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August 18, 2009

Good News is No News: THAAD Missile Defense Test Spectacularly Successful in Realistic Test; Media Fails to Notice

Aviation Week reports, but don't expect the information to get out further than that.


Closing Velocity has it:

Two different Thaad interceptors were launched against a single target, simulating an Army operational concept of dispatching a salvo of weapons to ensure a threat is destroyed. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and industry officials declared the flight test a success shortly after it was executed.

However, they disclosed to Aviation Week only recently that the results exceeded their expectations. Early reports from the Pentagon said the second interceptor was intentionally destroyed in flight after the first disabled the target in a hit-to-kill engagement.

“Actually, what happened on the flight test was that the first interceptor hit just as it was supposed to and the second interceptor looked at all of this debris and said, ‘OK, I’ve got another something that looks interesting,’ picked out another threat, and went out and killed it,” says Tom McGrath, Thaad vice president for prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “The second intercept hit another piece of hardware. We can’t talk about what that was, but it picked out what logically you would expect it to pick out and killed it.”

I don't know why they're being coy about that. They mean it either locked in on the heat signature of the still-hot engines, or (less likely) it locked on to a radioactive trace they put into the warhead to make it play like a nuke.

It's not as if enemies can't guess what they're talking about. And it's not as if anyone's jaw is gong to drop at news that a missile locks on heat-signatures.

They pretty much flat-out say "it locked on to something it was keyed to seek, apart from physical mass." If they wanted to hide this they should have just said the second interceptor went after the biggest remaining bit of mass, and we wouldn't be sitting here wondering what the missile was targeting apart from mass.

Closing Velocity also re-rubbishes the already-rubbished fatuous arguments against missile defense.


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posted by Ace at 01:05 PM

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