More proof missile defense works

Good thing Obama is cutting funding for missile defense; otherwise he might be forced to face the fact that it works:

The test involved the intercept of a short-range unitary target in the endoatmosphere (inside the earth’s atmosphere). The target, representing a short-range ballistic missile threat, was launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform located in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. Upon acquiring and tracking the target, the THAAD system developed a fire control solution and launched an interceptor missile, which acquired and successfully intercepted the target missile. The intercept occurred at the lowest altitude to date for the THAAD interceptor missile, which has the capability to engage targets both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere.

Here’s video of the test in action:

McKittrick at Closing Velocity provides some more fun facts for skeptics. Here are a couple:

  1. It was a nighttime intercept, which has been touted by skeptics to be some sort of impossible challenge.
  2. The target SCUD was launched from the decommissioned USS Tripoli, mimicking the oft-referenced scenario of a sneaky, rust-bucket freighter lurking off the coast of a major city.

Click through to read the rest.

Now, you’d think that with potential ballistic missile threats from Iran and North Korea, any American president would want to put in place systems to shoot down single missiles or small-scale attacks. You would be wrong. Let me remind you of then-Senator Obama’s promise, which seems to be one of the few he plans to keep:

I’m certain missile defense has plenty of technical challenges remaining to be dealt with, and no one believes it’s close to being a shield for North America in case of a massive attack, but it strikes me as more than a bit irresponsible for the administration not to pursue this for defense against smaller attacks when the technology seems so promising.

UPDATE: Hot Air relates the disturbing news that the Obama administration may be open to killing missile defense via a treaty.

2 Responses to More proof missile defense works

  1. Porkchop says:

    Having worked for a company that actually works on these systems, the chances of it working in a non-drill situation are pretty thin. Yes, the team wasn’t warned of the exact launch time, but they were manning an experimental anti-missile system and knew they would be tested… against a single attacker. Show me a test where the enemy launches a volley and then I’ll be impressed.

    Compare (if you’re willing to take the time) the accuracy rate of the Patriot in testing vs its success rate in battlefield conditions. Touting the nighttime attack as being more difficult is BS: the bright lights and heat of a night launch is easier to detect. Even if you’re willing to accept that it’ll only work a fraction of the time, to actually protect a target you’d need a lot of these paid for, manned, and maintained. It would be enormously expensive (billions, at least) and fractionally effective. It would be useless against any serious government mounting an attack on the US, and potentially even useless against terrorists who could launch multiple attacks.

    It is yet another porky boondoggle, just like the second engine for the F-35, manned space travel, and F-22.

  2. […] for? Just what was he discussing regarding missile defense? He’s already scaled back our promising program severely. What more was he discussing with the Russians that would be too hot for public […]

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