Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Better Star Wars?

Defensible Missile Defense

This is an interesting read about a new idea in Ballistic Missile Defense. The weak link in the whole concept has always been the "hitting a bullet with a bullet" problem. A globally deployed defensive system would necessarily have to intercept in outer space, when velocities and dummy warheads would pose insurmountable problems.

Additionally, put yourself in the Russian's shoes for a moment. Imagine they had an impregnable shield against us and could still launch and destroy us. Setting aside for a moment the stupidity of it from an ecological point of view, in a war scenario, having the ability to reach out and take out a city would give the Russians or the Chinese a ton of leverage over us.

The same applies in reverse of course, which is why Putin has been so grouchy about the missiles in Poland issue.

What Professor Postol describes here however is a paradigm shift that I agree would satisfy all parties. Read the article for details, but his solution leverages our existing competencies with launch detection, while putting the deterrent in place ONLY where it's needed so as to not threaten China or Russia.

Furthermore it would bring the defense to bear before the missile could really get going, thus destroying it easily at lower speeds and raining down the radioactive debris on the launch site.

Let's hope this is the beginning of this new respect for science meme that's been touted this week.

Plus...remote controlled bombers? How cool is that?

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