back to article China could penetrate US with new huge missile

It might be time to sweep the cobwebs out of that old nuclear bunker at the bottom of the garden after reports in state-run Chinese media confirmed that the People’s Liberation Army is actively developing an intercontinental missile capable of penetrating US defences. News first emerged of the planned ‘super missile’ from …

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Anonymous Coward

Don't think that the US hasn't thought of this and has not addresses this problem.

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Addressed the problem how, exactly? I can realize in advance that someone might shoot me, but I can't just decide to be immune to bullets.

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And of course, EVERYTHING the US does is in the public domain from day 1, right?

Oh no, wait, sometimes its hidden for years! How long was the 117 flying before it was actually admitted to for example?

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Yep like they hid the fact that their anti missile defense system patriot which was meant to protect kuwait had a timing glitch, despite claims they shot down X amount of scud missiles it was later found they pretty much shot down none.

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Meh

Of course the US has addressed it....

I'm sure the usual suspects (Boeing, BAe, etc) are already rubbing there hands with glee offering to provide a massively expensive solution that only works every fourth Wednesday, when it's dry and sunny, below 22.34 degrees and has been service packed following further consultancy fees.

Either that, or Obama has just bought a BIG UMBRELLA...

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Headmaster

Admittedly, the gulf war was a while ago now... but they weren't protecting kuwait, they were protecting Israel, and the Saudi military bases.

Kuwait was the place they were about to invade...

As far as I remember, they did shoot down scuds, but tended to hit their engines rather than warheads, so, not really a big improvement when its flying over a city.

Their biggest success of the deployment was giving israel enough of a reason not to attack Iraq, which was the whole point of the scud attacks on israel, as it would've fractured the whole coalition and stopped the counter attack.

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Anonymous Coward

Respectively:-

1-Yes, they have thought about it, no doubt.

2-No, they can't do anything about it but then, they couldn't do anything much before either about any of the previous ICBMs from there or anywhere else, and nor could any other country. Sleep easier now?

Yours, Mr Cheery.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm ... about as long as it took some folks to shoot down that subsonic crate, with an "old-skool" radar and "old" supersonic missile? Think the SR-71A looked a lot more convincing and somewhat stealthy .... although not normally armed, and never shot down.

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"not *normally* armed"? When was the Blackbird ever armed, and with what?

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Dear Mr Cheery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_defense_systems_of_various_nations#United_States_National_Missile_defense

Both Aster launched from our Type 45's (and France and Germany) and USA systems have proven to be able to shoot down real ICBMs (Without warheads) and then there is the incredibly expensive 747 which has also shot down real ICBMs (again without warheads).....so there is some chance... Of course, this is much harder with a sub parked off your coast firing at a coastal city like New York but so far, I haven't read that anyone other than Russia, France, UK and of course the yanks having an SSBN. I guess a Tomahawk could carry a tactical though from a normal attack sub?

so you can indeed be cheery!

In reality, an ICBM isn't really the issue, normal sea transport methods are the big risk in my opinion. Its all too easy to sail a boat across the channel.

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"not *normally* armed"? When was the Blackbird ever armed, and with what?"

If the pilot was ever called Vasquez, it could have been "harsh language" (Aliens joke)

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Anonymous Coward

Harsh language, and a good camera ;)

I meant the YF-12 which was very similar but armed, only 3 built ;)

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YF-12

The YF-12 was the prototype fighter version of the SR-71. It was to have been armed. But without Google I can't remember if any flew with live weapons systems. The problem of the YF-12 was that it was hideously expensive for a combat aircraft, and worse would have made the Strategic Reconnaissance-71 suddenly become a perceived threat - after all, a ground-based radar cannot tell the two apart. So the mere overflight of an SR-71 could suddenly become an act of war, even if it was supposed to be trying to prevent one...

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US has addressed the problem...

by spending lots of money on interceptor rockets and radar stations. Is there any realistic chance that this missile defense system would take down an intercontinental rocket? Probably not. But some people sleep better at night, because they did all they could.

Politics: Ignore the rocket science, win the elections!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

I read it, says "is not designed to be a robust shield against a large attack from a technically sophisticated adversary"

Might catch a few from a smaller rogue nation though... the only one that I can think of that probably has the required bits (missile + nuke warhead) is North Korea. But their rocket test this year failed .....

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Pirate

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

Actually they are believed to have one Type 092 Xia class and a few of the newer Jin class Type 094 SSBN with more on the way until the Tang class, Type 096 development is done. If you like, you can zoom in here and see a couple for yourself.

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Re: US has addressed the problem...

"Probably not. But some people sleep better at night, because they did all they could."

Some people sleep better at night because their mattress is cushioned by millions of dollar bills.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

"Channel" - have the French got you spooked now? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

"No, they can't do anything about it"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaIim3Rj7L4

Similar public information broadcasts kept me totally enthralled as a young child. All they need do is hide under the stairs or build a shelter of old doors - d'oh!

As for the headline, "China could penetrate US with new huge missile", I don't think the US will be too worried about the penetration aspect - They still have generations of UK politicians ('Call Me Dave' included) crawling around, somewhere up their anus.

:))

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@ stuartnz

Before it was the SR-71*, it was a prototype interceptor called the YF-12A, armed with AIM-47 "Falcon" air-to-air missiles.

*Actually, the original version was the A-12, designed as a reconnaissance aircraft, the YF-12 was added on to the assembly line along with the prototype A-12s. The SR-71 is basically a longer, single-seat A12.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

Yep - one ISO shipping container among 5000 on a ship from a friendly nation.

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Mushroom

Except the one you had was a male....

That was Frost that wot said that.

Then they ruptured the cooling towers and caused a big bang the size of Nebraska.

And this icon quotes Hicks too, everything's coming up Aliens.

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Boffin

Look up "Anti-Ballistic-Missile" for the history of this subject.

ABM systems are as ineffective now against saturation attack (IE all out war) as they were in the early 1960's, when they were first proposed.

And no when you declare several thousand miles of Pacific a no fly zone people tend to suspect something is being tested.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually

The US has bigger intercontinental missiles, mines bigger than your so don't mess with me, as they say. Kept the world safe in the cold war.

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Terminator

re: "shot down none"

I can't vouch for the veracity of the "official" statistics, but as someone who was personally impacted by the shockwave from a Patriot intercept of a Scud, I can tell you for a fact that they did at least shoot down one of them.

However, I can also tell you, again from personal experience, that the US armed forces are a ramshackle of undisciplined and incompetent kiddies who couldn't fight their way out of a wet bogroll. Indeed, the only reason they manage to achieve any victories at all is by blasting vast payloads of canon-fodder into the field, then rolling in trillions of dollars-worth of largely dysfunctional toys, thus gaining the advantage by virtue of sheer statistical probability.

Of course, that strategy only works when one has the necessary resources, and that is something that's increasingly in short supply in America.

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Mushroom

Not immunity, just MAD

"I can realize in advance that someone might shoot me, but I can't just decide to be immune to bullets."

Well, no.

Not Immunity.

But suppose that you had senses that could detect a bullet being fired at you. Then suppose that when such an attack has been detected, you could pull out an automatic weapon with a REALLY huge magazine and return the favour to the shooter a hundred times over. How many would-be shooters are going to risk taking a pot shot at you?

Despite having a shiny new toy to play with, this is the situation China finds itself in.

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Boffin

Re: stuartnz

An armed interceptor version of the SR-71 was planned but had too many practical issues. Amongst weapons trialled were (IIRC) Falcon homing missiles housed in weapon bays similar to those on the later F-22. A Vulcan 20mm cannon was looked at until it was realized a full-throttle Blackbird would actually catch up with the shells and damage itself! In theory, the current recce Blackbirds could sacrifice EW bays for weapons and the original weapon bays could be retro-fitted to give a limited strike capability, but existing US jets already offer better strike capability without the need to take valuable Blackbirds out of the recce role.

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Mushroom

Yes, i'm sure they have a giant nuclear explosion proof condom ready to cover all the dongs with....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually

"The US has bigger intercontinental missiles, mines bigger than your so don't mess with me, as they say. Kept the world safe in the cold war."

I hope that was homo(u)r? If not...

Meanwhile, back in reality central, the rest of us old enough to have lived during those times realised that what did in fact keep the world safe was not fear of bigger, better, faster or stronger, but a somewhat more humble set of fears altogether - maybe occasionally tinged with a large enough dose of sanity to assist in overcoming the political paranoia that prevailed for far too many years.

The US was not, nor has it ever been, interested in keeping the *world* safe. The US has - like most other nations and past empires - only ever been interested in self-preservation. But then, I suppose self-preservation is primal instinct number 1.

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Anonymous Coward

> "not *normally* armed"? When was the Blackbird ever armed, and with what?

I believe the pilot carried a pistol somewhere under his space suit. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually

Nope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-36_(missile)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually

"The US has bigger intercontinental missiles, mines bigger than your so don't mess with me, as they say. Kept the world safe in the cold war."

No, they really don't.

Sheer blind luck is what kept the world safe, plus fear and caution.

Look up "throw-weight" and see why the arms reduction talks were mostly concerned about Soviet equipment. I think this dates back to rocket motor development, in terms of civilian space use you can buy hugely powerful ex-Soviet designs. Like RD-170/1 and NK-33.

"The R-36M (SS-18) is similar to the R-36 in design, but has the capacity to mount a MIRV payload of 10 warheads, each with a 550–750 kt yield, or a single warhead of up to 20 mt. Throw-weight of the missile is 8,800 kg. This makes the Soviet R-36 the world's heaviest ICBM; for comparison, the heaviest US ICBM (the retired LGM-118 Peacekeeper, that carried 10 warheads of 300 kT each) had less than a half of this at 4,000 kg. The R-36M has two stages. The first is a 460,000 kgf (4.5 MN) thrust motor with four combustion chambers and nozzles. The second stage is a single-chamber 77,000 kgf (755 kN) thrust motor."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

Yeah they seemed to have had a lot of trouble wit the earlier sub. Still using it though?

Interesting icy harbor on Google Maps !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Mr Cheery

I'm just intrigued that this has never, ever happened, despite allegedly being easy, and hordes of people wanting to do it, or so we are told ..... ;)

Time to check out "Four Lions" by Chris Morris on IMDB I think, to see why it never happens :P

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Boffin

Confused

I think the OP has the SR-71 confused with the YF-12. Easy to do since the have almost identical airframes, the SR-71 was a little longer and seated two. The biggest difference is that the YF-12 was made to be equipped with weapons to serve as an interceptor as well as straight recon.

Only three are confirmed to have been built.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_YF-12

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made in China

It won't last much longer than a few months before it needs replacing. I shouldn't worry too much.

Besides ronny put star wars up there years ago and claimed all he got for his 110 billion dollars was a memory foam mattress and a Teflon coated frying pan.

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Pint

Re: stuartnz

Matt, the SR-71 has been retired for years.

The military donated one to NASA for some form of high altitude science-I forget the details.

Satellites became a more effective method of spying than the SR-71.

Magnificent aircraft though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: stuartnz

It appears they were keeping secret the original ancestor of the SR-71 (if we are to believe this!) the A-12,

until 2007. Agree, magnificent beast(s).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_A-12

Apparently the secret-keeping methods included steak, lobster, and cold hard cash! :P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not immunity, just MAD

And so do all the major nuclear powers, AKA MAD as you say.

But clearly anything over say 150 is "enough" against any single big adversary and this seems to be borne out by the numbers that the Majors are sticking with. Having say 6x this isn't really an advantage unless you think absolutely all the other major powers might want to wipe you out, and why would that be? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: made in China

"Teflon memory" :P Yup.

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WTF?

I read it as...

Dongfest-41

Oh hold on, wishful thinking.

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Re: I read it as...

not just me then

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FUD

I wonder what percentage of all military boasting etc is just FUD designed to bankrupt your opponents in their effort to counter the perceived threat..

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Re: FUD

A better explanation is that the military industrial complexes of both nations see each other as symbiotic partners in leeching off their respective countries lifeblood.

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Facepalm

Re: FUD

That was the retrospective "Oh, look, actually we were really being very clever" justification that Reagan gave for his Star Wars SDI programme when it turned out that all the fancy ideas didn't work.

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Black Helicopters

Re: FUD

The FUD is not to scare the enemy: the FUD is to scare your population so that you can run an alleged democracy as a totalitarian state, and divert large parts of its GNP through industries of your choice at arbitrary profit levels. The Cold War. The War against Communism, Star Wars. The War on Terror. The War on Climate Change..

.Europe has majored on Climate Scare to extract money, but the Yanks have never been big on it and its all falling apart now anyway, so right on cue a new scare is rolled out with the paint still wet.

21st century Fox News presents the War On Wogs. Featuring Cultural Values, A Great Profit Throughout The Land, The Yellow Peril, Contraception. Ethnicity, and Large Phallic Objects that erupt into the sky at breathtaking speed before ejaculating drops of distilled terror down on your heads.

What's hot to like?

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IT Angle

Re: FUD

Don't forget STRESS.

I am declaring WAR on STRESS!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FUD

I hereby declare WAR on PACIFISM and all those godless, no good pacifists!

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Re: FUD

I wonder what percentage of all military boasting etc is just FUD designed to bankrupt your opponents in their effort to counter the perceived threat..

One hundred.

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Mushroom

Re: FUD

"The first rule of government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?

- SR Hadden" (paraphrased)

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