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Sdi?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Metal Alloy Man, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Metal Alloy Man

    Metal Alloy Man Back in Black

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    In the event of a nuclear war how efficient do you think the SDI currently in place in the United States would be? Also, sorry but I've forgotten what SDI stands for(something, something, intercept)
     
  2. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    Strategic Defense Initiative. And absolutely useless. Even if it shot down 90% of the incoming projectiles (which it can't), the US would still fall apart. I'm not even sure a system is in place, save the anti-missile system on USN warships.

    SDI is an inherently flawed system, at least in it's current state. Any system that shoots down warheads once in space will fail, as it's incredibly easy to fill the skies with so many dummy targets the system couldn't shoot them all down. You would need to hit the missiles while still in the lift phase, which would be vastly more difficult. Stealthed, submarine launched, Nuclear cruise missiles would likely prove unstoppable.
     
  3. Riffraff

    Riffraff Deity

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    This is the core problem - it's so so much easier and cheaper to fool a missile interception system compared to actually designing such a system.
     
  4. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Against ICBMs, or SLBMs, it's unlikely that we could stop anything in the foreseeable future. And We'd never stop it all if, as the others mentioned, the enemy deployed countermeasures.
     
  5. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    I see more prospect for a kill vehicle that destroys things on launches. Much harder to combat, of course, you need a faster kill vehicle.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Hitting enemy missiles in boost phase would require space based weapons and a hair trigger.
     
  7. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    It wouldn't neccessarily be space based, sub based kill vehicles are possible. Of course, you still have a lot of targeting issues, and it needs to be hella fast, and it won't work for countries that have areas far from the coast but it does prevent cheap countermeasures.

    It could prevent someone like North Korea or Iran from striking us.
     
  8. Agent Cooper

    Agent Cooper Lynch's Creation

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    The Chinese and the Russians are in possesion of nuclear tipped stealth missiles today, designed to be launched from submarines and reach the target in a few minutes.

    Not to mention, that if terrorists were ever to strike with nuclear weapons on American soil, they would most likely smuggle the weapon (assembled or in parts) inside the US and detonate it without needing a missile at all. There are thousands of locations along the US coastline/border where control is 'minimal'.

    SDI is a complete waste of resources with the technology available to the Americans today.
     
  9. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Neither country has that capability. They would have to make some considerable progress in their missile tech before that's an issue. NK *might* be able to get a Taepodong 2 as far as Hawaii or the Aleutians, as long as the payload were less than a ton.

    Source.

    Completely agree :yup:
     
  10. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Right, I'm speaking under the hypothetical situation that they develop long range missile capaability.
     
  11. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    I'm sure our military has better tech out there than you are thinking. What about all those anti-missile laser assembly's across the country?
     
  12. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    They don't work. Ground based laser weapons require a lot of power, are extremely expensive, and tend to dissipate and lsoe coherance in the atmoshpere.
     
  13. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    They can work on cruise missiles and artillery shells, but that because those tend to be low, slow and hot.

    As Perfy said, the lasers lose power and coherance very quickly. If it was even possible, a phased array capable of shooting clear through the atmosphere would be so large it would be extremely vulnerable. They work on non-ballistic missiles because they aren't very far away.

    The other issue is that the hottest part of a warhead re-entering the atmosphere is actually behind the warhead itself (or so my professor once told me). Since those anti-projectile lasers are tracked thermally (I think), they wouldn't work so well on something moving as fast as a ballistic warhead.
     
  14. Shaihulud

    Shaihulud Deity

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    It would be more efficient if we can get spaceborne weapons, detecting, tracking and destroying a missles would then be so much easier. I think alot of money that goes into space exploration was the military envisaging such a weapon platform.
     
  15. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    No, it wouldn't be any easier. Detection is easy, that part is already built and operating, and has been for 20+ years. Tracking isn't much harder, it's just a lot of radar arrays.

    The destroying part is an effective no go however. You couldn't wait till they got to space, because it would be too easy to fill the missiles with decoy MIRVs and other penetration aids. Suddenly you can't even see the warheads, and if you can't see em, you can't hit em.

    That leaves you with striking the missiles while in the lift stage. Problem is you can't get a laser to shoot through 100 km of atmosphere accurately and still have enough power to punch a hole in whatever it's aimed at.

    Then there is the political ramifications of such a system. Niether the USA or Russia would ever allow the construction of an effective SDI system, because it puts an enourmous premium on a first strike. If your opponent couldn't hit you back, you could hold the threat of a debilitating nuclear strike to get whatever you wanted. Thus any such system would almost certainly be destroyed while in the construction phase. This wouldn't even be difficult, what with the fragility of space craft and satellites.

    Its possible you could get a system in place to shoot down one or two missiles launched by a rogue nuclear state. But even that would be iffy, and it would make far more sense for said countries to just give the nukes to terrorists, and have them smuggle them into the target country.
     
  16. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Very well put, I agree completely. SDI is at best a means at preventing a rogue state from luanching an ICBM, but as you've mentioned, they'd have other means of delivery that might work out better anyways.
     
  17. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    It's probably sufficient (Or soon will be) for keeping North Korea from nuking the US. The same with Iran, assuming they get ICBM's that reach that far. (Which they currently don't have) In a war with a serious nuclear power like Russia, what we have now would be next to useless, assuming they're willing to use their entire arsenal. (And their's no reason why they wouldn't - nuclear war isn't something you do halfway ;) You win big or you lose, period.)

    Even China would probably be able to overwhelm it today. They don't have nearly as man missiles capable of hitting the Continental US, but even "just a couple" would be devastating - imagine New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, etc all went up. (I think the Southeast US is outside of current Chinese ICBM range. But they'd still get hit with fallout and the economic effects, of course, we'd still be screwed, just not as bad as if Russia went all out)

    Practically speaking, I doubt we'll ever be able to create a missile shield capable of fully stopping an all out nuclear assault by anything but a small 'rogue' nation, like North Korea or Iran. And honestly, I think they'd use less conventional methods, in hopes that they could hide who it was. Which means SDI would be useless anyway; you can't stop an nuke in a cargo ship with satellites or interceptors.
     
  18. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    What do you define as soon, and what sort of countermeasures are you allowing for North Korea?
     
  19. alcal

    alcal surfin'

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    I truly doubt North Korea is enough crazy to attack USA
     
  20. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    Which video game are you sourceing this from ;)

    No, China and Russia do not have stealth missiles :rolleyes:

    SDI in its current form is not designed to be effective against Russia or China, which is why it is so freaking hillarious whenever Russia gets all uppidy about it. It is designed to intercept a limited attack from medium power nations, and it can in fact do so.
     

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