Britain likely base for son of Star Wars

#1
Britain has been named as a prime candidate to host missiles for America's controversial "son of Star Wars" defence system, a senior US general has revealed.

The disclosure risked infuriating Left-wing Labour MPs and prompting a fresh examination of transatlantic links and the relationship between Tony Blair and President George W Bush.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...24.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/03/24/ixnewstop.html

Ah!

Now if our Govt had any balls it could make this deal dependant on full transfer of JSF technology...although im not holding my breath.
 
#2
Taz_786 said:
Britain has been named as a prime candidate to host missiles for America's controversial "son of Star Wars" defence system, a senior US general has revealed.

The disclosure risked infuriating Left-wing Labour MPs and prompting a fresh examination of transatlantic links and the relationship between Tony Blair and President George W Bush.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...24.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/03/24/ixnewstop.html

Ah!

Now if our Govt had any balls it could make this deal dependant on full transfer of JSF technology...although im not holding my breath.
Only if they sell BAe to Lockheed Martin ... the JSF thing is as much about commercial rivarly between L-M and BAe mostly? I mean the yanks sell us SLBM's and nuclear device designs, so doubt their govt is worried we'd pass on need-to-know tech info to others.
 
#3
this is the biggest white elephant in years if our goverment had any balls they tell the spamsto **** off with this
 
#4
This isn't new. We had always been tipped to hold the missiles, in that place in Yorkshire. That way they can intercept anything aimed at the Yanks Eastern Sea Board.

The big debate was which country would hold the missiles to defend the Western states.
 
#5
in that place in Yorkshire
RAF Fylindales by any chance?
Feckin hope not it'll give all those CND types that camp outside the gates the perfect opportunity to say "Told you so". :evil:
 
#6
Tell them to **** off and take the menwith spy base with it .If they cant resist using it to gain commercial advantage .I dont see any
reason why should we harbour missles that put as at risk for no advantage to us .Letting the yanks think they can fire missles and be safe from retalation just seems a bad idea.
 
#7
Whats the big deal. Places like RAF Menwith hill but to name a few hold equipment there that could fry any electrical applience from miles away!!. The Yanks have been there for years. I bet there has been plans already to host sites around the country for such missiles.
 
#8
woody said:
Tell them to * off and take the menwith spy base with it .If they cant resist using it to gain commercial advantage .I dont see any
reason why should we harbour missles that put as at risk for no advantage to us .Letting the yanks think they can fire missles and be safe from retalation just seems a bad idea.
GCHQ also use Menwith hill to pool information with the NSA who run the establishment, to I dont think they would close that down in a hurry.
 
#9
Well they could at least stop using it for commercial advantage against uk intrests .
 
#10
anyone think goving son of george the ability to lob nukes at russia or china or anywhere else with an odds on chance anything lobbed back canbe intercepted is seriously bad idea :(
 
#11
brighton hippy said:
anyone think goving son of george the ability to lob nukes at russia or china or anywhere else with an odds on chance anything lobbed back canbe intercepted is seriously bad idea :(
Nope, I think it's a bloody damned good idea for the US to have the ability to intercept inbound nuclear warheads and frankly find all the hoohah that it's raised mind boggling.

It's a defensive system, same has having Patriot, Hawk or Bloodhound Mk2 (not that we have them anymore) installations, did people complain about those as well ?

Only thing the HMG should be doing is leveraging a possible UK interceptor base against deals that would benefit the UK, such as putting pressure on L-M to share the FCS software with BAe, gaurentees that the UK would also be able to use the interceptors to defend ourselves etc etc etc. A UK JSF production line for British and European JSF orders would be excellent :)

A succesful ABM system makes nuclear strikes *less* likely, same as air defence systems such as the patriot/hawk ... why the anti's think this is a bad idea I have no clue, the only valid objections are purely technical, eg can it be done , I personally believe it can be.
 
#12
NotyouAgain said:
Only thing the HMG should be doing is leveraging a possible UK interceptor base against deals that would benefit the UK, such as putting pressure on L-M to share the FCS software with BAe, gaurentees that the UK would also be able to use the interceptors to defend ourselves etc etc etc. A UK JSF production line for British and European JSF orders would be excellent
Even the fact that we're effectively getting an ABM system for free makes it worth having. Anything extra we can chisel out would be a bonus.

NotyouAgain said:
A succesful ABM system makes nuclear strikes *less* likely, same as air defence systems such as the patriot/hawk ... why the anti's think this is a bad idea I have no clue, the only valid objections are purely technical, eg can it be done , I personally believe it can be.
Not only that, it makes an accidental nuclear war massively less likely. Right now, if an ICBM were launced by accident at the US or Russia, the logic is such that it is almost impossible not to launch your missiles in retaliation. If you are able to shoot down a single incoming missile, that gives you time to talk and find out that it was actually an accident. That is enough to prevent a nuclear war.
The technical issues are pretty easy. The US actually solved the problem of scoring direct hits on an inbound RV during the early 1960s with the Nike-Zeus missile. It was cancelled and the results classified by Robert S. McNamara to reduce objections to the concept of MAD - itself designed as a cost saving exercise as the cheapest way they could get a nuclear deterrent. The technical side is actually relatively easy because RVs come in on a ballistic arc - track them for a few seconds after their engines burn out and you know exactly where they will be at all points in the future. After that it's only a matter of building a big enough firework.

Incidentally, I always find it highly amusing that the people who think that the US is inherently evil for building this system never mention that the Russians have had a very similar system around Moscow for the best part of 40 years now.
 
#13
pdf27 said:
The technical side [of putting a ballistic missile interceptor on target] is actually relatively easy because RVs come in on a ballistic arc - track them for a few seconds after their engines burn out and you know exactly where they will be at all points in the future.
I recall reading that the attacking ICBM can spew a lot of metallized mylar balloons which simulate the radar return of an authentic threat. This supposedly can swamp the defender at a modest cost to the attacker.

Also, that modern re-entry vehicles include multiple, independently targeted re-entry vehicles.

If memory serves correctly, Mr. Putin was recently boasting of some sort of big breakthrough in this field.

I've read that the surest, easiest way to kill the attacker's ICBM is with a "booster phase" interception, when the thing is still going up, with first stage engine burning.

USA is working on some type of chemical laser, carried in the fuselage of a cargo jet, as a means of achieving booster phase interception.
 
#14
Not_Whistlin_Dixie said:
I recall reading that the attacking ICBM can spew a lot of metallized mylar balloons which simulate the radar return of an authentic threat. This supposedly can swamp the defender at a modest cost to the attacker.
It would have 20-30 years ago, but nowadays computers are fast enough to filter them out. They don't have quite the same radar return and there is enough atmosphere about up there that they don't have the same ballistic performance anyway.
Incidentally, it appears that the current plan is to simply blast all the decoys out of the way (bursting the balloons) and kill whatever is left. Since the decoys will have effectively zero cross-range manouverability, this isn't all that hard. I've been told (although I'm not entirely sure if the guy was joking) that the material of choice for bursting them is grape flavour jelly. Turns to sharp crystals under vacuum and the grape flavour stuff is effectively invisible.

Not_Whistlin_Dixie said:
Also, that modern re-entry vehicles include multiple, independently targeted re-entry vehicles.
Yep, that's why this system is no threat at all to the Russians and won't be any threat to the Chinese when they finish modernising their arsenal in the next couple of years. However, that isn't the whole story. Back before the Russians deployed their ABM/SAM system the British nuclear weapons (at that time delivered by the V-bombers) were targetted on about 100 or so different places in Russia. The defences have cut that down so that nowadays we can take out Moscow and everything in it with certainty, but have no weapons left over for anything else. It's a wierd fact but ABM systems seem to be best at protecting things they don't directly cover.
If the US was serious about a defensive system however they'd just put nuclear warheads in their interceptor missiles. MIRVs don't actually have very much cross-range ability so a big enough explosion going off in the centre of the group of MIRVs would destroy all of them. Fallout is actually a pretty minor problem if the explosion is at high enough altitude, and "EMP" really isn't the danger it is claimed to be. However, the US doesn't need to do so and hence isn't.

Not_Whistlin_Dixie said:
If memory serves correctly, Mr. Putin was recently boasting of some sort of big breakthrough in this field.
From memory all he was boasting of was the ability of Russian RVs to manouver on the way into a target. That's nothing new - the Chevaline upgrade to the UK Polaris missiles was able to do something similar 20 years or so ago. Because of the extremely high speeds involved their manouverability is very limited and this will at best cut down the efficiency of defences - it won't defeat them completely.

Not_Whistlin_Dixie said:
I've read that the surest, easiest way to kill the attacker's ICBM is with a "booster phase" interception, when the thing is still going up, with first stage engine burning. USA is working on some type of chemical laser, carried in the fuselage of a cargo jet, as a means of achieving booster phase interception.
Yep. The problem with that is that whatever you hit the missile with has to be pretty close to the launcher. The airbourne laser has to be within something like 100 miles (depends on weather) and the various missile options have to be even closer. Say Iran decides to kick off at some point in the future - how confident would you be driving a Boeing 747 around over Iranian territory in case they launch? When it works it's great, but it isn't always possible.
On a side note, the other reason boost phase interception is so desirable is that whatever is in the missile will fall on the launching country rather than you. A nuclear device will no doubt be smashed up in the shoot-down, but if it's loaded with something like Smallpox or Sarin that's a very different matter.
 
#15
pdf27 said:
Even the fact that we're effectively getting an ABM system for free makes it worth having. Anything extra we can chisel out would be a bonus.
A quick glance at www.mda.mil would seem to indicate that there are different types of missiles for defeating ICBMs at the various different phases of flight. You can bet good money that the interceptors based in the UK will be designed to defeat in-coming nukes in their mid-course phase, not the terminal phase, and would therefore be naff all use for defending the UK. Of course, they would also make us a priority target in the event of a nuclear attack on the US. I'm glad that I don't live in Yorkshire.
 
#16
Vapour said:
pdf27 said:
Even the fact that we're effectively getting an ABM system for free makes it worth having. Anything extra we can chisel out would be a bonus.
A quick glance at www.mda.mil would seem to indicate that there are different types of missiles for defeating ICBMs at the various different phases of flight. You can bet good money that the interceptors based in the UK will be designed to defeat in-coming nukes in their mid-course phase, not the terminal phase, and would therefore be naff all use for defending the UK. Of course, they would also make us a priority target in the event of a nuclear attack on the US. I'm glad that I don't live in Yorkshire.
Go work out the maths on ICBM and interceptor range, and the definition of "mid-coures" and "terminal". I would be very, very surprised indeed if they didn't have quite a substantial capacity against incoming ICBMs targetted at them.
In any case, it's kind of irrelevant. If a major power (i.e. the Russians) started lobbing ICBMs at us we would be utterly screwed anyway (perhaps 2% of the population still alive in a years time) and adding one extra target won't make a blind bit of difference. That's the only situation where it would be a major target, and there are a hell of a lot of others about (from Aldermaston onwards)
If a few crazies started lobbing the odd IRBM or ICBM about the system would probably be able to take care of it and in any case it would be pretty low down the target list. Places like London would be massively higher.

So who do you think might think of launching a nuclear attack on the US, has the missiles to spare to hit a defensive system and wouldn't attack the UK in the process? I can't think of anyone.
 
#17
Wouldnt it be cheaper just to stick it in a container and fed ex it too the states if you wanted too nuke them .Its exspensive and it dosent work and being an allie
of the US doesnt seem to do this country any good better off distancing ourselves espically from mad schemes .
 
#18
Why is it that every bullet the Spams export has to be ratified and authorised by Congress and various committees while Bliar can just sign off on these sorts of deals without much caring what Parliament thinks?

Thats the real issue.
 
#19
pdf27 said:
Go work out the maths on ICBM and interceptor range
As soon as I get hold of the highly classified, US-Eyes Only data on the performance of SM-3; buy myself a significantly upgraded scientific calculator; and find the time to revise the physics I did at university twelve years ago I shall make this my top priority. I have no doubt that these missiles will have a certain amount of capability against threats targeted straight at them, but they certainly won't be optimised for it.

Taz_786 said:
Why is it that every bullet the Spams export has to be ratified and authorised by Congress and various committees while Bliar can just sign off on these sorts of deals without much caring what Parliament thinks?
I agree. I am certain that it will be in the best interests of the American people to have a first-line of defence based in the UK, but will it be in ours? Having interceptor missiles based in Britain would be a high-profile message that we support the United States, right or wrong. Events over the last few years, such as Iraq and the rise of Christian fundamentalism, make me firmly of the opinion that this would be unwise without an awful lot of debate on the matter.

I Like your signature, Taz. Now that a farmer and scholar of the classics has told us how great the Iraqi armed forces are, I'm sure everything will be fine.
 
#20
It doesn't work and would be like hitting a bullet with a bullet. Also if we are so close to the yanks, why won't they let us have the JSF Technology.
 

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