This is coolbert:
In response to the comment of John Bolton regarding my blog entry on the intercept and destruction of the errant American satellite:
[Please keep in my that I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO INSIDE INFORMATION OF ANY NATURE ON THIS MATERIAL. My response is best characterized as informed speculation!]
"Does all this mean that the instant orbit, or should I say the immediate trajectory prior to firing, had to be ascertained within 30 seconds?" - - J. Bolton.
Well, that is a good question. I am assuming that the U.S. military brought all the assets available to it, civilian and military both, to bear upon this problem. That would include instantaneous information from a variety of ground-based and spaced-based radars? According to the reports in the media, the Lake Erie task force consisted of the two Aegis cruisers AND some sort of ship that supplied independent trajectory data . This was a Cobra Judy or similar type ship? An ocean-going vessel designed specifically to track space vehicles for intelligence purposes!
A mobilization of so many assets at once is unique and would not be possible except during a crisis situation?
AND telescopic cameras with large mirrors capable of amazing resolution? Both space and land based, tracking the intercept and destruction of the wayward recon satellite from a variety of angles, from multitude of locations?
"If so, the ICBM's allow 15 minutes or thereabouts to determine their trajectories, so that anti-missile defense is now feasible?" - - J. Bolton.
The concept of a sea-based anti-ballistic system NORMALLY would allow for intercept and destruction of enemy missiles during the BOOST PHASE OF LAUNCH! The Standard Missile - 3 is a "tactical" weapon NOT capable of shooting down an INCOMING ICBM? OR is this no longer so?
"In general short-range tactical ABMs [such as the Standard Missile - 3] cannot intercept ICBMs, even if within range. The tactical ABM radar and performance characteristics do not allow it, as an incoming ICBM warhead moves much faster than a tactical missile warhead."
Again, we are talking about an incoming intercontinental missile warhead, and not a missile during the BOOST phase of launch! The Standard Missile - 3 CAN shoot down a tactical ballistic missile, BUT NOT an incoming ICBM warhead!
"Also aren't the targets of ICBM's predictable, such that part of their trajectories could be in memory, sufficient for targeting?" - - J. Bolton.
That would seem to be exactly the type of "thing" the Russians have in mind as they develop and field their recently tested hypersonic, maneuverable re-entry vehicle. Able to make mid-course maneuvers to avoid being shot-down during the terminal stage of weapons delivery. This would seem to suggest that the Russians "believer" that a successful anti-ballistic system is much more feasible that is normally assumed?
Again, all speculation on my part!
Indeed the "shoot-down" of this errant American satellite is being blown all out of proportion?!