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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a
nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a
"Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed
considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense
initiatives more successful? Can such an application of
science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable,
necessary or impossible?
Read Debates, a new
Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published
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- 05:02pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (#
16132 of 16228)
WASHINGTON -- Details are sketchy, but plenty of testing
remains to be done before the Pentagon christens its
rudimentary missile defense shield - an event scheduled to
occur in September 2004.
"There are six to nine planned Ballistic Missile Defense
System flight tests, which includes Missile Defense
Agency-conducted tests, as well as one PAC-3, conducted by the
Army, and one Arrow conducted by Israeli Ministry of Defense,"
said a Missile Defense Agency official.
The official said that most of the flights would involve
intercepts of a target warhead and will "test multiple sensor
systems and battle, control, command and communications." As
well, he added, "there are several additional system-wide
command, control and communication tests and war games planned
before September '04."
There have already been sizable delays in the test schedule
-- particularly in the development of a new booster rocket to
carry the kill vehicle into space.
Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., and Orbital Sciences
Corp. of Dulles, Va., are competing to produce the rockets and
the Pentagon says it will use both contractors if tests go
Orbital has successfully tested its booster twice this year
and Lockheed Martin is expected to try its rocket sometime
this fall after some delays.
Philip Coyle, an analyst with the Center for Defense
Information here, said he expects two booster tests this fall
-- Integrated Flight Tests (IFT) 13A and 13B. IFT 13C will be
a radar test that will likely occur in the winter. None of the
flights will be intercept tests, Coyle said, but will test
subsystems of the rocket and kill vehicle.
The Pentagon will start shooting at a target with IFT 14,
which Coyle thinks will happen in the late winter.
"If other pieces slip [in the schedule] IFT 14 might not be
until the spring," Coyle said.
- 05:05pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (#
16133 of 16228)
MD in Iraq....
- 05:07pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (#
16134 of 16228)
From the above article...
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued wars could still
be fought without boosting the number of soldiers by
outsourcing just about everything except battlefield gunning.
Under U.S. employ in Iraq, American companies turn profits
while operating missile defense batteries, piloting unmanned
aerial vehicles and snapping satellite pictures of bombing
The machine-gun toting guards who shadow Afghan President
Hamid Karzai and L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in
Iraq, are private-sector workers, as are those who built and
operate the cavernous white mess tent on the base of the 2nd
Armored Cavalry Regiment in Baghdad.
- 05:15pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (#
16135 of 16228)
New Asian Missile tension....
- 05:16pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (#
16136 of 16228)
From the above article:
Taiwan silent on missile capable of reaching Shanghai
Warhead could also be used to attack Hong Kong, southeast
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s defence ministry was tight-lipped
Wednesday on a report that the military has been quietly
developing a medium-range surface-to-surface missile capable
of attacking rival China’s Shanghai.
The Apple Daily newspaper said the Chungshan Institute of
Science and Technology — the military’s weapons development
unit — for the first time test-fired the missile in Chiupeng,
the heavily guarded missile base in the southern Pingtung
County, on September 25.
The missile, designed with a range of between 600
kilometres and 900 kilometres, could be used to attack
Shanghai, Hong Kong and major coastal cities in the southeast
of China should a war break out across the Taiwan Strait, the
daily said. It said that the missile could be launched to an
altitude of up to 24 kilometres by four attached rockets and
then powered by a thrust engine to fly at a speed of Mach-six
before it dived at its target. The test-fire was botched after
the thrust engine failed to start, Apple Daily said, however.
“Once successful, the missile would mark a critical
breakthrough in the development of a strike-back capability
against any missile blitz by China,” it said.
The defence ministry declined to comment on the report, but
its brief statement on the stance of weapons development was
seen as unusual by military experts. “The country’s national
defence technology development has been guided by the
principle of ‘effective deterrent, strengthening defence’,”
the ministry said. “We’re not afraid of fighting and are ready
to fight when necessary, but we are not going to fire the
first shot,” it added.
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