consumption would fry vast amounts of ICBMs. We could run copper cables 12' wide to the laser. Capacitors the size of a barn. In rows.

Reflective stuff might not give immunity to all wavelengths and modulations. But our reflective mirrors will be tuned to bounce it effectively, anywhere on earth. Instantly. With no warning. At the speed of light, we would be able to zap anything or things on the face of the earth simultaniously, with no warning whatsoever.

Yeah, that's a fine weapon there, you betcha.

and MAD and good riddance.

Here I disagree. Powerful nations will always be able to destroy the US without ICBMs.

I just want to see the look on the collective Chinese face when they realize how much scarce money they wasted developing their missiles.

I don't know, they haven't really spent that much money on military stuff. Not that they might not change their mind.

The Russians probably won't mind much, especially if we share...

I say we spend half the money a new Cold War would cost to make them happy in a way that benefits everyone. If not, 10 times as many Russian missles would worry me less than one Saddam one.

One thing is certain, only a fool would think some ABM was certain to stop the Russian ICBMs.

the French will SCREAM though - he he he!

The heads of the American People were put on the nuclear chopping block to defend the French, ever since we saved them from the Germans. They seem to want to keep the American people's heads on that chopping block with theirs. The reason is obvious.

Then once the missiles have all been dismantled we can convert most of the ground based lasers to laser-based launch facilities for cargo aeroshells.

Where are you going to get the momentum? Plenty of energy, but not much momentum. Use the energy to make something carried along leave at high speed?

Sure seems like we will need them for a while though. And rail guns will get stuff in orbit pretty easy too.

We will also have

dirac_10 - 05:51pm Jan 6, 2001 EST (#539 of 540)


We will also have to maintain and extend our superiority in conventional weapons for when the nuclear umbrella folds.

Well, we want the best fighter airplane and support on earth. That part's clear.

The side with the best fighter plane wins a modern conventional war.

I don't mind spending the money, but there's so much politics and corruption, we generally get taken to the cleaners.

rshowalter - 10:29am Jan 7, 2001 EST (#540 of 540) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

If there is any valid reason to expect that any of this stuff works, I'd be glad to know of it - references anyone?

The fact that the Israelis bought a prototype, given US - Israeli military-aid-intelligence relationships, says NOTHING about how valid or useful the hardware is. If the purchase by the Israelis gives "rhetorical cover" for a project, and the US asks, Israel will do what makes sense for it - which, subject to negotiation, is to go along.

I would be FOR a missile defense that actually worked. I see none in prospect. Perhaps I'm behind the times? Well, then what references might I read? My guess, from what I know about lasars, and controls, and optics, is that the "child's play" of putting effective missile defense together with lasars, either ground or space based, could not stand reasonable crossexamination.

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