Re: SDI was Re: Expanding the "United States of America"

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 18:15:07 MDT wrote:
> said:
> > The requirements for the SDI system are, according to the estmates for
> > the numbers of lines of code, fully within today's capability, as
> > every major operating sytem runs with more lines of code today. What
> > is illuminating is that every time industry capabilities reach the
> > alleged amount of code SDI's detractors claim is necessary, they move
> > the mark.
> Redell's argument isn't that the system is too big. He's worked on big
> systems. His argument is that existing big systems that work are used and
> tested in non-critical situations before they're deployed in the real
> world. As they get more use, people are willing to rely on them more.
> When a large reservation system, or a new telephone switch, or the control
> system for a airframe is developed, it can be tested in simulations, and
> then with larger and larger groups of testers. Each change in the deployed
> environment reveals more bugs, which are worked around, lived with, or
> repaired. Each change in the environment is accompanied by warnings to the
> users to expect glitches. SDI isn't going to be deployed to protect small
> towns from small barrages, then larger areas from larger attacks, etc. It
> will be tested in larger and larger simulations, but in the first attack,
> it has to perform flawlessly, or it won't have made things much better.

Actually, it will initially be deployed as single systems that can be
tested in real world conditions. For example, the THEL (Tactical High
Energy Laser) project is a joint project between SDIO and the Israeli
military, which has already demonstrated its effectiveness in tracking
and completely destroying a fully armed tactical ballistic missile at
SCUD range. These systems will be developed and deployed as fully
functional multi-node systems with interlocking coverage. They can be
tested with live fire exercises, expending missiles slated for
destruction under missile reduction treaties.

The Space Based Laser system, which is being developed, will likely be
deployed incrementally, with a dozen or so laser battle stations at
first for interdiction of the 'rogue nukes' threat, with worldwide
coverage of one station at a time. As additional stations are launched,
their coverage increases until several stations are covering any given
point. This system can also be tested with live fire exercises over the
Kwajelein Missile Range with missiles slated for destruction.

The Patriot PAC2 system and the new Aegis upgrade systems, as well as
the Airborne Laser Battlestation are all well developed systems that can
be deployed to locations like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea to engage
Chinese and North Korean ICBMs in boost phase on a dedicated basis.

The point of a defensive system is not to eliminate every missile that
gets through, it is having a system that is good enough to eliminate
enough missiles that any actual damage done is not worth the cost of all
the lost missiles.

Hostile powers work on developing weapons of mass destruction because
they are economical means of holding people hostage. Discouraging them
from engaging in such development simply requires making the return on
investment too high for reasonable use.

> > Which is why deployment is being deferred for more research with other
> > systems.
> I hope that's the case. That isn't the way I remember Bush's rhetoric.

The announcements this past week announcing an increase in funding for
more research state this.

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