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December 07, 2008

Video: As Obama Sharpens His Axe, the Coolest Missile Defense Tech You've Never Seen - [McKittrick]

With the successful hit-to-kill test Friday of the interceptor we're planning to deploy in Poland (actually we tested the 3-stage version; Europe will get a simpler 2-stage interceptor), President-elect Obama should have a much harder time scrapping European missile defense:

If we can responsibly deploy missile defenses that would protect us and our allies we should but only when the system works. We need to make sure any missile defense system would be effective before deployment. --- Barack Obama, July 16, 2007

This was the 8th successful intercept by our Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), which is already operational and deployed in the US. As you read this, over 20 of these birds are in Alaskan silos and another handful in California on alert for any ICBM launch against the US --- hostile or accidental.

As GBI further cements its status as proven missile defense --- along with the wildly successful Aegis ships, THAAD and good ol' Patriot --- what "unproven missile defense systems" are left for Obama to eliminate?

Well, you already know about the Airborne Laser (ABL) --- it's at the top of Obama's hit list. But there's one crucial technology you've never heard of: the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) --- PREPARE TO DIE multiple times (bonerific video after the break):

The middle part of that video is ACTUAL test footage from last week, not part of the CGI eye-candy that bookends it. As Ace might say, "Unnnnhhhh.... uugghghhhh...."

While still in development, and by definition "unproven," MKV is vital to our ability to deal with ICBM countermeasures. Today, each GBI lofts a single kill vehicle --- one KV for each warhead and each countermeasure. That's a shitload of KV's and interceptors, an extremely hairy and costly solution. MKV will be a huge force multiplier.

The countermeasure whine is the last remaining talking point critics use to attack missile defense, and MKV addresses it head on.

"Attack missile defense"? Am I implying that missile defense critics are on the same side as those who would actually, you know, "attack" missile defense?

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posted by xgenghisx at 09:16 AM

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