ATTN: Wired, give it a rest already…

Wired is at it again:
All Hail Vaporware Missile Defense!

I’ll be the first to admit that the combination of laser-equipped 747s and mirror-covered drones sounds like a rather silly way to blast ICBMs out of the sky. But in the missile defense world, even seemingly-goofy inventions can have a major impact.

One of the most interesting paradoxes of the Cold War is how much leverage that the United States got from Reagan’s plans to build the Star Wars defensive system. Almost no one, even in the White House, thought it would work. The Soviets knew from their own research that it probably wouldn’t work. And, if it did function as planned, the Strategic Defense Initiative would never have been “cost effective at the margins.” It would always have been easier and cheaper for Moscow to add two units of offense to get around every one unit of defense from the United States. Given all that, why was the Soviet Union ready to trade away the store at Reykjavik, and during other arms negotiations between 1985 and 1988, if the U.S. would just promise not to build this thing that everyone knew we couldn’t build anyway?

<sarcasm>

Really? gee i guess the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile was a waste? Shooting down a missile with a navy missile, what a waste(espically if you try to shoot a satellite). Why the army spends money on this stuff I don’t know. It’ll never work. Even Obama…..</sarcasm>

It works, trust me. I’ve met the soldiers who are a part of Ground-Based Midcourse Defense. They are the most professional people you’ll ever meet. They have faith in the system because they are National Guard soldiers. They are protecting their homes (and yours too if you live in the US of A).

Via Wikipedia: PAC-3

The PAC-3 missile is also much more maneuverable than previous variants, thanks to dozens of tiny rocket motors mounted in the forebody of the missile (called ACMs, or Attitude Control Motors). However, the most significant upgrade to the PAC-3 missile is the addition of a Ka band active radar seeker. This allows the missile to drop its uplink to the system and acquire its target itself in the terminal phase of its intercept, which improves the reaction time of the missile against a fast-moving ballistic missile target; the PAC-3 missile is, in fact, accurate enough to select, target, and home in on the warhead portion of an inbound ballistic missile. The active radar also gives the warhead a “hit-to-kill” capability that completely removes the need for a traditional proximity-fused warhead. This greatly increases the lethality against ballistic missiles of all types.

For a science mag, you Wired folks should know better….

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