Reply to post: Re: Marco

Anti-missile missile misses again, US military mum on meaning of mess

I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

Re: Marco

Voland's Right Hand,

This is a normal deployable AA missile. This was a test of the SM3, as deployed by the US and Japan on their Aegis equipped destroyers and (US) cruisers. The test in Hawaii was on a shore-based version of it, instead of ship-based, but it's basically the same system.

I don't know the details of the test, but the Aegis is tasked to do 2 different jobs. Japan and the US deploy them off the coast of North Korea in order to intercept missiles in their take-off phase. That should be relatively easy, as they're bigger targets, going slower. But obviously that means opening fire on a missile launch that might only be a test.

This test was against something incoming, and air launched. Obviously we don't know if it was simulating a missile still in space in its coast phase, or an incoming warhead. So we don't know what they failed to do.

Israel's system is designed to deal with smaller incoming missiles and mortars. It has a very limited area of defence, and mostly doesn't engage targets that are expected to fall outside residential areas. But it's not an ABM system - and is dealing with much slower targets at lower altitudes.

As I understand the US system they've got 3 components. Aegis ships at sea, to shoot at Nork missiles as they go up. Aegis on land stations designed to intercept warheads in space at the mid-course stage. Then THAAD (terminal high altitude area defence), which is the anti ICBM warhead system that's probably not all that wonderful, but has worked in some tests. It's designed to be the last line of defence against incoming warheads and I think is only deployed in Alaska, with some interceptors promised to South Korea. Nothing can stop a saturation attack, but North Korea don't hae that many warheads, and even fewer missiles.

So what they've done is to build a layered defence of imperfect technologies to deal with the lower threat of Iran and North Korea, who they felt less able to deter with mutually assured destruction - while also working on the diplomatic channel to try and get those countries to cease their nuclear programs.

While you can't say that's a perfect policy, it's broadly worked with Iran, and at least means they've got some hope of dealing with a few missiles if the North Koreans prove capable of producing any, and decide to use them.

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