Missile Defense Watch: Vandenberg Launches Minuteman III

Posted Posted in Missile Defense

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USAF: Vandenberg launches Minuteman III

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from here today at 3:14 a.m.

The launch was part of an operational test to determine the weapon system’s reliability and accuracy. This launch also exercised U.S. Strategic Command’s Airborne Launch Control System, which flies on a Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft.

The missile’s three unarmed re-entry vehicles traveled approximately 4,200 miles before hitting their pre-determined targets at the Reagan Test Site, located in the Marshall Islands.

Flap is positive that this launch continues the Air Force’s Miunuteman III testing program but it also sends a message to America’s enemies – especially North Korea and Iran. This is not a rocket but an intercontinental ballistic missile with three independently targeted nuclear warheads. Read the stats here.

If North Korea/Iran were to provoke the United States, the Minuteman III could be instantly targeted to North Korea/Iranian civilian centers. This missile is an effective counter-force weapon.

“This mission continues a long string of successful ICBM flight tests from Vandenberg,” said Lt. Col. S.L. Davis, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander who was the mission director for today’s launch. “It clearly demonstrates the capability of both the Minuteman III weapon system and those who maintain and operate it, to include the hundreds of professionals across the Department of Defense who are critical to each mission’s success.”

The reliability and accuracy data will also be used by U.S. Strategic Command planners.

“This launch marks the first mission commanded from Vandenberg’s new Western Range Operations Control Center,” said spacelift commander Col. John Raymond, 30th Operations Group commander. “This is a significant milestone for the Western Range, representing a tremendous amount of work by the 30th Space Wing, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, our range contractors and our mission partners in the 576th.”

A warning to Kin Jong-Il and Mullahs of Iran – the Minuteman III is accurate and deadly. It deterred the old Soviet Union and continues today.  Don’t provoke the USA.

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Stay tuned……


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Missile Defense Watch: White Sands THAAD Test – ” This Is Phenomenal”

Posted Posted in Missile Defense

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This time-exposure photo made available by the U.S. Department of Defense shows a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), held in White Sands, NM, Wednesday, July 12, 2006. THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles high within the Earth’s atmosphere or just above the atmosphere in the final moments before it strikes its target.

Las Cruces Sun-News: White Sands missile test phenomenal’

It was a picture-perfect pre-dawn Wednesday and a picture-perfect launch at White Sands Missile Range.

Hundreds of miles above southern New Mexico, it was a picture-perfect impact between two missiles.

The morning sky above the Tularosa Basin was painted in every color of the rainbow — hues ranging from iridescent purples to emerald greens and pastel blues, pinks and electric whites against the darkness of space.

The pre-dawn art show was the result of the third of five tests planned at White Sands Missile Range to determine the effectiveness of THAAD — Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile. And military officials said the test went better than they could have hoped.

“This was phenomenal,” said U.S. Army Col. Charles Driessnack, the project manager for the Missile Defense Agency’s THAAD program. “It performed as expected.”

With all of the military and missile activity in the Middle East and Asia the THAAD system deployment will happen none too soon.

When fully operational, the THAAD system will provide quickly-deployable protection from missile attacks in any region needed, including homeland territory, Driessnack said.

He said the test indicates THAAD could be ready for emergency deployment “as soon as a year from now.”

Flap’s guess is that the manufacturers at Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will be working overtime for an emergency deployment fleet of missiles and launchers.

Stay tuned…….

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Missile Defense Watch: THAAD Successfully Intercepts Live Target


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Missile Defense Watch: THAAD Successfully Intercepts Live Target

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Missile Defense

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A missile is launched as part of the THAAD weapon system in an undated file photo. The U.S. military said it successfully tested on Wednesday a missile-shield component built by Lockheed Martin Corp. to shoot down a ballistic missile in the last minute or so of its flight.

Yahoo News: Lockheed Martin’s THAAD Weapon System Successfully Intercepts Live Target

First Integrated Weapon System Intercept of a Live Target

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMTNews) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) today successfully conducted a seeker characterization test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM, today. The THAAD Weapon System successfully met all test objectives for the flight test. The system exceeded its objectives on the test by intercepting the Hera unitary target.

This is the third successful THAAD developmental flight test conducted since flight testing resumed for the program in November 2005. A successful controlled flight test was conducted last year, followed by a successful integrated test of the entire THAAD system in May of 2006. Two more test flights are scheduled to occur at WSMR before THAAD testing moves to Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to intermediate range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a fire control and communications system, interceptors, launchers and a radar. The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes.

Missile Threat of the Claremont Institute has Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

And Read it All……

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is a mobile, land-based weapons program designed to destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phases, just seconds before they explode over U.S. cities and military assets. One of the last lines of defense against weapons of mass destruction, THAAD will play a critical role in the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Upon completion, THAAD will be able to intercept incoming missiles both inside and just outside of the Earth’s atmosphere at a range of 200 kilometers. At such an altitude, it will be difficult for enemy missiles to launch decoys and countermeasures to fool the THAAD interceptor. In addition, THAAD will ensure the safe diffusion of any nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, thus minimizing the risk of missile debris raining down on civilian or military populations.

The Army intends to build between 80 to 99 launchers, 18 ground based radars, and 1,422 interceptor missiles. Initial deployment is scheduled for 2008.

Great news about the successful test. The United States and its allies (including Israel and Japan) cannot deploy these defensive missiles fast enough.

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Stay tuned……

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North Korea Watch: Director of the Missile Defense Agency Henry Obering Confident of North Korean Missile Interception

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Missile Defense, North Korea

Lt Gen. Henry A. Obering III, Director of the Missile Defense Agency

Official: U.S. Can Hit N. Korea Missile

The Pentagon’s missile defense chief predicted on Friday that interceptor rockets would hit and destroy a North Korean missile in flight if President Bush gave the order to attack it on a path to U.S. territory.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told reporters he has little doubt that the interceptor system would work, even though it has never been used in a real emergency and even though the U.S. government knows relatively little about how the North Korean missile would perform.

Obering refused to say whether the U.S. missile defense system is ready now for a possible intercept mission, but noted that it has been designed specifically to defend U.S. territory against known missile threats from North Korea.

“(From) what I have seen and what I know about the system and its capabilities, I am very confident,” he said when asked at a news conference about the likelihood that one of the 11 missile interceptors based in Alaska and California would succeed against North Korea’s long-range Taepodong 2 missile.

Obering refused to discuss more specifically the level of his confidence.

He also would not say whether the missile defense system, which includes missile-tracking radars and a communications system linked to the interceptors in underground silos, is currently in an “operational” status. He said it is shifted from a test mode to an operational mode frequently. “We do it all the time,” he said.

Missile interception by Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI)

Missile Interception by Aegis Ship-Based BMD

Noting that North Korea has not conducted a test flight of a ballistic missile since 1998, Obering said that means the Pentagon has a limited amount of information about how a long-range Korean missile would function.

“It’s very, very difficult to understand what they may have, how it may perform,” he said, adding that any long-range ballistic missile would have to follow known trajectories in order to reach U.S. territory.

The Taepodong 2 missile is a newer version that has never been flight tested.

U.S. officials and private experts say they are uncertain of North Koreans’ motives for apparently preparing to launch a Taepodong 2, which U.S. officials believe has a range of between 5,000 miles and 7,500 miles. They may be planning a test flight of the missile to verify its design and gain other technical data for further improvements to the system, or they may use the missile to try to thrust a satellite into orbit.

There is no expectation that the missile would be launched as a deliberate attack on the United States, but without knowing for sure in advance the Pentagon has been considering the circumstances under which it would try a mid-flight intercept, on Bush’s order.

The North Korean missile program is especially troubling to the United States, Japan and other countries potentially within missile range because of North Korea’s declared _ but unproven _ possession of nuclear weapons.

Alan Romberg, an Asia policy expert and former State Department official, said in an interview Friday that he believes it is likely that North Korea has managed to fashion a number of weapons from its nuclear materials, but he finds it questionable to conclude that they have one that could be carried atop a long-range missile.

The three United States options remain:

1. Preemptive Destruction

2. Interception and Destruction

3. Diplomacy to prevent launch

Stay tuned……

A commercial satellite photo of North Korea’s Nodong missile launch site taken on by a Digital Globe satellite and annotated and released by analysts at GlobalSecurity.org on May 24, 2006. The United States and Japan warned North Korea on Monday against a missile launch that experts say could reach as far as Alaska and threatened harsh action if the test flight goes ahead.

Discuss this blog post and MORE…. at the FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blogs, My Dental Forum.

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North Korea Watch: Former Vice President Mondale Supports Preemptive Strike Against North Korea

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North Korea Watch: North Korea Close to Test Firing Taepodong-2 Missile – Capable of Reaching Mainland United States

North Korea Watch: North Korea Denies Reported Plans to Test-Fire a Long-Range Missile Capable of Reaching the U.S. Mainland

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Michael Ramirez on Missile Defense

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Remember the ridicule of President Reagan when he announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)?

SDI is believed to have been first dubbed “Star Wars” by opponent Dr. Carol Rosin, a consultant and former spokeswoman of Wernher von Braun. Some critics used that term derisively, implying it is an impractical science fiction fantasy, but supporters have adopted the usage as well on the grounds that yesterday’s science fiction is often tomorrow’s engineering. In comments to the media March 7, 1986, Acting Deputy Director of SDIO, Dr. Gerold Yonas, described the name “Star Wars” as an important tool for Soviet disinformation and asserted that the nickname gave an entirely wrong impression of SDI.[22]

How the world has changed!

And thanks to President Bush who in 2001 ordered the accelelerated deployment of a National Missile Defense – now the Missile Defense Agency.


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