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US Missle Interceptor Tests a Success

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the pull! dept.

United States 391

An anonymous reader writes to mention that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin recently reported success in the test flight of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. "THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to intermediate range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a fire control and communications system, interceptors, launchers and a radar. The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes."

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Mission Accomplished? (5, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805072)

Obligatory.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (-1, Flamebait)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805110)

Is this voting news from a gay county in Florida?
Does this mean we have no 'hanging thaads'?

apologies...

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805222)

not so much. from tfa, this is only one part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

Re:Mission Accomplished? (2, Insightful)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805310)

Try telling that to the Commander-in-Chief. Apparently, being only partially done with something is enough for him to declare success,... ;-)

Re:Mission Accomplished? (0, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805394)

That would depend what the mission was. Would you consider getting sadam from power and setting a military presence inside the country a mision?

Usualy you have a plan and send the troops on misions. I think they acomlished the mision given to them up until thae time. It was more or less everything after that theat fell apart.

So mision acomlished could probable be used here

Re:Mission Accomplished? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805304)

Want to bet it only works 5% or less of the time.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805640)

Even at 5% kill probability, if you fire 100 of these THAADs at an incoming missile you are 99+% likely to stop it

Fuck The War: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805468)

Your federal tax dollars at war to help the world's most dangerous leader [whitehouse.org] .

P.S.: To "Senator John McCain (a.k.a. The Sorry Sack Of Babbling Protoplasm):

    I'm sorry, Mr. McCain. Kim Jong iL is not close to the numbers of Mao.

Thanks for your patriotism,
Kilgore Trout

"THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to intermediate range ballistic missiles."

Did they hit anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805514)

So, did they hit something or not?

The flight test met all objectives, including demonstrating the integration of the radar, launcher, fire control and communications and interceptor operations; demonstrating radar and interceptor discrimination; and target acquisition and tracking by the interceptor's seeker.

They recognized a target and tracked it. Did they knock it down?

it's an advancement, (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805092)

The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets

This is far superior to the "miss-to-kill" technology they were employing in previous models.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805186)

This is far superior to the "miss-to-kill" technology they were employing in previous models.

Actually, according to the 1972 ABM treaty [state.gov] , there are certain types of guidance systems that we're not allowed to use.

Not anymore. (4, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805398)

I thought that the President had basically annulled that treaty, by saying that it was with a country that no longer exists, and thus is not in force anymore (or something like that).

If you look on the top of the page you linked to, it says "The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date."

A quick Google search reveals that the U.S. dumped the 1972 ABM treaty in December of 2001 [cnn.com] .

There are a lot of things that I take issue with Bush for, but this frankly isn't one of them; I've always been of a mind that it's lunacy to prevent nations from defending themselves. If the world is getting dangerous because of ICBMs, maybe that should be the focus of restrictions, not systems that protect from them. But then again, I've never been down with the whole "MAD" concept in general.

Re:Not anymore. (2, Interesting)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805498)

I've never been down with the whole "MAD" concept in general.
I think MAD only works when both sides are somewhat rational and realize how much they stand to lose. It is foreseeable that all your opponents will not be so rations or won't have as much to lose as an entire nation/state. Say what you will about the US vs USSR in the cold war but at least both sides had sence enough to keep it a cold war.

Re:Not anymore. (0, Troll)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805540)

I liked the entire mad concept. It made not only anyone in power but their military think twice about their actions to some extent.

Actualy I am a fan of MAD but it would only work if the arms race was already under way. I guess a limitation would be that the threat would need to have existed before it was capitolized on. Thats what most objectors have issue with. They tend to think (or want to think) the threat can be eliminated without using it. But any country can eliminate the known threat and secretly build the weapons without the other side knowing. So the advantage of mutualy assured destruction is that those weapons can never be used with an expectation of anyone ever benefiting from a war. In the hands of large populations like russia and the US, it is very efective.

In the hands of someone like Iran who wants a war with the US for some religious experience, it would suck. But the problem there is mre to the importance of Iran, Not to many people care about them outside their ability to make war with others. With WMDs the MAD principle fails because it would force people to change that opinion. And when a country is starving for attention, It is likley it will get some one way or another.

With good reason (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805568)

In the next few years, there are more countries than just Russia that we will have to be worried about defending ourselves from ... the treaty covered our whole ABM defense system, regardless of the fact that other threats might emerge.

Re:Not anymore. (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805590)

It gives people a false sense of security, that's why its dangerous and a bad idea. Also certain kinds of defense systems are inherently dangerous. For example, there was a joke about a "miss to kill" targeting system. You could actually do that, using airburst nukes to try and take out your opponents missiles in the upper atmosphere, however it should be obvious what the inherent dangers with such a system would be.

But back to my original point. Missile defense systems encourage the use of Nuclear Weapons by giving nations the false sense that they can go ahead and utilize nuclear weapons, because any return strike will be mitigated by their own defense system. In reality, that would probably only "work" if used as a strategy by the United States or the former USSR, as they are the only countries with sufficient stockpiles of weapons to make such a strategy "viable." After all, who cares if 90% of the planet is rendered dead and uninhabitable in a full on nuclear exchange, a few million of your side survived! Treaties like the one described were entered into because both sides (in their calmer moments) realized that they really, really didn't want to get into a full on Global Thermonuclear War.

Re:Not anymore. (4, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805606)

You should read your own link more carefully.

President Bush said Thursday the United States has notified Russia that it intends to pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, starting a six-month timetable for withdrawal and opening the way for the creation of an anti-missile defense system.
He did not annul the treaty, but rather went through the process detailed in the treaty for withdrawing from it by providing six months of notice to the president of Russia. He went on to say that the Soviet Union and the hostility that it had towards the United States no longer existed, and so the ABM had become a hindrance to new threats, losing its value.

Translation (5, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805198)

It uses kinetic energy to destroy a target (1/2 * m * v**2), no explosives onboard.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

biz0r (656300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805236)

Your comment was marked funny, as it should have been. But because I can't help but be a nagging voice I feel the need to point out that when they say 'hit to kill' they mean to actually STRIKE the side (or something) on the object to cause it to fail (likely) or pre-detonate (not likely). This is opposed to blowing up something near to it, causing the same net effect.

I am guessing the weight is lighter since not having to carry a payload of explosives, allowing for a faster and more maneuverable object with which to hit the offending missile.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805654)

The thing is, regular explosives don't make a big enough boom to take out a missile by getting close. We had working interceptor missiles in the 60's, but they had nuclear warheads which made guidance a much easier problem.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805252)

Joke all you want, but that's what we've actually been doing. Didn't anybody ever tell you that close counts with hand grenades?

It's hard to hit a missle, but not nearly so hard to get kinda close to one and make a big boom.

What they're talking about here is being able to target effectively enough to use bullets instead of grenades.

KFG

Not to kill a good joke... (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805272)

But that's as opposed to proximity detonation.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

Rommsey (1057274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805336)

Actually there is multiple ways to destroy missiles, but I'm sure you were being sarcastic right?

Re:it's an advancement, (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805358)

This is far superior to the "miss-to-kill" technology they were employing in previous models.

Which in turn beat the crap out of the "hit-to-annoy" technology used before that.

Re:it's an advancement, (1)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805494)

Maybe the other option would involve nearly hitting & exploding or energy weapons such as a laser.

IT'S SPELT MISSILE (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805114)

download Firefox and you'll see the big fucking red line /spelling nazi

Re:IT'S SPELT MISSILE (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805154)

I guess they missled that one...

*rimshot*

Re:IT'S SPELT MISSILE (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805268)

Well considering my Firefox thinks that Firefox* is misspelt I have as much confidence in it as I do with as a secure by default Windows installation.

* English/United Kingdom dictionary.

Re:IT'S SPELT MISSILE (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805572)

What has wheat got to do with it?/grammar nazi.

KFG

Whoa, Dude! (3, Funny)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805118)

THAAD is RAADical!!

Sorry, very poor taste in pun choices there.

Re:Whoa, Dude! (1)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805212)

Sorry, very poor taste in pun choices there.

THAAD is not a pun.

Re:Whoa, Dude! (2, Funny)

harp2812 (891875) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805438)

THAAD is not a pun.

In fact, THAAD has no sense of humor whatsoever. THAAD is not amused.

Re:Whoa, Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805592)

"Do not taunt Happy Fun THAAD!"

Star Wars meets Planet of the Apes (1, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805126)

This is perfect for my collection of anti-terrorist paraphernalia.

Recently Reported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805130)

Wasn't this on the news two or three days ago? Oh yeah, there's the date--the 27th....

It's US imperialism!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805140)

Obligatory post here.

Re:It's US imperialism!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805620)

It is marked flaim now, But before the day is out, It will likley be insightfull.

It is still early, most of the kids havn't got home from school yet!

New arms race? (3, Insightful)

caitriona81 (1032126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805144)

Now the question is whether this will just be a defense against missile threats from rogue states, or the start of another arms race. How long before we start to see missiles with the kind of sophisticated countermeasures against interception that military aircraft have against missile threats?

Re:New arms race? (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805260)

Now the question is whether this will just be a defense against missile threats from rogue states

      The system works on short and intermediate range missiles - the kind presumably launched from submarines.

      The arms race isn't new - it's an ongoing thing if you have an army. The only option is to do away with it to get out of the race. But if you're a large nation with many useful resources - stuff other people might want - you're stuck in the race.

      Still the danger here is if you (temporarily) have a way to avoid taking damage from an enemy, that makes it MORE likely that you will strike with less hesitation. Frankly I look forward to the day that this technology can be defeated. A little fear and hesitation is good for foreign policy once in a while. It begets respect.

Re:New arms race? (3, Interesting)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805320)

No, this is convincingly aimed at the rogue states (with 1-2 missiles), and not at, say Russia or China.

That's because the system is nearly impossible to scale up or upgrade effectively, and it is very vulnerable to countermeasures.

Therefore, there's simply no reason for the arms race.

Re:New arms race? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805390)

There has been only one.

KFG

Re:New arms race? (4, Informative)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805560)

There is no question as the technology is perhaps the worst kind. A lucrative defense contract that produced a system that doesnt work in real world scenarios. Are you so misled by a defense contractor's press release to ask a followup question or are you being sarcastic?

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/about_us/Dr_David_Suzuk i/Article_Archives/weekly07250301.asp [davidsuzuki.org] to give you a high school primer on the physics of distance vs speed, which is noticeably independent of the targetting concerns. We wont hear about this until the system " unfortunately fails to counter" a simple rocket launched from a truck somewhere near Washington D.C.

"If you build a missile defense that is so fragile almost anything an adversary does will cause it to collapse, then you invite a weak adversary to (attack)" - Theodore A. Postol

GNAA endorses THAAD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805150)

GNAA rulz

3...2...1... (1, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805158)

Anti-US rhetoric in 3... 2... 1...

Re:3...2...1... (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805344)

The parent has been modded flamebait appropriately insofar as there is nothing most slashdotters love to do more than to slam the US for blowing its nose the wrong way. Any post that points that out will automatically get a broadside.

Re:3...2...1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805548)

God damn Mom and Apple pie. I HATE baseball.

US Missile Interceptor Tests a Success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805164)

THAAD's right!

Sounds great but... (3, Insightful)

common middle name (657525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805170)

...how many tracking devices was the "target" running so that the projectile could find it and hit it? I really don't think enemy missiles will do the equivalent of waving a banner and screaming "Hey defense system! I'm right here!"

Re:Sounds great but... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805262)

They have worked out most of the bugs now, so it only has one device that goes Ping I'm over here every second. Unlike the earlier test which had a GPS receiver in the target transmitting position data to the anti-missile missile.

Re:Sounds great but... (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805328)

I agree. This could have just as easily been hitting a wounded duck test. Perhaps we just say to the BMD folks, we'll shoot something at you within the next couple of days. And then see what happens as opposed to the BMD folks knowing everything that's going on.

Perhaps it was a real test and everything was great but given the lack of details, I highly doubt that.

Re:Sounds great but... (5, Informative)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805432)

That's actually how the THAAD tests work. Same with Aegis, and the GMD (ground-based on the coast).

They use nothing but the actual hardware that's in the field. No special stuff to track the target. This is actually a working, real-world style system. Typically, they put the operator on alert for a couple of days or a week (at least in Aegis tests), and they fire it sometime during that window without notifying anyone. They also usually fire a couple of other missiles at the cruiser (well, near misses) that the crew also has to destroy while launching their interceptor.

It's a neat, nearly totally mature capability and it is currently a real deterrent.

Re:Sounds great but... (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805450)

Then that would be a test of the radar warning and alert mechnisms, not the missile tracking and guidance, wouldn't it? Those can and do exist independent of each other.

Let me guess (1, Insightful)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805172)

They strapped a thirty ton magnet to the missile with bright flashing light and had it fly 40 mph? Naaaah. I'm sure the test wasn't rigged. The military would NEVER do that.

Re:Let me guess (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805406)

The first time anything worked, the test had to be a bit rigged. Now it's a test to see if another 60 billion can get us to hit a missile without the flashing light

Re:Let me guess (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805574)

First of all, you can't tell this time (not from TFA at least).
Second, yes they have done that before. But who would expect such a complex system to work on the first attempt? Who in his sane mind would even _try_ to get it all right on the first attempt?

If you have ever written a fairly complex program, i.e. one that provides work for several code monkeys, one that has an actually recognizable and useful architecture, one that does what it's supposed to do, then you know this is the way to go. You test an algorithm in a separate program here, you hard-code an object there. You work step by step, and if you've got the stamina and the skills, you can eventually put the pieces together and call it done. In this case, it looks like the US has both the stamina and the skills to do it.

That being said, while the missile shield will probably be deployed some day, it's an overall bad idea, only serving to bring back the days of the Cold War. Instead of destroying rockets mid-flight, don't give their owner a reason to build and launch them in the first place. But then again, for a multitude of possible reasons, it looks like that's not going to happen anytime soon.

did they change the name? (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805174)

It used to be Theater High Altitude Area Defense.

Re:did they change the name? (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805258)

It used to be Theater High Altitude Area Defense.

When President Camacho is elected, it will be changed to "Totally Huge Awesome Area Defense".

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Re:did they change the name? (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805374)

HAHAHA

"it's got what plants crave!"

Re:did they change the name? (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805480)

they didn't want to make the MPAA think it could be used against people with video recorders. :)

THAAD? (5, Funny)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805196)

Is that better than THAC0?

4th edition (1)

merikari (205531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805600)

That was in the 2nd edition. THAAD is the "to hit numner" using a one sided die...

Whew... (4, Interesting)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805214)

At first, I was thinking "Great, now all we can defend ourselves against all of those ICBMs that Al-Queda has laying around". But then I realized that there are countries that don't have the luxury of having a few thousand miles of ocean between them and their enemies. I think this technology would be great if deployed to South Korea, Japan, Tiawan, or Isreal. Nothing says "Screw you, Kim" like a system to completely nullify the technology that he's spent years and an equivalent of about his entire country's GDP to develop. Or a note from the IDF to hezbollah: "Can you please stop shooting missiles at us? I'm getting tired of re-loading the launcher".

Re:Whew... (1)

crosseyedatnite (19044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805352)

Isn't the threat from North Korea mostly in the form of large amounts of conventional artillery within range of the South Korean capitol? This system would useless against that.

Re:Whew... (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805506)

The threat from North Korea TO South Korea, yes.
The threat to Japan, Hawaii, or maybe even Alaska or Seattle is another matter. Why do you think Kim has been trying to shoot those missiles out into the Pacific? Not much success so far, but he may get it to work eventually.

Re:Whew... (4, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805580)

Conventional artillery takes a while to do it's work. Not to mention that South Korea probably has a ton of counter-battery artillery trained on every known artillery park within range of Seoul. A nuclear tipped missile, however, can flatten a city with only a few minutes notice, and it's likely that (If the North Korean military is smart) there are no stationary launch sites; When the word comes, a tractor-trailer will drive out of a mountain tunnel somewhere north near the border with China, shoot, and then retreat.

On top of that, there's a huge psychological effect that a nuclear bomb carrys that conventional attacks don't. Every schoolchild knows about the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Few know about the fire bombings on Dresden, even though more people were killed that night than in both Atomic bombings combined.

Re:Whew... (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805490)

I realized that there are countries that don't have the luxury of having a few thousand miles of ocean between them and their enemies.

Tell me about it. I can damn near see Canada from here.

KFG

Re:Whew... (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805582)

Both THAAD and Aegis BMD systems are designed to be forward deployed to the parts of the world that you mention.

Missle ??? (5, Funny)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805216)

Is that the American word for "missile" or something ?

Re:Missle ??? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805446)

Is that the American word for "missile" or something ?

Yes.

KFG

Tagging "typo" (1)

thib_gc (730259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805504)

No... it's just a typo. I'm tagging this article "typo".

Re:Missle ??? (1)

funkdancer (582069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805596)

I guess the slashdot editors, uh, miss'd that one.

About Time! (1)

bostons1337 (1025584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805232)

Well its good to know the defense department is doing something good with all our tax money besides spending it on booze and strippers....

Re:About Time! (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805278)

well, that actually happened at the *after* party celebrating the success. So your worries are aleviated ;-)


Space debris (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805238)

What happens when countries figure out they can launch debris into space .. creating a hostile LEO for everything from spy satellites to civilian stuff.

Think about 100,000 half-pound tungsten carbide balls floating around. It wont take many launches to get 'em up there and it would reduce the lifespan of anything in LEO (low earth orbit) down to a year and permanently ground human missions for everyone.

Next up.... (5, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805244)

Hezbollah has announced they have developed an anti-anti-missile missile. "Take that, you zionist pigs!" said one spokesman. Currently Lockheed Martin is developing an anti-anti-anti-missile-missile missile to counter this new threat.

Re:Next up.... (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805286)

Crap. "anti-anti-missile missile" should be "anti-anti-missile-missile missile", and "anti-anti-anti-missile-missile missile" should be "anti-anti-anti-missile-missile-missile missile". Preview next time, slep. Preview.

Testing for more testing, not for use... (3, Informative)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805250)

From TFA:

'Lockheed Martin's program manager and vice president for the THAAD program... "On the expansive range at PMRF, the THAAD missile can fly greater distances, increasing our testing options and creating a realistic tactical environment"'

The article seems to indicate that this testing is not to allow for use, but to allow for further testing. This wasn't the "prove it works" test, but rather the "we could possibly get it to work" test.

I'm personally against the political use of such systems - it defeats the progress we've made in terms of MAD over the REAL threats to humanity in terms of nuclear weapons - politicians are already eager enough to justify use of weapons when in "this new terrorist era" or whatnot. But if it DOES work, and it does save lives, then it's development is still a net good - I'd just still be against deployment until we have direct evidence it would be necessary to save humanity. I'd much rather put 10000 times the effort into not needing such a tool, rather than spend all our efforts on a new arms race.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Testing for more testing, not for use... (3, Informative)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805472)

No, it actually means that out on white Sands they could only shoot short-range targets. They hit those regularly. Out in the ocean by Hawaii they can shoot much longer range missiles since it's not flying over land, so they're testing the mid-range capabilities and those are working also.

White Sands proved that they could shoot down short range missiles, and the PMRF testing is ensuring that they can hit medium range missiles. It's just another step. Now they'll try more complex geometries. But the test was nearly 100% valid as a real-world training exercise. The system works now; they're not saying "we could make it work." They're saying that it just did.

Re:Testing for more testing, not for use... (4, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805578)

it defeats the progress we've made in terms of MAD over the REAL threats to humanity in terms of nuclear weapons

MAD became obsolete the moment an opponent showed up that didn't care whether they lived or died so long as you didn't survive. It was useful against the USSR and China, but not against anyone that we would not qualify as 'sane'.

Just a few quibbles... (0, Troll)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805266)

>The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes."

A few quibbles with this "test":

  • Was there just one incoming target? Why? Even KJI can afford a few dozen missles.
  • Was the approximate time and direction of the threat known?
  • Any decoys deployed by the intruder? Why not?
  • How large an area can it protect before the angle-off becomes unmanageable?
  • Any jamming from the intruder? Why not?
  • How does this help against low-trajectory ICBM's, sub-launched IRBM's, or cruise missles, all capable of carrying sizeable WMD's?

IIRC about $60 billion has been spent on ABM since 1950, with negligible results. What a super porkbarrel for the techies!

Re:Just a few quibbles... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805454)

A few quibbles with this "test":

Look at any similar development. The air-to-air missile, for instance. The standard AIM-9 has gone through many, many improvements over the years. None worked perfectly, in all realms, against all countermeasures, the very first shot.
Get it to actually 'hit' the target first, then work on the other parts.

Re:Just a few quibbles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805486)

Actually low-trajectory and sub-launched missiles are a lot easier to hit, because it's a shorter distance to target and they're not going at the fantastic speeds you get at the lower arc of an ICBM. You might even get multiple shots off at it. The trouble of course is detecting the launch before it's too late.

Another quibble (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805524)

It seems like cruise missiles (which aren't ballistic) do a lot of damage. This would not bother a cruise missile.

Re:Another quibble (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805622)

This would not bother a cruise missile.

And cruise missiles are much harder and expensive to deploy and have a shorter range. That this is not perfect against any and all types of threats does not make it useless.

old news....aired on... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805270)

old news...I watched it in action on "Future Weapons" on Discovery Channel last night....and that was a rerun (it aired last Monday night as a new episode).

Re:old news....aired on... (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805388)

I was wondering how something that could have been on the Discovery Channel last week be news, but this is slashdot. The corkscrew manuever that it does right after launch is kinda weird. Until the show mentioned that it's supposed to do that, I thought it looked like it was out of control.

Re:old news....aired on... (1)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805434)

I watched it too. I was wondering if anyone else was going to pick up on that. See http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/future-weapons/w eapons/zone2/arsenal-2.html [discovery.com] for a very little write-up. It looks very strange when it first launches, as it does a cork-screw thing before locking and shooting off.

Re:old news....aired on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805492)

Normally the missile would not do that. It only does that to decrease its initial inertia to keep it within the confines of the test range.

Star Wars... (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805282)

So Ronald Reagan finally got his Star Wars technology eh? Queue the Star Wars music!

sri

Re:Star Wars... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805376)

It's A Trap!

The article fails to mention... (5, Interesting)

Codename46 (889058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805288)

whether or not the system can defend against the recently developed random-trajectory missile [slashdot.org] developed by Russia.

Re:The article fails to mention... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805586)

whether or not the system can defend against the recently developed random-trajectory missile [slashdot.org] developed by Russia.

And of course the article you linked to fails to mention whether or not the subject missile is real - or yet another Russian paper tiger.
 
Since the fall of the USSR, Russia has steadily released a lot of power points with various grandiose weapons, space accomplishments, etc... etc... All of the having essentially a snowballs chance of ever seeing the light of day.

Dare I say... (0, Offtopic)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805290)

...in Soviet Russia, interceptor missles YOU a success.

TFA is off by a decade in time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805380)

"The THAAD program began flight testing in November 2005 at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM."

Way wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitud e_Area_Defense/ [wikipedia.org] The THAAD program began flight testing in 1995. And took 4 more years before its first successful test.

is this like the success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805430)

of the missile interception program of the Star Wars project in the 80s?

se8 3ith a cum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805442)

OpenBSD. How many members are Cr3ek, abysmal but suFfice it between each BSD OF AMERICA) is the is the group that

Corrected Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805466)

US THAAD system knocks letter "i" out of incoming ballistic word

ok for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805508)

why is it ok for us to have these missiles, but not ok for other countries?

Re:ok for us (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805546)

why is it ok for us to have these missiles, but not ok for other countries?

Who says they can't?

Marketing Speak (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805556)

engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes

This is marketing speak for "it's steerable as a rocket, not just with flight surfaces." Note that this would describe most ballistic missiles of all sorts. ... and would NOT describe the "Cruise Missile", which depends on lifting surfaces for most of its flight.

Link about the Dec 11 test...
http://www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org/index/THAADN EWS.php [missiledef...vocacy.org]

And you can look up THAAD on wikipedia yourself...
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