Re: go interceptors!

From: James Rogers (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 18:54:21 MDT

On 7/19/01 7:47 AM, "John Clark" <> wrote:
> No, it means after the first hit all the debris confused the system and it
> crashed, it was in no position to fire a second interceptor, it was in no
> position to do anything. It also means there would not have been a first
> hit if the attacker had released a few pounds of aluminum beer cans as chaff.

C'mon John, you know better. This is not 1960s technology.

While ground radar does the work for the initial launch (e.g. Pointing it in
the right general direction), the guidance and control systems are *much*
more sophisticated than you suggested. The terminal guidance systems of
choice these days for ABM work is broad spectrum IR, not radar, for a number
of technical reasons that I won't go into here. Mid-trajectory guidance is
typically inertial.

Spoofing state-of-the-art American guidance technology with decoys and
whatnot is very, very difficult. Target discrimination is done by applying
close to a dozen different algorithms simultaneously to broad- or
multi-spectral sensor input, and analyzing the combined results of multiple
algorithms to find the money targets. Current state-of-the-art
discrimination is sufficiently good that it easily exceeds the requirements
of economic reality. The ABM systems will most certainly not be shooting
down beer cans.

By "exceeds the requirements of economic reality" I mean that the kind of
decoy sophisticated enough to fool the discrimination technology would be
sufficiently heavy and complicated that one might as well just put another
warhead in place of the decoy. The whole point of decoys is that they need
to be much lighter and cheaper than the warheads so that they can be
piggybacked with minimal cost.

> Sure it does. Example: You spend a trillion dollars or so on a super powerful
> LASER system to shoot things down. I paint my warheads white, now it needs
> hundreds or thousands of times the intensity to do the same thing.

If only it were actually that easy to defeat a high-powered laser...

-James Rogers

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