SomeGuy123

Stopping an ICBM with an orbital interceptor

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I think you underestimate the size of space, you would need a gigant excrementston of ball bearings to have a high chance to hit a warhead. Dont forget, one warhead comming through would result in thousands of deaths, so you have to be absolutely sure. Additionaly it would prevent a counterattack, although reasonable people would call that an upside...

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Orbitally based interceptors are ineffective: much more practical is ground-or-sea-based-relatively-close-to-launch-site interceptors - actuality the idea behind USA global anti-ballistic missile is like that. Any ICBM is most vulnerable on passive stage of it's trajectory: between it leaves atmosphere and coasting to apoapsis. On this stage it is easy to detect from large distance and can't make large maneuvers to evade interceptor: mostly because it is to early to perform warheads separation.

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14 hours ago, 1greywind said:

Orbitally based interceptors are ineffective: much more practical is ground-or-sea-based-relatively-close-to-launch-site interceptors - actuality the idea behind USA global anti-ballistic missile is like that. Any ICBM is most vulnerable on passive stage of it's trajectory: between it leaves atmosphere and coasting to apoapsis. On this stage it is easy to detect from large distance and can't make large maneuvers to evade interceptor: mostly because it is to early to perform warheads separation.

Easily rectified by splitting the bus early. MIMRVs can do that easily. Also, penaids. Expect 50 or so fake targets for one real one.

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On 9/10/2016 at 4:25 AM, MarvinKitFox said:

Orbital kill is easy, if you don't care too much about mucking up space for a bit.

 

Simply launch a few dozen rockets into suitable polar orbits, each dispenses a few hundred microsats.

Each microsat contains a hundred grams or so of ballbearings, on a spring load. And a teensy gyro for pointing, and a remote guidance and trigger.

 

you can basically *flood* an area of LEO several square kilometers with 1 gram ballbearings, evenly spread and with a relative velocity of about 18 km/s

No need for exacting timing, or aim. just dump enough mass in the path.

 

Each bearing will have the impact energy of TEN .50cal BMG rounds, enough to shred an armored truck, much less an icbm.

Then someone would do the depressed trajectory. Job done, zero resistance, better fireworks.

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1 hour ago, YNM said:

Then someone would do the depressed trajectory.

At the cost of considerably less accuracy (due to a longer time and shallower trajectory during the re-entry phase), and heavier RV's (because of the longer heat pulse and the higher peak heating).

Really, both sides of this debate are making the same classic error - assigning all the advantages to their 'side' and presuming that there are no disadvantages.

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On 9/8/2016 at 5:37 PM, _Augustus_ said:

Barbarian looks AWESOME!!!

Almost as awesome as the proposed quad pack Saturn 

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4 minutes ago, Nothalogh said:

Almost as awesome as the proposed quad pack Saturn 

Wait what?

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12 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

At the cost of considerably less accuracy (due to a longer time and shallower trajectory during the re-entry phase), and heavier RV's (because of the longer heat pulse and the higher peak heating).

Really, both sides of this debate are making the same classic error - assigning all the advantages to their 'side' and presuming that there are no disadvantages.

Heavier RVs ? Reduce warhead. (yes, most active ICBMs are OP for their accuracy today).

Not sure with the second point. Why should it be ? Many has realized it's potentials, and are moving for more aerodynamic designs.

 

Anyway, enough off topic ?

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10 hours ago, Nothalogh said:

Four Saturn first stages bolted together in a four pack

Wait what? :D

Can you share any more information on that? Like who proposed that, when and for what purpose?

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On 9/9/2016 at 11:25 PM, MarvinKitFox said:

Orbital kill is easy, if you don't care too much about mucking up space for a bit.

Not convinced.

Mucking it up enough so that spaceflight becomes impractical is comparatively easy: a 0.1% chance of impact per orbit becomes something like a 30-40% per month. But for a meaningful missile defense you'd need (say) 80% impact probability on the first and only opportunity. That would require a lot of shrapnel.

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20 hours ago, DerekL1963 said:

At the cost of considerably less accuracy (due to a longer time and shallower trajectory during the re-entry phase), and heavier RV's (because of the longer heat pulse and the higher peak heating).

Really, both sides of this debate are making the same classic error - assigning all the advantages to their 'side' and presuming that there are no disadvantages.

You dont need heavier RVs, most SLBMs can be used as-is for depressed trajectories. Loss in accuracy is partially offset by shorter travel distance. However, the main proposed use for depressed trajectory was for a first-strike. This first strike would be a steady stream of warheads detonated over ICBM silos in order to disrupt or destroy ICBMs in-flight or even just postpone their launch, giving your side a much better chance to get their ICBMs off first, and a greater chance to kill enemy ICBMs before they leave the ground. Pinpoint accuracy is not required.

The greatest disadvantage is the reduced range, hence it is mostly discussed with reference to SLBMs, which can be snuck up to an enemy coast and launched from there.

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On 10.09.2016 at 4:06 PM, DDE said:

Easily rectified by splitting the bus early. MIMRVs can do that easily.

Splitting takes time. It must put every warhead on another trajectory, not just spit out.

On 11.09.2016 at 10:16 PM, Nothalogh said:

Four Saturn first stages bolted together in a four pack

Saturn TetraPak.

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

Splitting takes time. It must put every warhead on another trajectory, not just spit out.

Saturn TetraPak.

If it's a MIMRV, the warheads do that themselves. Plus, both the Chinese and the Russians are researching hypersonic gliders for post-entry maneuvering.

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3 minutes ago, DDE said:

Multiple. Independent. Maneuvering.

No, I'm about

1 hour ago, DDE said:

hypersonic gliders for post-entry maneuvering.

Multiple too?
 

Spoiler

hqdefault.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

Multiple too?

  Hide contents

hqdefault.jpg

Quite, likely, yeah. 10-15 on each Sarmat. The image above is, as best as I can determine, a US PGS concept with an HTV-2.

Judging by some procurement paper trail, Yu-71/Item 4202 has been tested on old UR-100 missiles over the last decade, suggesting it's around 2 t apiece. It's a third-generation design with the first being a 15F178, tested in 1985-91; NPO Mashinostroyeniya developed a dedicated 15P170 Albatross missile with SLA-1 and SLA-2 gliders and included it in a publicized prospect in the sloppy '90s.

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On September 11, 2016 at 0:52 PM, DerekL1963 said:

At the cost of considerably less accuracy (due to a longer time and shallower trajectory during the re-entry phase), and heavier RV's (because of the longer heat pulse and the higher peak heating).

Really, both sides of this debate are making the same classic error - assigning all the advantages to their 'side' and presuming that there are no disadvantages.

While there are certainly problems with depressed trajectory systems, there is significant funding available to research and development for depressed trajectory systems.

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21 minutes ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

While there are certainly problems with depressed trajectory systems, there is significant funding available to research and development for depressed trajectory systems.

[[Citation Needed]]   As far as is publicly known, nobody has ever tested a depressed trajectory system.  And the limits I described are fundamental problems, and are going to be difficult to solve at best.

Edited by DerekL1963

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47 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

[[Citation Needed]]   As far as is publicly known, nobody has ever tested a depressed trajectory system.  And the limits I described are like the rocket equation or the law of gravity - fundamental principles not amenable to being overcome by research and development.

Although there has not been an actual test of a depressed trajectory ballistic vehicle, there have been several papers on applying current vehicles to depressed trajectories and most hypersonic vehicle tests based off sounding rockets employ a depressed trajectory (source: Jess Sponable though I have been unable to find any text sources on thus). Also the issues you brought up are controls, heat transfer, and material problems which can be overcome.

Edited by A Fuzzy Velociraptor

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On 9/7/2016 at 10:24 PM, kerbiloid said:

They almost always prohibit not something terrible, but something treated as useless but expensive by both sides, Just to avoid headache to themselves and each other, after numerous attempts to create it.

Can you give me a few examples? The ones I can think of are things like land mines and war gasses: Useful and fully-developed tech, but they ended up killing too many innocents.

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6 hours ago, Beowolf said:

Can you give me a few examples? The ones I can think of are things like land mines and war gasses: Useful and fully-developed tech, but they ended up killing too many innocents.

Chemical weapons.

Any reference table about its efficiency shows that it has almost 95% efficiency against unprotected units, but less than 5% against trained and equipped.
So, chemically striking a combat unit you would gain a little, but attacking a unit like a hospital, storehouse, another logistics object, training camp, etc, you cause mass casualties among enemy forces.
This, from one side makes it doubtful as a battlefield weapon, but makes any chemical weapon a high priority target for a couter- or preventive strike.
And as it would make thousand casualties quickly, the opponent can't and won't play counterbattery. He'd just reply with a tactical nuclear strike, and its efficiency is greater, both against combat and logistics units.

So, chemical weapon means a large headache for its owner, because its dangerous, vulnerable and bulky.
But its usage is just a way to start a nuclear exchange giving the opponent the first turn.
That means that nuclear states don't really need chemical weapons against each other, 'cause nuke rules.

From another side, they don't need chemical weapons against non-nuke opponents. They have enough effective conventional weapons, and just for insurance, nukes.
From the third side, chemical weapons in terrorists' hands (if they get it in some unstable state) would make problem for both peacekeepers and civilians.

So, for nuke states it's more relevant to make a defense against chemicals, rather than use it.
As a result, they prohibited the chemical weapons.


Anti-infantry mines (only anti-infantry ones are trying to be prohibited).

A hypothetic conflict between nuclear states unlikely would look like WW I/II two-year battles.
It's looks air/anti-air, tank/anti-tank, ship/anti-ship maneuvering style. While the infantry is mostly placed in/on APC and has mine clearance systems.
So, anti-infantry mines don't look as something absolutely necessary in such case.

From another side, they don't need much anti-infantry mines against non-nuke opponents. They have enough effective conventional weapons, and just for insurance, nukes.
From the third side, anti-infantry mines in terrorists' hands (if they get it in some unstable state) would make problem for both peacekeepers and civilians.

So, for nuke states it's more relevant to make a defense against anti-infantry mines, rather than use it.
As a result, they prohibited the anti-infantry mines. Oops. To avoid politics, you can read in wiki who have and have not ratified it.
Mostly those who haven't ratified the convention still maintain it, but on their good will. Just for case.


Expansive bullets.
For army are prohibited, for police - not.
But army doen't need them much. They fire tens thousands bullets to make one hit, expansive are expensive.
From another side, when somebody is hit in hudreds meters, not much difference, was the bullet expansive or simple.


ABM systems.

There were 3 or 4 generations of ABM from both sides, but we still read in news once per three years that an ABM successfully shot down a test target.
All public plans of space ABM weapons required thousand battle satellites, which looks far beyond any rational ability.
Airborne lasers were being tested in 80s, but...
So, in 70s they just made a treaty: thou shalt not get headache yourself and troll your counterpart, as we all know this is a toy for geeks, not something really useful nowadays.

SDI is now treated as a trolling, but who knows what it was in fact.
For example, the original NASA concepts of Space Shuttle look rather different from what has been built IRL.
Solid boosters instead of liquid, large side-maneuver useless for NASA but required to land on Vandenberg, oversized cargo bay. Looks unlikely like just a trolling. More like "Wanted but couldn't".
From another side, a countermeasure - Energy/Buran - was a hour of professional triumph for its developers. So, doesn't look like a simple "Russians took the bait".


SLBM as ICBM are prohibited.
SLBM typically have 3000 km less range than ICBM with full payload. Why to mix them?


Airborne ballistic missiles are prohibited.
A brilliant idea: to keep in air hundreds of cargo planes, vulnerable to air strike, trying to drop a 30-100 ton cargo.


Underwater containers with SLBM are prohibited.
Would it be really better than a lurking submarine or a hardcore SILO?
But sure more disturbing in sense of accounting.


Warheads amount were limited: 10 per ICBM and 14 (a strange number) per SLBM.
Tens of warheads on ICBM means you must rotate and move 5-10 ton bus to drop every 100 kg warhead.
You don't want it. Not much sense in keeping more than 10 warheads per missile.
Let's make a treaty: as no one needs it, let's limit, say, "10 per missile".
Wait, oh, sh... Poseidon and Trident already have 14. Ok, let's add "... and 14 per SLBM".
Did the Poseidon really want 14 heads? Could it really individually target them? Stays unknown.
For me, it looks like "three per one target, five per another, maybe some of them hits".
Did Trident want 14? It wanted 7 big heads (just as many as could lift), but if instead put two smalls, they are 14.
So, 14 looks not intentional for me, it looks like "We already have pushed 14 inside, whether we should blemish a working thing?" "O-o-o-K, let's write 14."


So, looks like any convention just prohibits to be a jerk, and that's the best guarantee of their observation.

Edited by kerbiloid

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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Chemical weapons.

Any reference table about its efficiency shows that it has almost 95% efficiency against unprotected units, but less than 5% against trained and equipped.
So, chemically striking a combat unit you would gain a little, but attacking a unit like a hospital, storehouse, another logistics object, training camp, etc, you cause mass casualties among enemy forces.
This, from one side makes it doubtful as a battlefield weapon, but makes any chemical weapon a high priority target for a couter- or preventive strike.
And as it would make thousand casualties quickly, the opponent can't and won't play counterbattery. He'd just reply with a tactical nuclear strike, and its efficiency is greater, both against combat and logistics units.

So, chemical weapon means a large headache for its owner, because its dangerous, vulnerable and bulky.
But its usage is just a way to start a nuclear exchange giving the opponent the first turn.
That means that nuclear states don't really need chemical weapons against each other, 'cause nuke rules.

From another side, they don't need chemical weapons against non-nuke opponents. They have enough effective conventional weapons, and just for insurance, nukes.
From the third side, chemical weapons in terrorists' hands (if they get it in some unstable state) would make problem for both peacekeepers and civilians.

So, for nuke states it's more relevant to make a defense against chemicals, rather than use it.
As a result, they prohibited the chemical weapons.


Anti-infantry mines (only anti-infantry ones are trying to be prohibited).

A hypothetic conflict between nuclear states unlikely would look like WW I/II two-year battles.
It's looks air/anti-air, tank/anti-tank, ship/anti-ship maneuvering style. While the infantry is mostly placed in/on APC and has mine clearance systems.
So, anti-infantry mines don't look as something absolutely necessary in such case.

From another side, they don't need much anti-infantry mines against non-nuke opponents. They have enough effective conventional weapons, and just for insurance, nukes.
From the third side, anti-infantry mines in terrorists' hands (if they get it in some unstable state) would make problem for both peacekeepers and civilians.

So, for nuke states it's more relevant to make a defense against anti-infantry mines, rather than use it.
As a result, they prohibited the anti-infantry mines. Oops. To avoid politics, you can read in wiki who have and have not ratified it.
Mostly those who haven't ratified the convention still maintain it, but on their good will. Just for case.


Expansive bullets.
For army are prohibited, for police - not.
But army doen't need them much. They fire tens thousands bullets to make one hit, expansive are expensive.
From another side, when somebody is hit in hudreds meters, not much difference, was the bullet expansive or simple.


ABM systems.

There were 3 or 4 generations of ABM from both sides, but we still read in news once per three years that an ABM successfully shot down a test target.
All public plans of space ABM weapons required thousand battle satellites, which looks far beyond any rational ability.
Airborne lasers were being tested in 80s, but...
So, in 70s they just made a treaty: thou shalt not get headache yourself and troll your counterpart, as we all know this is a toy for geeks, not something really useful nowadays.

SDI is now treated as a trolling, but who knows what it was in fact.
For example, the original NASA concepts of Space Shuttle look rather different from what has been built IRL.
Solid boosters instead of liquid, large side-maneuver useless for NASA but required to land on Vandenberg, oversized cargo bay. Looks unlikely like just a trolling. More like "Wanted but couldn't".
From another side, a countermeasure - Energy/Buran - was a hour of professional triumph for its developers. So, doesn't look like a simple "Russians took the bait".


SLBM as ICBM are prohibited.
SLBM typically have 3000 km less range than ICBM with full payload. Why to mix them?


Airborne ballistic missiles are prohibited.
A brilliant idea: to keep in air hundreds of cargo planes, vulnerable to air strike, trying to drop a 30-100 ton cargo.


Underwater containers with SLBM are prohibited.
Would it be really better than a lurking submarine or a hardcore SILO?
But sure more disturbing in sense of accounting.


Warheads amount were limited: 10 per ICBM and 14 (a strange number) per SLBM.
Tens of warheads on ICBM means you must rotate and move 5-10 ton bus to drop every 100 kg warhead.
You don't want it. Not much sense in keeping more than 10 warheads per missile.
Let's make a treaty: as no one needs it, let's limit, say, "10 per missile".
Wait, oh, sh... Poseidon and Trident already have 14. Ok, let's add "... and 14 per SLBM".
Did the Poseidon really want 14 heads? Could it really individually target them? Stays unknown.
For me, it looks like "three per one target, five per another, maybe some of them hits".
Did Trident want 14? It wanted 7 big heads (just as many as could lift), but if instead put two smalls, they are 14.
So, 14 looks not intentional for me, it looks like "We already have pushed 14 inside, whether we should blemish a working thing?" "O-o-o-K, let's write 14."


So, looks like any convention just prohibits to be a jerk, and that's the best guarantee of their observation.

Agree here, note that its also greater powers who have made this rules.
For an smaller country fighting rebels gas could have some use especially against fortified positions, however greater powers has enough air and artillery who works better. 
As you say it would be ineffective in an war between countries outside of hitting civilians. 

Mines has some uses, defending an base is one, defending an frontline is another. Reason the US don't ratify is the border to North Korea, 
Mines are expensive to remove. Its also a major problem that some spread them around just to create terror or restrict access to an area. They would not follow this ban anyway however it would be harder to buy mines.
Mines would anyway be replaced by automated combat systems and sensors. Much faster to set up, easy to remove and you can turn them on and off. 

Exploding bullets, made more fun in that expanding bullets are required for hunting. However its impractical for military use as you want penetration, lead or hollow pointed bullets will start to tumble if they hit an branch, they are far easier to stop with a cover of wood or snow or body armor. 

SLBM can be placed closer to target anyway so you don't need so long range. 
Airdropped balistic missiles or SLBM in underwater containers are both impractical as you say. 
With both treaty and economical limits of number of weapons both ideas make little sense. 

I thought the warhead restrictions was even stricter, think US only has one warhead on minuteman now. 
On the other hand with the 1000 warhead limit it makes some sense as you would want more on subs and keep some tactical weapons around. 
Background for this was with the increased accuracy you could take out enemy missile silos with an tactical nuke making it plausible with lots of warheads on an ICBM

You also have the ban against medium range missiles, here Soviet was afraid of an first strike with short warning time, see how US reacted on missiles on Cuba. 

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10 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

I thought the warhead restrictions was even stricter, think US only has one warhead on minuteman now. 

There were restrictions on total warhead count, so Peacekeepers were dismissed, while Minutemans III (-men?) now carry 1 instead of original 3. Also, Topols were limited with 1. Probably, nowadays this limit is already expired.

10 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

SLBM can be placed closer to target anyway so you don't need so long range. 

Arctic Ocean... 8000 vs 11000.

Edited by kerbiloid

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