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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

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 every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (16131 previous messages)

bluestar23 - 05:02pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (# 16132 of 16228)

From above:

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 well.

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.

bluestar23 - 05:05pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (# 16133 of 16228)

MD in Iraq....

bluestar23 - 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 targets.

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.

bluestar23 - 05:15pm Nov 1, 2003 EST (# 16135 of 16228)

New Asian Missile tension....

bluestar23 - 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 coastal cities:

    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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     [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense