Missile Defense - The End of "Dumb" Missiles and Artillery ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Blofeld, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Blofeld

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    I guess most of you have heard about the Iron Dome missile defense system in the last days. I don't want to discuss this system specifically (because this inevitable leads to heated political discussions, at least on youtube). But it may be interesting to speculate what the results might be if such a system is further developed and refined.

    Currently cost effectiveness seem to be a major issue with defense systems against short range missiles. The control computer first checks whether the trajectory of the incoming missile is really a threat, before firing an (expensive) interceptor missile. But should it not be possible to miniaturize such an interceptor missile, so that it would be much smaller and cheaper than the incoming missile (or artillery shell) ?

    There must be a minimum size for the incoming missile, dictated by its range and the size of the warhead. But an interceptor missile would just need a very small warhead (theoretically, if a direct hit is assured).
     
  2. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Like many modern weapons it may explode via proximity which would make it much more effective in taking down missles. Plus we don't know what its gonna have to bring down. A home made hamas rocket? A Scud? and ICBM? I would imagine it would get close to the missle then act like a grenade or shotgun to disable the missle.
     
  3. Blofeld

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Yes, if what I saw in some videos is true, the missile of the Iron Dome system has a proximity fuse. But this also means it needs a relatively large warhead. I was just speculating, that an even more advanced system could directly hit the target and then could use a much smaller warhead (resulting in a smaller size of the whole missile).

    And I was thinking of missile defense against small range tactical missiles. If one wants to build a defense against ICBMs I guess that's a completely different game: Cost effectiveness is not so important, but you really, really want to be sure that none of them gets through.
     
  4. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    In theory anything is possible...

    Yes, the missles act like a shotgun, once in range a small explosion fires a lot of 'pellets' at the target. Systems are good, but not quick enough to ensure a direct hit.

    I don't think that smart rockets/artillery will ever be cheaper than dumb bombs/artillery. Certainly at the moment, smart bombs are just dumb bombs with added fins and targeting systems. So you have to pay for the bomb, and then more for the clever bits.

    However, I suppose if you consider the need to attack threats quickly and precisely, then in the long term the accuracy of a smart bomb might prove cheaper. Gone are the days where a bomb dropping half a mile off target is considered a 'direct hit'!

    But by cheap, I mean relatively. I don't see any NGO being able to fund them for quite so time. Certainly for these groups it is better to spend their money on small arms and recruitment than sophisticated weapons.


    Sparky
     
  5. Blofeld

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Maybe if defense systems become more common in the future, smart bombs might have an additional advantage: If a bomb or air-to-ground missile is controlled by a computer, it should be possible to program it to fly some kind of zig-zag course to the target. This would make it more difficult for a defending missile to intercept it.

    But as you said, anything is possible in theory. I'm just wildly speculating what might be developed one day.
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    My company is actively working on such systems. I don't think I should tell all I know, but the latest is designed to take out mortars coming in on a base. The counter missiles are not that smart, it is the radar and fire control that is the thing, with good data links to the interceptors.
     
  7. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    ...Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the army would go and kill them.

    from a new story found here: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/...ible-iron-dome-hamass-best-friend/2012/11/19/

    I'm sure somebody here will see 'politics' in this posting.

    Eh...whatever.
     
  8. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    So since you know about this bill, how hard would it be to strike interceptor to missle for a direct hit, compared to proximity detonation? I just have to imagine hitting the missile would be much harder then getting close then shooting it with a huge shotgun shell.
     
  9. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    The big flaw with the whole concept is economic.

    I hear that each Iron Dome missile costs between $40,000.00 and $100,000.00

    Shoot a bunch of crude pipe rockets to stimulate a very expensive response from the defense system.

    It's a defense contractors wet dream.
     
    maxpower097 likes this.
  10. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    $100,000 is really cheap compared to the human cost of a direct hit on a high-rise or shopping center. The Iranian missiles used by Hamas are not little pipe bombs. The real-time integration of sensors and pin-point aiming is impressive but It's nothing really new, we had the sprint "Safeguard" ABM system of the 1970's that could do the same thing with ancient technology. It worked so well the Russians said uncle and agreed to the ABM treaty so we dismantled the sytem.

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UUbMWf-uZI

    BMD history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARx2-wRn9-Y
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    With the MERF system they use a shaped charge, it is a form of proximity, but does require some accuracy in that the charge must be between the target and aggressor ordinance. This is an individual vehicle defense system, with a kill zone as little as 6 feet from the vehicle (more is much preferred of course). The main thing is the system has to be fast, much faster than the incoming ordinance.
     
  12. Blofeld

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Wow, these are some great videos, thank you. The 3rd about BMD is one interesting piece of history, and the 1st about the Sprint very impressive to watch. I couldn't watch the 2nd one due to a very stupid copyright rule here in Germany (related to the music contained in the video).

    However, in terms of accuracy, one has to note that both the Sprint and the Spartan missiles of the Safeguard system were equipped with nuclear warheads, so they could afford to miss their target by a large distance and still destroy it. Of course it is still possible that both were very accurate and their designers just wanted to ensure an even higher success rate.
     
  13. MvGulik

    Member

    Nov 3, 2011
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    Possible solutions:
    - Lost of decoys. (Poor man option)
    - Anti anti-missile. (Rich man option)
    - ...
    - ...
    - Nuke both sides.

    ... Waiting for weapons that are smart enuff to terminate the real source of the problem ...
     
  14. Blofeld

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    I think you can be very proud to be involved in this. If your company can get this mortar defense to work and it is deployed, it will save many lives.

    But please don't tell us any details if that would mean you have to kill us afterwards. :eek:
     
  15. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    I would like to remind all members that discussions with political content are restricted. This is the reason some posts in this thread have been moderated.

    Discussions that might lead to cultural clash are discouraged.
     
    Wendy likes this.
  16. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Those were just engineering problems solved by time and money. The true problem was the lost of command and control of our systems. The response times were so short that the nuclear release authority had to be delegated down to the site level on both sides and the Russians didn't trust their own people. The systems could start a computer generated auto-launch countdown that the could be overridden by higher authority but both sides were worried about a Strange-Love happening.
     
  17. MvGulik

    Member

    Nov 3, 2011
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    @nsaspook: lol. But considering my intended target is off-topic, I'll leave it at that.
     
  18. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    This is off-topic so off-topic is on-topic. :D
     
  19. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Interesting you should mention that.

    You may have electronic counter measures (ECM), but then the enemy will develop counter measures for your countermeasures, so you develop countermeasures for their countmeasures against your countermeasures. You can see how the quickly becomes silly, so you have EC^nM.

    My dad knew one of the engineers who helped to design the RADAR system in Rapier, an anti-aircraft SAM.

    One thing you have to understand is that military equipment is not cheap. $40'000 may sound expensive for one missile, but that would be about the norm.

    Nimrod used to drop lots and lots of sensors into the North Sea, each cost about £9'000 (in the 90s). One use.

    [​IMG]

    Even uniform is expensive. The guards you see in the bearskins and redcoats wear about £2'000 of material.

    Drum majors can wear clothing worth in excess of £5'000.

    But enough of that. :)
     
  20. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Is it just me, or does that 'plane have a propeller hat?? :eek:

    [​IMG]

    Must be a "geek plane". ;)
     
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