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Print 50 comment(s) - last by rippleyaliens.. on Apr 10 at 11:36 PM

Pentagon says interceptor deployment is "just in case" type rollout

In recent months an increasingly bellicose North Korea has defiantly tested intercontinental ballistic missilesblew up trial nuclear warheadsscrapped a sixty-year-old armistice with the U.S. and its southern neighbor, and -- most recently -- restarted a mothballed nuclear reactor used in production of material for nuclear weapons.

As the threats from North Korea increase, the U.S. has deployed a truck-based, radar-driven interceptor missile system to Guam.  According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the system will protect the island territory of the U.S. if North Korea attempts to attack it with a ballistic missile, as threatened.  The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAADS) fires on a target rocket when it's in its terminal descent phase, plunging towards the defended territory.

The THAADS system is produced by top defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT).

THAADS
The U.S. has deployed the THAADS interceptor trucks to Guam. 
[Image Source: Lockheed Martin]

While U.S. defense experts doubt North Korea would be able to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear missile, Guam -- 2,000 away from the hostile Asian dictatorship -- might be a slightly more feasible target.  Both South Korea and Japan have extensive interceptor systems, which are likely on high alert.

U.S. ally Israel provided the most impressive real-world demonstration of a missile-interception system to date.  Its "Iron Dome" system shot down approximately 9 out of 10 missiles that were headed towards a populated region.  Past interceptor systems used in the Persian Gulf conflicts by the U.S. had lower success rates.

Ballistic missile interception is a more unproven art.  Ballistic missiles are bigger (and hence a bigger target), but are also generally faster than the kind of small rockets Iron Dome or Patriot-missile (U.S.) interceptor systems target. Israel has an interceptor system of its own dubbed Arrow, which the U.S. co-founded and shares technology from.  Fortunately, that system has never been called upon in a real war scenario.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense



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9 out of 10 ?
By Justin Time on 4/3/2013 7:30:55 PM , Rating: 1
If they are nuclear armed, then that may still be a pyrrhic victory.




RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By inighthawki on 4/3/2013 9:16:49 PM , Rating: 3
Is 0/10 better?


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By Samus on 4/3/2013 10:45:47 PM , Rating: 5
North Korea will be lucky to get one ICBM with a warhead launched accurately toward its target. So a 90% success rate is pretty good when you only need to worry about one missile.

However, I'm willing to bet the missile will fail, fall to the ground, and detonate. They are that incompetent.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By Justin Time on 4/4/2013 12:19:52 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, 90% FAILURE rate is what is being referred to - i.e. USA managing to shoot down 9 out of 10 missiles - even if comparable, one nuclear strike is still one too many.

North Korea may be a rogue state with a warped ideology, but they have no shortage of educated people who are every bit as capable as any other in the world.

They may have many limitations in access to technology, but have nevertheless detonated nuclear devices and successfully launched missiles, so to dismiss them as too incompetent to combine the two, is totally unrealistic.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By PrinceGaz on 4/4/2013 7:19:21 AM , Rating: 3
So long as we are talking missiles with nuclear warheads, North Korea probably has less than ten viable nuclear devices today, and whether they can successfully combine the device with one of its missiles to produce a working nuclear missile is unclear (and we won't know unless they test fire a nuclear missile, hopefully at an unpopulated target perhaps in the middle of the Sea of Japan where it won't harm anyone - give or take a bit of irradiation to the fish).

Anyway the worst case scenario sees them having a maximum of 48 nuclear devices by 2016, which if an average of 90% could be shot down, only leaves between about three and six nuclear missiles actually hitting targets. We'd only be talking devices with a similar power to that used on Hiroshima; devastating nearby but a couple of miles down the road and the main effect will be injuries from broken windows provided the population is then evacuated a safe distance soon afterwards.

In retaliation, North Korea would cease to exist as the country it is today and the government there knows that it would be the end for them. We know that, and they know that we know that. That's why they'll never actually carry out a nuclear attack on South Korea or anywhere else, regardless of all the threats.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By othercents on 4/4/2013 8:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In retaliation, North Korea would cease to exist as the country it is today and the government there knows that it would be the end for them. We know that, and they know that we know that. That's why they'll never actually carry out a nuclear attack on South Korea or anywhere else, regardless of all the threats.


The only issue with this is the leader doesn't seam to be level headed. He wants us to back down, so he can say to his people he won, but in reality it is his people that will lose.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By PrinceGaz on 4/4/2013 1:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only issue with this is the leader doesn't seam to be level headed. He wants us to back down, so he can say to his people he won, but in reality it is his people that will lose.


He's got advisers who know the game that they're playing, as they've played it often enough before. If Kim Jong-un doesn't follow the rules this time (which involves some sort of symbolic agreement brokered by China, which is quite meaningless in reality but allows him to claim some sort of victory to his people) then his generals will likely remove him from power, before Kim Jong-un does something stupid which will remove them all from power permanently.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By Techslave on 4/5/2013 11:27:32 AM , Rating: 3
Kim has run multiple simulations on the Atari 2600. The missiles destroyed all 6 cities each time.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By Stuka on 4/5/2013 11:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
The whole things is dumb. His country is embargoed and isolated and everything is filtered before entering the country. Why can't he just tell his people "I was all like, 'Bitch please', and the US was all like, 'Sorry bro.'" They will believe him 'cos he is a god, and he never has to involve the rest of the world. No one will ever know.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By rippleyaliens on 4/10/2013 10:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
I dug your comment.. BUT you speak of only hirishoma level bombs.. If 1 were to hit say, TOKYO.. Well we have 20 Million Dead.. The Bomb, those tiny ones, only had a 2mil diamater kill zone.. with 16,000 tons of tnt. That is a Crater 2 Miles wide. Not deep, but sinze will be airburts.. which makes it kinda worse..

Even 1 Miss, out of 99= Devastation. WAR.. Matters not, will happen. Even if we dont srike.. they Sneak one someplace.. Remember this is a rogue state.. If 1 blew up. World Economic FAILURE, within 10 years. If the USA took a financial hit, from Mortgages.. One could only imagine something hitting like South Korea's Main City.. OR Japan's Tokyo.. How could any Foreign Market survive this. Insurance payements alone would Devestate our Country. AID.. Whatever.. What people fail to remember, all it takes is 1.. 3000 people, 2 BIGGG Buildings, and boom.. Economy took a HIT!! I cant imagine anything bigger..

The worst case scenario is MUCH Worse.. What i wrote above, was BEST CASE..
Worst Case.. Well 1 sub alone, can eliminate North Korea.. 1 Salvo.. Infact only 1 Missile, each armed with 9 Mirvs, with total 300 Megatons.. 1 HIT= China, getting funky,.. They have to.. the Fall out alone..
Markets getting worse.. Money\Suplies \ FOOD.. boom.. Thats how easy it can start.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By nafhan on 4/4/2013 10:36:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
have nevertheless detonated nuclear devices and successfully launched missiles, so to dismiss them as too incompetent to combine the two, is totally unrealistic.
Actually, this is pretty difficult. Considering that NK's efforts in both areas have (by all accounts) produced unreliable results (i.e. trouble getting a nuke to detonate), I'd be surprised if they have one small enough to fit on a long range missile. If they do, it looks like there's probably something like a 9/10 chance that missile would break apart in flight - without any outside help.


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By rippleyaliens on 4/10/2013 11:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
But time goes tick\tock.. For them, IT's not WHEN, but how long will it take them. We did it relatively fast, considering.. North Korea is not re-inventing the wheel, BUT merely copy\paste.. Trial\error.. Will be an interesting next 20 years..


RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By thurston2 on 4/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: 9 out of 10 ?
By ianweck on 4/6/2013 12:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
Come on, you can do better than that.


Units
By Goty on 4/3/2013 11:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Guam -- 2,000 away from the hostile Asian dictatorship...


Do we get to guess the units? I'm guessing beard-seconds. Furlongs? Rods? Hmmm....




RE: Units
By Captain Awesome on 4/4/2013 8:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
Oh God, what if the unit is inches? That's just 167 feet away, or less than half a football field!!!!!


RE: Units
By spamreader1 on 4/4/2013 10:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
Holy measurement units Batman, they're going to shrink the planet to scale!!! /Robin voice


RE: Units
By JKflipflop98 on 4/9/2013 7:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Except they don't know the "power of three" rule! All our Y axises will be horribly elongated!


Iron Dome?
By jnemesh on 4/3/2013 7:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
The Israelis were defending against small rockets with nowhere NEAR the velocities that ICBM warheads reach. Their Iron Dome does not really compare with the US ballistic missile defenses at all.




RE: Iron Dome?
By smnoamls on 4/4/2013 1:23:53 AM , Rating: 4
I think the author simply confused two different systems Israel has.
The Iron dome system is actually meant to intercept multiple tiny (even mortar) projectiles. Nothing in the world can do this right now.
The system Israel uses to defend itself against very large missiles (Ballistics included) is the Arrow system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_(Israeli_missil...

THIS is something the US can use (and will, since they funded half of it ).


Reagan was Right
By FPP on 4/8/2013 4:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
...right about everything. He, correctly, saw the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction as mass suicide and took steps i.e. "Star Wars" to create a defense against these weapons, on the basis that one day, a madman might gain access to them. For this, he and his successors were pilloried for decades but now, in the magic moment these same chuckleheds vindicate e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g by relying on these same weapons.




RE: Reagan was Right
By Manch on 4/9/2013 5:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
And yet Obama is doing his best to mitigate or dismantle this. He's already pulled several phases from the Eastern Block Countries.


By Amiga500 on 4/4/2013 3:45:13 AM , Rating: 2
They've sent the nuke to Panama via DerkaDerkastan!!!




What will they gain?
By dashrendar on 4/4/2013 11:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
You guys are talking about defense systems and stuff. Let's take a step back. Do you even think North Korea would use a nuclear weapon and assure its own destruction?

No state uses nuclear weapons these days.

What we are seeing here is a case of "My Photoshop is better than your Photoshop."




Idiots
By Ammohunt on 4/3/13, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By Flunk on 4/3/2013 7:06:00 PM , Rating: 5
It only functions as a deterrent if you potential enemy knows about it.


RE: Idiots
By hughlle on 4/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: Idiots
By gwem557 on 4/3/2013 8:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, the US now gets to establish defensive systems abroad, and beefen them up at home, sans Chinese or Russian angst -- which surely would have come about if we'd tried this without NK's provocation.


RE: Idiots
By ShieTar on 4/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots
By A11 on 4/4/2013 8:56:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
More importantly, if the US keep on escalating the conflict with North Korea


The US is escalating the conflict?

What planet are you reporting from?


RE: Idiots
By ShieTar on 4/4/2013 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
The same planet from which DailyTech is also reporting, e.g. last week:

quote:
The threat is the latest in a series of jabs between the U.S. and the defiant Asian military dictatorship. Following its decision to scrap the armistice, the U.S. conducted war games in SK. NK responded by cutting a key phone line used as one of the only diplomatic channels between the North and the South. In an apparent response to the line cutting, the U.S. proceeded with a test of B-2 Spirit stealth bombers over North Korea, which according to U.S. Forces Korea "demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will."


Letting your Airforce enter the Airspace of an enemy country isn't exactly known as softspoken diplomacy. The above chain of events is the exact definition of an escalation, whenever NK barks, the US and SK bark back. Because everybody knows that the best way to react to a idiot waving his gun angrily is to wave your own gun angrily back at him.


RE: Idiots
By A11 on 4/4/2013 11:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Letting your Airforce enter the Airspace of an enemy country isn't exactly known as softspoken diplomacy. The above chain of events is the exact definition of an escalation, whenever NK barks, the US and SK bark back. Because everybody knows that the best way to react to a idiot waving his gun angrily is to wave your own gun angrily back at him.


I'm not aware of any airforce entering an enemy country, do you mean the US airforce operating in its south korean ally's airspace as part of a pre-planned annual exercise which has been held for the last umpteen years?

That is not in any way an escalation of anything and neither is stating you will "defend" yourself or your ally, the only part escalting anything here is NK with its threats and war rhetoric.


RE: Idiots
By ianweck on 4/5/2013 8:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Just to reiterate A11, these were preplanned wargames that occur annually, and the flights were over SK, not NK. Also, don't get your news from Dailytech.


RE: Idiots
By Topweasel on 4/4/2013 11:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
He is using the boys will be boys approach to handling foreign affairs. That NK is just letting out some teenage angst and if we just let them do their thing they will tire themselves out and grow up.

Then 10 years from now once NK does something super bad. Then he will use the dove excuse (mars attack). He will find something stupid and insignificant, that US did, and use that as proof of American aggression.


RE: Idiots
By inighthawki on 4/3/2013 9:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, analysts say it's unlikely, no point in defending ourselves just in case. If you were in a bank robbery and someone said they "are pretty sure the robbers don't have guns" are you going to try something funny, or just play it safe and not get involved?


RE: Idiots
By Digimonkey on 4/4/2013 9:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I feel a more accurate analogy is the bank robbers have guns, and they may or may not shoot you and their aim may or may not be accurate. Do you want to wear a bullet proof vest just in case?


RE: Idiots
By M'n'M on 4/3/2013 10:59:55 PM , Rating: 3
THAAD rolled into that theater isn't to defend the US, it's really for our allies and friends. GBMD and the Navy's SM-3 and perhaps some other unmentioned systems can serve as defense for the CONUS.

But most of this is really political posturing. It's to indicate to whoever really runs the DPRK that the bargaining point is pretty high this time. I can only hope it's actually very, very, very high and Kim (or whoever) get's the message that extortion this time just isn't going to work anymore. Frankly I really wish that SK grows a pair and tells NK to shove it. That the next sinking or shelling or kidnapping or assassination of it's peoples is when they react with military force. The "war" would be over in short order, the DPRK would be no more and there would be no need for US troops in that area.


RE: Idiots
By Lord 666 on 4/4/2013 12:22:26 AM , Rating: 2
War with just NK, yes.

The street brawl that will actually follow if something goes down, no.


RE: Idiots
By skyward on 4/4/2013 12:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
It is all political posturing till we see the U.S flying the Airborne Laser to Japan. When a war is about to breakout, we want everything we have to shot down missiles.


RE: Idiots
By ianweck on 4/5/2013 8:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised this hasn't happened for any of NK's previous missile launches. I was thinking why not fly the airborne laser out there to test it out covertly? I wonder if their missile just exploded mid-flight, if NK would know why? I'm assuming the laser itself is invisible. This would be a riot, to watch NK scratch their heads.


RE: Idiots
By Justin Time on 4/4/2013 1:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
This is almost certainly an attempt to extort more aid and the dropping of sanctions.

This has been their approach in the past, and it's always worked, so why would they not expect it to work again?

Nevertheless, South Korea would be EXTREMELY reluctant to engage in any form of military force against the North, as they are fully aware that the North have more than enough conventional rockets, missiles and artillery available, to totally devastate Seoul within a matter of hours, and are just crazy enough to believe they could get away with it.


RE: Idiots
By Uncle on 4/4/2013 12:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
The answer is easy, the Pentagon is always looking for a reason to increase its spending and always looking for ways to try its new toys.


RE: Idiots
By ianweck on 4/5/2013 8:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I thought you people all thought it was about oil? Wouldn't have anything to do about the South Koreans and Japanese being our allies?


RE: Idiots
By Ammohunt on 4/4/13, Rating: 0
Why...
By DrApop on 4/3/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why...
By StormyKnight on 4/4/2013 4:30:22 AM , Rating: 3
Apparantly you know nothing of our allies in South Korea. We are there to help protect them. Also, you know nothing of the global economy. What affects a large economy that we have trade relationships with, affects us and other allies. If North Korea attacked South Korea and caused severe enough damage to their infrastructure, population and economy, it can affect our economy as well as other economies around the world.

Just like during the years of the cold war when we had thousands and thousands of troops deployed in Europe to keep the Soviets and their allies in check, our troops are in S. Korea to do the very same thing. They are a deterrent.


RE: Why...
By Solandri on 4/4/2013 4:53:49 AM , Rating: 5
You should care.

The Korean War was 60 years ago. Anyone old enough to have fought in it is in their 80s. Anyone old enough to have been involved with the command decisions is 90+ or dead. There are probably only a few dozen of these people left in the entire NK leadership, and they have no plans to tell the rest of their population the truth before they die.

So you have 25 million people, almost all of whom believe the propaganda they've been taught for 60 years, most of them since birth - that the U.S. and South Korea started the Korean War. In that context, everything the U.S. does to try to shore up the defenses of South Korea, Japan, Guam, etc. is just a prelude to "another" invasion.

And they have nukes.


RE: Why...
By Dr of crap on 4/4/2013 12:43:25 PM , Rating: 5
YOU CAN'T be that stupid!??!


RE: Why...
By cyberguyz on 4/8/2013 5:58:36 AM , Rating: 1
You really aren't the sharpest tool in the shed are you.


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