Feb 6, 2007

US Missile Defense System Aces Test

Posted by in category: defense

From CNN:

KEKAHA, Hawaii (CNN) — The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency shot down a dummy target missile over the southern Pacific Ocean during a test of the U.S. missile defense shield early Saturday, according to an agency spokeswoman.

First, a dummy ballistic missile was fired from a U.S. mobile launch platform in the Pacific Ocean in a simulated attack.

Moments later, an interceptor missile was fired from the agency’s missile range facility on Hawaii’s Kauai Island and struck the dummy warhead over the Pacific Ocean, military footage showed.

The mobile, ground-based system is designed to protect the United States from short to intermediate-range high altitude ballistic missile attacks in the North American region, agency spokeswoman Pam Rogers said.

The system “intercepts missiles that are shorter range and at the end of their flight trajectory. It is part of the ballistic missile defense system, a layered system that is designed to intercept all types of missiles in all phases of flights,” Rogers said.

After decades of investment, it looks like missile defense systems may actually be paying off. If they ever succeed in a real war scenario, they could save millions of lives and stablize the geopolitical situation. It’s always good to applaud the developments of defense technologies (for actual defense), even if they aren’t perfect.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. randpost says:

    And now they just develop anti-anti-missile systems, and U.S. respond with anti-anti-anti-missile systems and so forth. War technology is never the answer.

  2. Kaj Sotala says:

    I’m not so sure about missile defense systems being “stabilizing”. It would seem to me that the existence of nuclear weapons and the prospect of MAD has prevented many wars in the past: weakening the risk of total annihilation when attacking a foe can only reduce stability, not increase it.

    Not to mention that these kinds of systems won’t help one squat against suitcase nukes, which would seem like the ones that terrorists are the most likely to use.

  3. Phillip Huggan says:

    Paying off? Dummy missiles with cheap little ceramic heaters are orders of magnitude cheaper than a missile loaded with a warhead. If someone (who?!) rogue attacks the US with aq nuke they will surely launch a dozen dummy missiles as well.
    Missile defense is a hundreds-of-billions/trillions $ grant to military contractors.

  4. Monkey Corp says:

    There are limits to how small a nuclear warhead can be. Inert bullets can be much smaller and so you can imagine a MIRV missile with a dozen dummies being shot down with a similar MIRV-like missile except that upon approach it explodes firing out a 1000 bullets or ball bearings that easily overwhelm the number of dummies and warheads able to be lifted by an attacking missile. Anti-missile tech has the potential to change the world. Offensive deterrence is intrinsically unstable as it generates extreme security dilemmas, and that was with just 2 players. A defensive arms race may be one of the most important things to happen to humanity.