Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


This is coolbert:

The wayward, errant American satellite has been destroyed! Shot-down [well, not exactly shot-down, as the satellite was on a course to crash into the earth anyhow] or blasted into minute fragments that are harmless to humans on the ground!

The test is a success without qualification?! So the Pentagon wants us to believe. Seems to be so too. The task at hand was carried out with an expertise that seemed almost casual in nature. The comments coming out of Washington are all positive:

* "U.S. will share some information on shoot down with China"

* "'High degree of confidence' missile scored direct hit on fuel tank"

* "Officials see no debris larger than a football, general says"

* "Most debris will burn up on re-entry within two days"

The cost is $60 million dollars to bust this "thing" up? Software and missile modification was necessary, so it is alleged.

Well, the Pentagon is happy. We should be too!

In this particular case, a bullet was able to hit a bullet? Something that was not deemed feasible, practical, or EVEN "moral" not so long ago now?

"But hitting a bullet with a bullet has become almost routine. On Sept. 28, 2007, also high above the Pacific Ocean (75 miles), another 'Star Wars fantasy' vehicle successfully destroyed the mock warhead of a long-range missile. Many other recent tests have shown similar success. In fact, the U.S. is joined by 30 other nations who are working on missile defense systems. For those whose delicate constitutions forbid them to take comfort in military strength, they may consider that this same technology may one day save Earth from a catastrophic meteor strike"

And concerning the Chinese satellite shoot-down of January 2007:

"In January 2007, China used a land-based missile to destroy a 2,200-pound satellite that was orbiting 528 miles above the Earth. The impact left more than 100,000 pieces of debris orbiting the planet, NASA estimated -- 2,600 of them more than 4 inches across. The U.S. agency called the breakup of the Fengyun-C satellite the worst in history."

And here, a comment to the CNN news report from an obviously informed observer:

"The THAAD missile tests have been going on here on Kaua'i [Hawaii] for a couple of years, in full public view and disclosure...and have been very successful in shooting down other missiles in flight. What's so new about this?"

And for the assertion that:

"this same technology may one day save Earth from a catastrophic meteor strike"

If we are talking about ONE large meteor striking the earth, well, then this technology WILL work. If we are talking about the more likely event of a meteor shower striking the earth, then we cannot expect dozens or hundreds of large meteoric objects to be intercepted and "destroyed" as has been the American satellite. Too many objects would have to be targeted at once and intercepted. NOT feasible for a shower. FOR one aberrant meteor, asteroid, etc. - - YES - - possible!!!

Consider, however, lastly, what Suvorov would have to say about all this: [regarding Soviet development of an anti-ballistic missile system]

"'We [Soviets] have been working on this question for a long time and we have had some success'. Then, casually, they [Soviets] showed the whole world some lengths of film one rocket destroying another. A very primitive trick. A circus clown who knows the precise trajectory characteristics of a rocket and it's launch-time could hit it with an airgun."

Needless to say, Suvorov is skeptical and being sarcastic in this case.

But the point is well taken.

The U.S. Navy was dealing with an object in space, the orbit of which was well established [even if in a decaying mode], time being allowed to study and recommend a solution, and time allowed to implement that solution [modified missile and software required]. You know where and when the object will be in space when you shoot at it. You have a much higher confidence level of success in such circumstances.

The Aegis cruiser Lake Erie probably also - - moved into a position that would more or less guarantee a favorable outcome for the "shoot-down"?

A chaotic situation as would be in wartime or if a rogue nation launched a surprise missile attack aimed at the U.S. is not present here [satellite shoot-down].

Since Suvorov wrote those words - - 1982 - - times have changed??!!




Blogger John S. Bolton said...

This is a great demonstration of a star wars capacity, threatening to neutralize the nuclear missile capacities of even China one day perhaps, which is not part of MAD. Will peace/capitulationists soon say that openness to nuclear bombing by states turned terrorist is part of some potentially stable international force balance?

8:33 PM

Blogger John S. Bolton said...

Charen said 'more erratic' orbit, implying that it was already in a somewhat erratic orbit, and that there was only a thirty seconds-long 'firng window'. Another report said the sattelite was 'tumbling'[NRO]. 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? If so, the ICBM's allow 15 minutes or thereabouts to determine their trajectories, so that anti-missile defense is now feasible? Also aren't the targets of ICBM's predictable, such that part of their trajectories could be in memory, sufficient for targetting?

4:00 AM


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