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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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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
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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