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Thread: Star Wars and missile technology

  1. #1 Star Wars and missile technology 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    The star wars project, is all about intercepting an incoming ballistic missile and literally shooting it out of the sky....

    .....I am wondering though about something....Okay the enemies missile will have an onboard computer operating at a particular frequency. I am wondering whether in furture it will be possible to somehow intercept this frequency (possibly via a laser tracking beam) and reverse it, so instead of destroying the missile mid-air, instead you could send the missile BACK where it came from. the missile would complete a 180 degree turn, going back on itself and tracking back on the same trajectory from where it was launched, taking out the enemies missile launcher, using, erm, their own missile........Although the technicalities of it would be a little difficult, I cannot see why this type of weapon system could not be developed and employed.


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  3. #2  
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    Leo,

    If it's higher than sub-orbital there won't be enough fuel on bard to 'turn it around' that would require there to be [at least] twice the launch fuel on board at the time you want to turn it. Most missiles can be aborted [self destruct] through a very complex sequence of encrypted codes, even if the enemy knew these or could guess them, they are usually only activated by a rearward facing reciever (ie the launch site can send a command as the missile races away). Apart from that the missile does not know where it was launched from, or keep a record of it's track, it will only know where it is, and where it need to go. Keeping a record on board would be suicide since if the warhead fails to detonate and the missile lands (say in water) such info might be retrievable.


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    Im a bit confused about the point of this project.

    I read somewhere that shooting down a missile with another missile is like trying to shoot down a bullet with another bullet.

    And that would take precision electirical engineering and split-second timing.

    So the people in charge have the job of sending an electrical machine from somewhere to somewhere else with split-second accuracy.

    This doesn't sound to me like a job for the British.

    "The missile due to intercept Chinese warhead number 040050 at 08:45:21 has been delayed. A tank service will be sent instead."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    Im a bit confused about the point of this project.

    I read somewhere that shooting down a missile with another missile is like trying to shoot down a bullet with another bullet.

    And that would take precision electirical engineering and split-second timing.

    So the people in charge have the job of sending an electrical machine from somewhere to somewhere else with split-second accuracy.

    This doesn't sound to me like a job for the British.

    "The missile due to intercept Chinese warhead number 040050 at 08:45:21 has been delayed. A tank service will be sent instead."
    You had me in stitches when I read your post. Sad but oh so true !

    anyhow....yes its like the bullet thing you said, although remember that bullets are small things that travel at super sonic speeds over a relatively short distance so you wouldnt have the time (or accuracy) to shoot a bullet down with erm, another bullet.

    You can intercept a missile via its heat signiture and slam another missile into it - no probs !! - You can also use directed energy weapons to bring the missile down.

    Captain to XO on British ship: "Step up to red alert immediately!"

    XO to Captain: "Are you absolutely sure sir? It does mean changing the bulbs!"
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    you guys are over looking the laser aspect to missile defense. ballistic missile - missile interceptors are only a small part of the defense shield. Right now, they have functional ground based laser systems and 2 YAL-1 Airborne Laser platforms. Both of which are surpasing test after test. The future missile defense shield will see a complete fleet of Airborne Laser AL-1s, you will see more and more ground based laser stations and a incorporation of 'mirrors' which will increase the AL-1 and ground based laser ranges. In space, there are KILSATS which basically shoot clusters of 'pebels' directly at ICBMs entering the space stage (however I don't know if they are still active).

    I think they must be updating Star Wars with all those NASA STS launches due to the successful Chinese shoot-down of one of their own satellites.
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    Using a missile to directly intercept an incoming ICBM has been almost completely canned. The only efforts being made now that use missiles, are those that use a missile to deliver some sort of countermeasure to the ICBM. Be it a laser, flak, etc. The capabilities of actually hitting one missile with another are utterly impractical compared to other surfacing ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Using a missile to directly intercept an incoming ICBM has been almost completely canned. The only efforts being made now that use missiles, are those that use a missile to deliver some sort of countermeasure to the ICBM. Be it a laser, flak, etc. The capabilities of actually hitting one missile with another are utterly impractical compared to other surfacing ideas.
    And now in 2008 the USA are building a missile shield in Poland and Tschech Republic so it can be seen that missile vs ICBM missile solution is not dead, other way the US would have invested in lasers.
    So are lasers dead?
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    Two words: Beam divergence

    And a couple more.....mirror surface of the missiles. Oh and why do you think laser cutting is done at extreme close range? So yes lasers are dead or rather for this prupose they never were alive. This was just some guys from defense companies milking Ronnies SDI-dollars for all it was worth.
    Like X-ray lasers and somesuch. Oh yeah, and all those "successfull" tests with targets with exactly known trajectories. I mean 50% of those were misses, so what do you think the outcome would be if you had to thwart an attack with dozens of ICBMs all of them comming with their own decoy warheads and "chaff" at unknown trajectories with next to no warning time i.e around 20 minutes
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    taking down a missile is SO EASY!!! Jets can do it easy, ever heard of aa, laser platforms, and frequency hacks
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    Quote Originally Posted by the man of science
    taking down a missile is SO EASY!!! Jets can do it easy, ever heard of aa, laser platforms, and frequency hacks
    All from Hollywood weapons corp ?
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  12. #11  
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    No all from the military actually.
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  13. #12 Re: Star Wars and missile technology 
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    The star wars project, is all about intercepting an incoming ballistic missile and literally shooting it out of the sky....

    .....I am wondering though about something....Okay the enemies missile will have an onboard computer operating at a particular frequency. I am wondering whether in furture it will be possible to somehow intercept this frequency (possibly via a laser tracking beam) and reverse it, so instead of destroying the missile mid-air, instead you could send the missile BACK where it came from. the missile would complete a 180 degree turn, going back on itself and tracking back on the same trajectory from where it was launched, taking out the enemies missile launcher, using, erm, their own missile........Although the technicalities of it would be a little difficult, I cannot see why this type of weapon system could not be developed and employed.
    The trick is you have to break their encryption first. The computer on the missile is protected in the same way as any internet firewall, or other computer systems protect themselves.

    The main difference is, you don't even know what operating system that missile's computer is running, so even if you break their encryption, you wouldn't know how to send it instructions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazz
    Im a bit confused about the point of this project.

    I read somewhere that shooting down a missile with another missile is like trying to shoot down a bullet with another bullet.

    And that would take precision electirical engineering and split-second timing.

    So the people in charge have the job of sending an electrical machine from somewhere to somewhere else with split-second accuracy.

    This doesn't sound to me like a job for the British.

    "The missile due to intercept Chinese warhead number 040050 at 08:45:21 has been delayed. A tank service will be sent instead."
    All the SDI plans that were ever made involved using a small nuke instead of an ordinary missile. That way you don't have to hit it dead on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Using a missile to directly intercept an incoming ICBM has been almost completely canned. The only efforts being made now that use missiles, are those that use a missile to deliver some sort of countermeasure to the ICBM. Be it a laser, flak, etc. The capabilities of actually hitting one missile with another are utterly impractical compared to other surfacing ideas.
    Whether or not to do this was actually debated first in 1969, and was considered feasible then. (But remember we're talking about shooting down those nukes using nukes, so it's not as impressive as it might sound)

    I actually have copy of Congress's official report (the publicly released version, of course) on the discussion that I found in a Good Will book bin one day. None of the reasons they gave for canning it were technical at all. Instead they were practical things.

    1) - No matter how well you set it up, the enemy can always overwhelm it just by firing more missiles at a time than you can stop at a time.

    2) - It confuses MADD diplomacy. You don't want to send a message to the enemy that you think you're invincible, and might consider attacking them.

    3) - You're using nukes to stop nukes, so there's still going to be fallout.

    Those are the ones that jumped out at me. Today I'd say it was impractical because all an enemy has to do to hit us is smuggle some mini-nukes over the Mexican border. If they send 20 of them, I'm pretty sure 13 will get through.
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