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back to article $400m US space interceptor deal inked

Rumour suggests that some parts at least of the controversial US missile-defence programme are doomed, with the axe set to fall as soon as President-Elect Obama takes office. Nonetheless, the last days of 2008 saw a $400m contract award to one of the most controversial missile-defence weapons of them all - the Groundbased …

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Why Poland for block 3?

If either Russia or Iran is trying to hit America the obvious way to throw missiles is over the pole since that's the shortest Great circle route. Radars at Fylingdales, Thule or in Alaska make sense since they are able to look at the tracks side on. GDMs in any of these places don't seem sensible since they're a long way to the side, meaning even bigger missiles are needed and the longer flight time makes a timely response more problematic.

Poland, OTOH, is further off track than Fylingdales or Thule because its further south. GDM missiles would have not only further to go but would have a stern chase, giving lower approach speed and so much less impact energy, which varies as the square of the impact speed.

So I really don't understand the benefit of radar in Poland, let alone putting GDM stuff there. Unless, of course, the real purpose is to piss Putin off and start WW3.

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Boeing Boeing gone?

> not to exceed $397,900,000. Under the contract, American aerospace goliath Boeing will "continue development of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program; including Block 3 development and fielding activities for six months...

Looks to me like an under-the-counter off-the-radar hand-out. Faced with competition from Airbus, Boeing gave away their technological crown jewels. The ideological commitment to dollar hegemony, wherein it doesn't matter whether the US makes anything or not, as long as everything everywhere is ultimately referenced by value (excuse the IT oxymoron) in dollars, is taking down Boeing, as it is the car makers. They'd rather you didn't know it just yet.

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Pirate

Military industrial complex

Since Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Admin believe that war is the only solution to problems this comes as no surprise. However, why are they spending money hand over foot when the economy is supposedly broke? I guess they don't care about anyone else except for themselves and military buddies.

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@Martin Gregorie

It is widely accepted that the Bush administration is packed full of old cold warriors.

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Anonymous Coward

Putin will declare

He has adopted Islam, cut off our gas and then wait for us as we try and sneak in to turn it back on

Then his vast war machine will crush our freedom's to dust in a new Peoples Republic of Europe

Sort of reverse Lebensraum

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Unhappy

Has anyone thought about

all that weapons grade plutonium falling back into our atmosphere and burning up?

I can't really think of a better way of polluting enormous tracts of Earth with a total biocide. It probably won't even be in recoverable chunks.

Obviously the alternative (a nuclear explosion in a city) isn't much better but at least with boost phase interception the missile debris lands back on the country that launched it.

Here's an idea, how about diplomacy, soft power and deterrence as a means to prevent a rogue state launch?

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Flame

@Charlie

Sorry, I was too busy thinking about that plutonium reaching the ground and then turning into a fireball brighter than the sun and nuking everying within 20 miles.

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Unhappy

@CrisWilson

Did you read my comment?

I'm supporting boost phase over midphase interception.

I'm not suggesting that missile interception is worse than letting them land and go off.

Having said that, detonating atom bombs is a form of disarmament.

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Coat

@Charlie

What, atom bombs aren't reusable? For the price they cost you'd think nukes would be more than throwaway goods.

(Mine's lead-lined)

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