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April 23, 2010

Friday War Pron: Prompt Global Strike

Happy FiAF morons.

Friday's are always good, especially when the boss is out (yay me!), but if there's anything I like more than Friday, it's a contest between two competing futuristic weapons systems to deliver awesome death and destruction anywhere on the planet in less than an hour. Or a breakfast burrito from Taqueria #3. Those are good too.

The weapons are both part of a proposed system called Prompt Global Strike. A submarine-launched Trident II, and the air-launched hypersonic X-51 cruise missile.

...At the top of its parabola, hanging in space, the Trident's four warheads separate and begin their screaming descent down toward the planet. Traveling as fast as 13,000 mph, the warheads are filled with scored tungsten rods with twice the strength of steel. Just above the target, the warheads detonate, showering the area with thousands of rods-each one up to 12 times as destructive as a .50-caliber bullet. Anything within 3000 sq. ft. of this whirling, metallic storm is obliterated.

Bunk. Me. Am There.

But eventually, Prompt Global Strike could encompass new generations of aircraft and armaments five times faster than anything in the current American arsenal. One candidate: the X-51 hypersonic cruise missile, which is designed to hit Mach 5 -- roughly 3600 mph. The goal, according to the U.S. Strategic Command's deputy commander Lt. Gen. C. Robert Kehler, is "to strike virtually anywhere on the face of the Earth within 60 minutes."

X-51.jpg

I got a rocket in my pocket and it goes up to Mach five baby.

In the analysis there's some back and forth over how you use a ballistic missile without making the rest of the world freak out and think it's a nuke attack, but by the time we actually deploy this awesomeness Obama will have given away all out nukes anyway. So problem solved.

Thanks to Gabriel Malor for the link.

DOH! Forgot to link the NYT article from today that references these. Buried in the new START treaty is a promise that for every one of these things we deploy, we'll decommission a nuke.

See? Told you Obama could fix that whole "ballistic missile jitters" thing.


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posted by Dave In Texas at 09:52 AM

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