Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

enqyoobOLD
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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 16 Jun 2008 17:36

Are you saying that a hypersonic missile kind of capability will make Indian ABM efforts much more credible, and will be a great asset in the only feasible wars that India may fight in near future, i.e. with Pakistan and China.


Both ABM, and offensive deterrent. India doesn't need ICBMs or megaton weapons to hit China. This thread, mind you, is about the pros and cons of Future Nuclear Testing. One of the arguments for that, advanced by the Experts, is that India has not demonstrated 1MT capability, and the demonstrated variable-yield thing cannot be scaled to 1MT. The argument for 1MT seems to be that it is needed on ICBMs because you can't affort to launch large numbers of ICBMs, so the few must count in order to "take out" buried C^3 facilities and maybe other things. I am arguing that BMs will not be able to do that, pretty soon. And so heavy investment in large ICBMs will only stop India from being able to develop the weapons that make BM threats obsolete.

And India does need 24-hour monitoring against BMs coming from Pakistan, with very short flight times, so that ground-launched ABMs are not adequate. Missile flight time from Pakistan to any major Indian city is on the order of a few minutes. This is just too short for ground-launched systems to be actually launched and get high enough to hit the incoming warheads. Basic calculations were posted a while back.

The Maginot Line was also based on the notion that attack could come ONLY from a certain direction, and ONLY using infantry with tanks in a certain type of tactics/operations. Did not anticipate fast-moving tank columns that just bypassed defenses or crossed rivers. The trouble with going all-out to become absolutely invulnerable in one type of conflict, is that the enemy quits planning to hit there, and looks to other ways of destruction.

To Harish:

As for why the advent of hypersonic aerodynamic missiles (things that are not just round tubes with thrusters) changes the game, I think I've posted that several times already, no sense in repeating, and no plans to go into more depth here, sorry. You can see that there is clearly a race on to get there, with the US and all Oirope scrambling, and Russia probably there as well. The argument that "India does not need advanced technology to counter Pakistan and China" only holds until the shiny systems show up at the Paris Air Show and the baksheesh is dangled, and someone gives hypersonic missiles to Pakistan so that they can "stop worrying about their eastern frontier and concentrate in the War on Terror on the Western Frontier". Same argument that led to the War-Elephant strategy.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 16 Jun 2008 19:51

N^3, India also has shown glimpses of her program for hypersonics. My only quibble is that bringing in hypersonics muddies this discussion on the future of testing. Wont payloads have to be adequately proofed whether the paradigm shifts to hypersonics or not? Your point is that traditonal rockets as a delivery vehicle could be challenged with hypersonic vehicles. What has that got to do with this thread? Besides if you look at the Agony series its highest hoped for range is 5000km which is hardly in I C B M class. So India is hardly investing heaviliy in that field.

I agree i c b m s could be passe or payload delivery be better enabled soon with powered or unpowered glide vehicles.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 16 Jun 2008 20:44

The relation to testing is that
a) no real need to validate a class of warhead & yield that is already proven. The loads are not any worse than they would be with ballistic + re-entry.
b) Delivery accuracy can be far greater because there is guidance and control power all the way, and even deep-penetrator applications may not then need large "vacuum burst" yield.
c) Given the two things above, no sense in sticking head above the trenches and doing :P at the world by live supercitical testing.
d) Big difference in investment level as a tech-demonstrator (along with beam weapons, Mars probes, interstellar/ time travel, and all the other things the netas declare at any time to be leading the world on, vs. investment as a major focus area of the national detergent. I am sure there isn't money to do both well even in the very wealthy countries, so this is a very powerful counter to the demands and arguments being made by the security analysts cited here.

As for hypersonics interest in India, I have seen in-depth papers that cite the early research on some critical technologies (air liquefaction, for instance) as being done in India. Same as Indian nuclear research history. Makes no difference to the sanctions /**PT / BT raj if India doesn't get there fast.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby sraj » 17 Jun 2008 20:09

enqyoob wrote: d) Big difference in investment level as a tech-demonstrator (along with beam weapons, Mars probes, interstellar/ time travel, and all the other things the netas declare at any time to be leading the world on, vs. investment as a major focus area of the national detergent. I am sure there isn't money to do both well even in the very wealthy countries, so this is a very powerful counter to the demands and arguments being made by the security analysts cited here.

In that case, could you please explain why the UK decided in 2007 to spend its very limited and dwindling resources on replacing their Trident deterrent with new ballistic missile submarines, new ballistic missiles, and an upgraded warhead?

And also identify the equivalent of the Pakistan-China combo for which the UK needs such a deterrent?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 17 Jun 2008 21:01

A travelogue from Hindu

Hiroshima forges ahead

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 17 Jun 2008 21:02

sraj wrote:
enqyoob wrote: d) Big difference in investment level as a tech-demonstrator (along with beam weapons, Mars probes, interstellar/ time travel, and all the other things the netas declare at any time to be leading the world on, vs. investment as a major focus area of the national detergent. I am sure there isn't money to do both well even in the very wealthy countries, so this is a very powerful counter to the demands and arguments being made by the security analysts cited here.

In that case, could you please explain why the UK decided in 2007 to spend its very limited and dwindling resources on replacing their Trident deterrent with new ballistic missile submarines, new ballistic missiles, and an upgraded warhead?

And also identify the equivalent of the Pakistan-China combo for which the UK needs such a deterrent?


Just a guess. The US will give the UK hypersonic hyperaccurate missiles anyway - no matter what the UK does - so the Trident is a lollipop for little baba to continue to feel the power like old days.

But there may be a hidden meaning in some things we have discussed here. It looks like ballistic missiles are getting more and more interceptable by various means - so the length of Indian danda may make no difference after 10-15 years.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby John Snow » 17 Jun 2008 21:06

After all this I have come to believe The Cons

8)

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby SaiK » 17 Jun 2008 22:44

time to develop mega ton peace bomb then, that turns all human brains to think only peace.. some kind of nerve gas that changes the dna structure in the brain!. :twisted:

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 17 Jun 2008 23:19

SaiK wrote:time to develop mega ton peace bomb then, that turns all human brains to think only peace.. some kind of nerve gas that changes the dna structure in the brain!. :twisted:

Maybe powered by the kabuli/horse gram as being discussed by GD in the nukkad thread! Gives new meaning to the phrase horse s**t

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 01:04

Ballistic missile submarines have interesting uses - as launchers of Special Ops helicopters etc. This is well-known fact - there have been several competitions to design such missions in kindergarten etc.

They are built to travel long distances and weeks/months away from base, stay submerged and silent for long times, and move quickly when needed. So it makes sense to refurbish them, much better than wasting money on rust-bucket aircraft carriers. This is not necessarily linked to advertised plans for refurbishing the missiles. Maybe they are taking the propellant out of the missiles and filling them with something else - like the Kabuli Polo Propellant. :mrgreen:

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby John Snow » 18 Jun 2008 01:35

Substitute for Kabooli Soondal

[url]
http://www.wise-uranium.org/umaps.html
[/url]

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 02:29

The French, Chinese, Russians are all investing in future ICBMs. The US LBSD (new generation of ICBMs) is scheduled for 2020. In the meantime they refurbish their current ICBM force.
The US is replacing the propellant in the Minuteman-3, updating guidance, replacing reentry vehicles etc.
The challenge of BMD is being met with fast burn lower stages (shortening vulnerable boost phase), maneuvering reentry vehicles, decoys, stealthy and hardened warheads etc with the option of increasing numbers to overwhelm any BMD.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 02:56

Gerard, that is very interesting - shows how imminent ppl believe BMD is, if they think they need fast-burn first stage to reduce boost-phase vulnerability. This means they are willing to risk much higher probability of launch vehicle exploding ("fast-burn" means "almost a bomb"). If you think about it, who can come close enough to hit US or Russian or Chinese ICBMs during boost phase (which is maybe below 100 miles in the ascent)??

Many Minuteman silos are out in the middle of the North American continent, and I am sure Russian silos are deep inside Russia and Chinese ones are deep in the Gobi or Tibet. No plane cruising off the coast or along the border has any hope of hitting these with laser beams etc. So what do they fear? Space weapons?
As for "next gen" in 2020, that may or may not be true, hey? Who can tell? Also, the numbers game is predictable, and ICBMs have no hope.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 03:14

Russians have no problem using high energy solid propellants (including Boron etc). Seems quite reliable. Not so good for environment.

They've studied the vulnerabilities of BMD to ensure that whatever system may eventually be deployed, if at all, they can overcome it with technology and overwhelm it with sheer numbers if need be.

Consider the Topol-M

Boost phase:
- a skin hardened against sustained laser illumination from systems such as the USAF's airborne laser system
- fast burn first stage gives it a boost phase that is "4.5 times shorter" than that of older missiles such as the SS-18 (whose boost phase was reportedly 300 seconds)
Midcourse:
- EMP hardened warheads
- stealthy, maneuvering Igla reentry vehicle has auxiliary engines that fire randomly.
- decoys and IR counter measures to defeat targeting sensors of exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicles
Terminal phase:
-hypersonic descent
-inertial and GLONASS guidance

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 03:30

the numbers game is predictable, and ICBMs have no hope.


Assuming 50% hit rate, you need twice the number of interceptors to kill a given number of ICBMs. The opponent then increase the number of deployed ICBMs to overwhelm the interceptors.

BMD doesn't make the ICBM obsolete. It just raises the cost of deployment. So you have both ballistic missile defense and offense. Only the most serious and determined of opponents will choose to play in an increasingly expensive club.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 04:00

Gerard, thanx. I can calculate the numbers, and thanx very much, I would prefer to be faaar away from any place where they use "fast-burn" propellants, however safe. The reason why the numbers game is on the side of the defender was posted a while back.

Please try reasoning with the facts I pointed out. Why are the Americans and Russians worried about boost-phase intercept, given where their missile silos are located? Try sketching a scenario where a missile is coming up out of the ground ... and you have to hit it before the vulnerable first stage is burned out. See the angles involved, and see where you need to be to see, react, aim and hit. Then let's think how this could possibly be achieved.

Maybe they know what can be done in boost phase because they can do it or know someone who can? And if they are worried enough to do all this "hardening" etc (which means they already have decided what sorts of things may be hitting the skin), then what does that imply for missiles launched from anywhere else? Can India-launched missiles be any safer?

And this is just boost phase. I had no idea that anyone was seriously worried about getting hit in boost phase, except countries that could do nothing about aircraft carriers or aerial-refueled planes patrolling along their borders, able to see and hit anything launched by line-of-sight. And even then, I thought it took so long between shots that there was no hope. But you are saying that these large countries are actually worried about boost-phase, so it's really a lot worse than I thought.

The Japanese ship-launched demo says that missiles can be hit within 7 minutes of launch, at 60 miles altitude. So now both boost and transition (or re-entry) phases can be hit. Space-based assets can probably hit things in mid-course.

I was not counting on ANY of these working when I say that the game has changed so that no warheads will hit within a very large protected area, and the attacker has no hope of launching more long-range ballistic missiles than the defender can knock down with assurance.

The trouble with the 50% hit rate calculation is that a short-range, re-usable interceptor has a launch mass of maybe 1/100th or even 1/1000th that of a ballistic missile. So the defender can focus far more interceptors than the attacker can ever afford to launch ballistic missiles. And current tests even with these one-shot ground-launched missiles are showing far better than 50% hit probability.

As for maneuvering, you can either maneuver using aerodynamic controls, which means after hitting the atmosphere, or using rocket thrusters. Try calculating the impulse per unit mass needed to change the trajectory of an object traveling at, say, 3000 m/s, by 10 degrees, and see how much that increases the mass of the object with any fuel you can imagine. Simple trigonometry. It's not easy to change trajectory. An aerodynamic interceptor can make the needed correction far easier, so maneuvering is no panacea either.

It's a lost cause.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 05:32

A simple demo on what "50% probability" means. Let's say that country X has Boost-Phase, transition, mid-course, theater high-altitude (transition back) and terminal stage defences. Each unfortunately has only 50% probability of hitting any given ballistic missile.
Let's say country Y is determined to hit a target (any target) in country X. We'll try to see how many missiles are needed for one to reach any target.
Because of launch uncertainties (like "fast-burn" first stages), 50% do not lift off.
So Fraction launched = (1-0.5)N
Fraction surviving boost = (1-0.5)^2N
Fraction surviving transition into Space = (1-0.5)^3N
Fraction surviving mid-course intercept = (1-0.5)^4N
Fraction surviving THAAD = (1-0.5)^5N
Fraction surviving terminal intercept = (1-0.5)^6N.
This means that 1.56% of what you launch will get through
So for one to get through, you need 64 missiles launched. Assuming 100% of your missiles actually "work".
Now suppose X increased the probability of each defense to 0.6. Now Y needs 245 missiles for one to get through.
If X increases probability to 0.75, Y needs 4096 for one to get through.
And if X increases probability of ONE of these defences to 90%, Y needs 10,240 missiles. Since you don't know WHICH one will get through, each of these needs to be at the 1MT level or whatever.
Can X put up enough boost-phase intercept capability to shoot at 10,240 missiles rising simultaneously? Well... if Y can build 10,240 to launch simultaneously, then X can certainly put up what is needed to knock them down.
***************************************************
Demo #2: Cricket or soccer analogy.
A cricket ball can be hit at a ballistic launch velocity of, say, 150mph or any speed below that. A human can run at maybe 10m/s = 23 mph and only along the ground, with the intercept having to occur within 8 feet of the ground (terminal stage intercept). Suppose you want to hit the ground 50 yards away with a ballistic launch. What's the probability that with 9 human catchers the ball will hit the ground around 50 yards away? With well-trained fielders, it's pretty poor, even though the fielder does not even start moving until the ball has risen way up (beyond boost-phase and transition). Now say that the fielder only has to touch the ball, not catch it. What's the probability now?
Now say that the fielder only has to get close enough to spray paint on the ball (equivalent of a blast wave). What's the probability of escaping that?
Now suppose the fielder can move in all 3 dimensions, instead of just the ground plane, at a pretty good velocity. What's your probability of escape now?
And only one fielder even has to move. This is the hypersonic guided intercept, vs. ballistic re-entry problem.

If the ball swings a bit in the air, the fielder has a tougher problem, but I can now shift to the problem of a swinging full-toss vs. batsman problem and show that the swinging ball has little hope either.
Same with a soccer ball vs. goalkeeper.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 05:51

But it isn't 50% at each phase, more like 50% overall.

And ICBMs, decoys and the like are cheaper than all those sensors and interceptors and lasers.

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_security/m ... sures.html

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 06:35

Ah, yes, Gerard, a convincing counter-argument and source, that. Totally unbiased.

Yeah, sure, as the Union of Concerned Scientists says, countries can send 1MT warheads dressed as balloons, holding signs saying "No Nukes!", with "cooling" to disguise the heat signature of ballistic re-entry at Mach 8 or 10. And the military is stupid enough to deploy systems where each step has only 10% probability of success?

How many of the THAAD tests are failing, any more? How many times has India already demonstrated hitting missiles with missiles? Why should mid-course hits in Space fail at all? Kinetic kill trajectories are perfectly predictable, and "dodging bullets" in Space is not at all easy. Knowing all these, why would you believe that OVERALL kill probability is only 50% just because the Union of Concerned Scientists said so many years ago? THIS makes sense to you?

I tried arguing with simple reason, but apparently there is no point in that here. But I can also use similar sources to what you post. In fact I can prove that the whole theory of ballistic missiles is wrong, so they are never going to work. Please enjoy this report which is based on 1,700,0000,000 years of human beliefs:
Cheers! :mrgreen:

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 06:43

Let's assume the BMD will blow everything out of the sky...

Why then are the Russians wasting their money on Topol-M and Bulava?
Why are the French still building SSBNs and the M51 SLBM?

An awful lot of money and effort on supposedly obsolete technology...

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby rocky » 18 Jun 2008 07:19

Fast burn boost stage may not necessarily be to avoid boost-phase intercept only. It also reduces total flight time.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 18 Jun 2008 07:22

Currently, ballistic missiles seem OK. But what is really suspicious is the manner in which ballistic missile proliferation is allowed. It is arguable that proliferation can't be prevented and hence it is "allowed"

But every country is getting the same delivery means as the P5 and this means an automatic erosion of their leadership.

Perfecting ABM would be a logical step forward as long as ballistic missiles remain effective. But if new tech - like hypersonic cruise missiles become available, the big three or four would rapidly shift to delivery using those systems while doing their darndest to prevent others from getting the technology to do that. In the meantime - the have-nots who have got ballistic missiles will have to contend with defences against their ballistic missiles while they have no defeces against hypersonic cruise weapons.

Rewind to the 1980s in other words.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 08:09

Gerard, it's like Hindustan Motors. Just because there are Indicas and Marutis and Sumos and Quallis is no reason to stop making Ambassadors. Production cost of these things is negligible compared to development cost of new systems, once you have the production line set up. If it is in Pakistan you also need Halal Green paint and the Crescent + Star stickers. :mrgreen: Besides, who says there are warheads on these things? Maybe A-1 Al Saddam quality concrete blocks.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 18 Jun 2008 09:56

N^3 Now you sound like a CT adherent. Whats on horizon? Starship troopers? How about comparing the F/S burn time for the Agony series with the so called fast burn models? And what kind of MW is expected in these starship troopers that can burn thru the boost phase motors? lets not create more confusion to whats already there.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 17:27

ramana: I don't have to be an adherent to anything to consider the implications of what people are doing (BTW, what is CT?) (or, correction, I am a Flat Earth Society adherent, based on the link I posted). I am not going to do any comparison of Agony anything with anything - those are for ppl who want to show off their detailed inside knowledge of military stuff. I am bissful onlee, as u know.

The reasoning above is based on what ppl are posting, and it is actually new to me. I was not aware of the imminent nature of these things, but like the "Paki Nook-Nood", I can speculate on what I would do, and reason that ppl who are smart and focused will do even better.

About the Megawattage needed to burn through rocket tanks in boost phase, I am sure it is quite large, and focusing it to the tight beam diameter needed, seems a very tough challenge. Making sure that there are enough optical systems close enough to hit a number of launches within seconds seemed hopeless even if it was North Korea, so I never paid much heed to BPI. My realization is based on what Gerard posted:

That the US, Russia and China are going to great lengths to counter boost-phase intercepts on their first-stage vehicles.

So if I believe that this is not disinformation, I ask why they are doing this. I ask ppl to do simple trignometry which is not ITAR yet, and calculate how high up you have to be, while staying outside the borders of these countries, to hit something rising from their typical silo sites while the vehicle is still below, say, 100,000 feet (to have any impact on the first stage fuel tank). This will immediately show with middle-school level mathematics that the perceived threat is not from ground-based, water-based or aircraft-based beam weapons. This leads to a 4th possibility. I am not an expert on any of these, so I had no idea of what the present capabilities are. But now I can see that people fear the 4th possibility. There's your answer: I don't have to waste time calculating MW or GW or atmospheric distortion or absorption spectra to the 4th decimal place. I can work backwards and see what is implied about the sort of vehicles that constitute the "4th possibility" but need not go into detail. I just have to see what people are preparing for.

IOW, if I see people putting plastic sheets over levees and dumping sandbags on top, I gather that they fear rising rivers, weakness of rain-soaked levees, etc. more than they fear drought or earthquake. I don't have to do detailed weather prediction models or seismology as your advice suggests.

Obviously these nations would not be spending money on hardening skins, putting reflective coatings, minimizing window of vulnerability with risky fast-burn propellants, etc. if they saw no danger in the next, say, 30 years.

Then I ask what that implies for the chances of Indian launch vehicles, if these big nations fear boost-phase intercept on their vehicles (which implies certain locations and technology for BPI as seen above).

If these large countries are worried about the "4th possibility" for BPI, then surely they have also concluded that mid-course intercept in orbit is entirely feasible, using kinetic kill. If they fear one of the other countries is putting up such resources, then they are also probably doing / planning to do so. So they are also seeing how to shoot down such defenses, which is what the Chinese ASAT did. That was a hit on a satellite, not a weapon trajectory. The US response was to hit a large tumbling satellite near re-entry. You can see the lessons from both of those.

The tests from the Japanese warship Kongo showed that they can now hit a missile 60 miles above sea level, 7 minutes into its flight. This is an IRBM in the upper atmosphere, or an ICBM climbing to space.

The Indian tests also show similar capabilities. Announced twice already, and with media present.

The THAAD tests by the US show hits on missiles nearer to the target (I think). Anyway, if you can hit something at 60 miles up 7 minutes into flight, you can also hit it at 60 miles, 15 or 30 minutes into flight (it may be much faster, but you just have to stand in its way or get your fingers there, as I demonstrated with the goalie analogy).

The other part is terminal-stage intercepts at fairly high altitudes. Yes, fast air-launched interceptors, probably unmanned to take the high-Gs, are what I would use as the equivalent of the racing fielder, to get close to the anticipated trajectory of the warhead. Then I would use small, very fast vehicles to do a dispersed kinetic-kill cloud using an explosion, if it is not close enough for a direct impact. This is the equivalent of the fielder's or goalkeeper's diving reach. Either way, people who do air-to-air gaming and control work can figure out the best way to do these. The ASAT and the Indian/US/Japanese tests show that the timing can be perfected and recalculated to hit something at such enormous speeds, correcting for atmospheric deflections etc. Now if you have aerodynamic maneuvering and airbreathing thrust as well, doesn't the probability go way up?

What matters is that with air-launched, you get vastly more area coverage, can wait to launch until you are quite sure, can recover MOST of the "boost vehicle", and have the two huge advantages of air-to-air intercept:
1) actual height and
2) total energy
at start of game.

In every way, the game is entirely different than with ground-launched intercepts, EXCEPT that air-launched may not be enough to deal with permanent sentry duty against a single surprise attack. You may not always have large airplanes on patrol, but in a threat situation, you will have many on patrol.

So probability of kill in every stage of the ballistic trajectory is easily over 50%, and terminal stage intercept using air-launched intercept, I believe is over 90% (the "dropped catch" or "tipped goal shot" is the exception, not the expectation). Put all those together, and you realize that the ballistic attacker is out of the game altogether, so again, the relevance to this thread is that MT-level warheads are a hopelessly flawed approach to deterrence, starting pretty soon.

I forgot about the final defence: Patriot-type things for point defence.

If anyone has detailed counters to these, I will be glad to be educated.
**************

BTW, just as a point for anyone impressed by "fast-burn". Theoretically, the ideal way to launch a ballistic vehicle is by Impulse Launch. This is why Jules Verne imagined people being launched in cannons to the Moon. The idea is simple: you put ALL your thrust into as short a time as possible, so that you don't waste any fuel boosting other fuel to some height and speed. "Less Luggage, More Comfort. Make Travel a Pleasure" as Indian Railways used to say.

So "fast-burn" is more efficient that way. The down sides are
1) Fast burn takes you close to the stability boundary for a rocket, IOW, explosion probability is very high. This is also an easy calculation, but not one I want to post here.
2) High thrust-to-weight ratio at liftoff means that the whole vehicle must be built to take stresses of several times its weight. So the fuel tanks etc. become much heavier, so for the same total mass, the final velocity or height reached by the payload is lower. This cancels out most of the efficiency advantage for long-range vehicles.

So fast-burn missiles are highly dangerous to those launching it, and are probably less efficient overall in getting a given mass to a given speed and height. HOWEVER, they will do so in LESS TIME, and they spend much less time dilly-dallying at low acceleration right after liftoff.

When you are faced with an incoming warhead, this is probably the biggest factor, so interceptor missiles will use fast-burn regardless of the hazards. Using it on long-range missiles indicates that the missile can easily achieve the intended range and warhead mass, so they can afford to play with the vehicle total mass in order to reduce flight time, and MAYBE reduce chances of boost phase intercept.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Tanaji » 18 Jun 2008 18:38

What would be interesting to know is the time frame of when such hypersonic entities enter actual deployment phase. A period of 5 years has been mentioned in the earlier posts. It would be instructional to compare this period to the average life span of a current ICBM. France, US and Russia are upgrading their ICBMs significantly at huge costs, obviously they want it well spent. If one were to know what shelf life these missiles, we can get a handle on how far out this threat of hypersonic missiles are in the future.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Jun 2008 18:51

The Igla RV of the Topol-M is hypersonic during terminal phase

In November, Solovtsov said that new warheads for silo-based Topol-M missiles (NATO designation SS-27) and mobile Topol-M1s (SS-X-27) are undergoing testing. [6] One type of warhead reportedly involved a maneuverable reentry vehicle known as "Igla" that changes altitude and direction to evade missile defenses. Indeed, at the December commissioning ceremony of the fifth Topol-M ICBM regiment at Tatishchevo, Solovtsov emphasized that the weapon "is capable of penetrating any missile defense system." (Unidentified U.S. officials confirmed that the November 1, 2005, Topol-M test-launch had a shorter than usual boost phase, and that after being delivered into orbit, the reentry vehicle flew to a lower trajectory, where it was able to maneuver.)…
Last edited by Gerard on 18 Jun 2008 19:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 18 Jun 2008 18:56

Isn't any gun that is fired into the air "fast burn" missile launcher? Jules Verne etc.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Amber G. » 18 Jun 2008 19:53

A simple demo on what "50% probability" means. Let's say that country X has Boost-Phase, transition, mid-course, theater high-altitude (transition back) and terminal stage defences. Each unfortunately has only 50% probability of hitting any given ballistic missile.
Let's say country Y is determined to hit a target (any target) in country X. We'll try to see how many missiles are needed for one to reach any target.
Because of launch uncertainties (like "fast-burn" first stages), 50% do not lift off.....


Hmm.. what is exactly here "how many are NEEDED" ... Are you really saying that one would "need" 2 missile if there is 50% probability of failure????... Of course, if you send 2 there is about 25% chance that both will fail ...(and that is assuming that those two failures are independent/random )

If "needed" means 99.9% confidence ... you will "need" about 10 just to pass stage I.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Amber G. » 18 Jun 2008 20:09

shiv wrote:Isn't any gun that is fired into the air "fast burn" missile launcher? Jules Verne etc.

I don't know exactly what you mean, but a "gun', no matter how much initial velocity it gives, will have a very finite range. (Due to air resistance - it will reach terminal velocity and/or burn very soon) (actually on first order - the length of the "bullet" alone (of a know material) will determine how far it will go... (A good/popular physics problem often given)

Actually Jules Verne "knew" that a gun could not fire the missile he described to the moon staying under the atmosphere as it would never reach the escape velocity.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 18 Jun 2008 20:14

AmberG, the probability calculation of "confidence level" gets beyond madarssa-level math. :) Better to say "AoA! " when the missile is launched, as the PA does. The numbers get daunting enough already.

Point is that the defender need not demonstrate 99% confidence with each step, before the attacker's calculation becomes completely hopeless. So the attacker knows there is assured jannaat, but very small chance if any of actually doing damage to the kufr. Once this is known, the 1MT level BM force becomes a suicide weapon, not a deterrent.

Shiv, yes, what happens in the gun is the extreme "fast-burn propellant". Question is can one build a gun that speeds a projectile massive enough to carry a 1MT warhead, to an gun exit velocity of several kilometers a second. And whether anything will be left of the carefully-arranged fertiliser, fuel oil, timing mechanisms etc. after the launching. So with fast-burn propellant for the first stage, there is an excellent chance of scattering the warhead's Pu all over one's own territory, thus making any retaliation moot - you will have shaheed your own "dera" quite nicely in the launch process.
BTW, the Bofors projectile with "base-burning" actually manages to carry some fuel for use after launching, in reducing the drag of the projectile and thus increasing range. But the Bofors reaches maybe Mach 3 tops (?) whereas you need about Mach 8 or 10 for a long range missile. Orbit shot requires about Mach 30, and moon shot requires about Mach 45. Gun will be either very strong or very long, and the astronauts will be very short and squat like Shrilleen. Or thin as a dosa.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 19 Jun 2008 02:28

after being delivered into orbit, the reentry vehicle flew to a lower trajectory, where it was able to maneuver.)…


Thanx, Gerard. This is the shape of things to come - where it gets extremely dangerous and destabilizing.
Rockets boost it to a very high speed so it can reach anywhere, and then it re-enters and can slide using aerodynamics to any target within a wide area. So the last part of the trajectory may be quite flat, like a bomber or cruise missile.

But it is hard to imagine such a thing also carrying 1MT level payloads, and it's quite unnecessary since it can maneuver to the target precisely and hit from a selected angle.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2008 03:45

1MT stuff is obsolete when you have accuracy.

The Topol-M's conventional single warhead was presumed to be ~500 kt (about the same as the American W88). The Bulava warheads are 100 kt. The Igla being quite heavy itself would presumably carry something about 100 kt.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 04:01

N^3 you are calling those glide vehicles hypersonic vehicles? :roll: A true hypersonic would look like the X 31 or HOTOL. Agony already has finned vehicles demoed in the TD series.

Thanks, no more form me.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 19 Jun 2008 06:59

ramana, something that glides at hypersonic speed is a hypersonic vehicle, and if something glides it has aerodynamic lift on it, which is different from being ballistic. Of course, most ICBM reentry is also hypersonic.

If you read above, it was Gerard that called the TOPOL thingies hypersonic glide vehicles, which is technically true. I am perfectly aware that there can be other things that are rocket boosted to hypersonic speed, and can cruise as long as they have thrust.

Also, they don't have to get to space, so that re-entry is not an issue. So then the mission does not involve a space segment, removing midcourse vulnerability.

Or you can use a Space segment to increase the range to anything you want, like the Sanger concept of the 1940s.

It's not fins that make these hypersonic cruise vehicles. It's the body lift and relatively low drag. X30 (31 was a sharp-nosed transonic vehicle capable of post-stall maneuvers, nothing to do with hypersonics, right? ) and HOTOL are nice pictures, and X-33 was hypersonic cruise but not airbreathing, but X-43 is a more typical hypersonic cruise vehicle with airbreathing. Probably right size too.

Like you say, time to veer off.

Something I am missing, perhaps? Like the elephant in the room? :roll:

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Jun 2008 08:35

Gerard wrote:1MT stuff is obsolete when you have accuracy.
And, this should be evaluated in the context of Agni and what is the yield needed to destroy hardened or semi hardened targets? Also, MT level warheads maybe getting obsolete, but the main stay is clearly a TN war head, to be delived in an MIRV vehicle, where the total capacity is STILL MT levels, as the main stay (maybe lower for some SLBM's)

The Topol-M's conventional single warhead was presumed to be ~500 kt (about the same as the American W88). The Bulava warheads are 100 kt. The Igla being quite heavy itself would presumably carry something about 100 kt.
There are reports out there that the Topol - M is designed to carry 6 500 KT warheads. Can you shed some light here on what is likely?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Karan Dixit » 19 Jun 2008 09:25

If we had 1000 nuclear IRBMs deployed against China, will China still intrude into Indian territory?
Answer is no. Missiles have their place. City busters have their place. Tactical nukes have their place. BMD has its place. Jaguars and MKI have their place. We need them all. Can we have them all today? Probably not. But we can try to get as many of those as possible while keeping the economy going.

Nuclear test done today will do us more harm than good. But who know what tomorrow will bring! Anything is possible tomorrow.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby SaiK » 19 Jun 2008 10:14

..trying to wade between the jargons. why send to space, if all it needs is to skim and glide at hypersonic say 10ft about sea surface? and no ABM can attack it. now the question would be how difficult to have the terrain (sea/land) guidance/hugging and given the same logic of thrust availability to cruise.

i am still confused, what would be the best detection system out there, that would say could kill a reentering hyper with at least >10 Mach... & can do little finned manoeuvring.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2008 10:18

There are reports out there that the Topol - M is designed to carry 6 500 KT warheads


Quite unlikely. The Topol-M is a light (47 tons) ICBM with a throw weight of 1.2 tons. It has not yet been MIRVed. A MIRVed version would require a post boost vehicle (+ decoys) of about 500 kg, that leaves about 600 kg, enough for three 200 kg warheads. The single 500 kt warhead it now carries apparently weighs about 500 kg.

The Bulava SLBM has a throw weight of 1.1 tons. That is thought to have six warheads but they are presumed to be about 120kg each with yield of 75-90 kt.

So the modern Russian missiles (designed by Yuri Solomonov) have a total payload of < 600 kt.

Reports claim that Gerbert Yefremov (who designed the UR-100N) has criticized the new solid propellant, mobile, light ICBMs and is working on a new liquid propellant, silo based, heavy ICBM with a 4 ton throw weight. That beast would weigh > 100 tons and be capable of carrying six MIRVs.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 19 Jun 2008 17:29

If we had 1000 nuclear IRBMs deployed against China, will China still intrude into Indian territory?
Answer is no.
I thought the answer is such a clear "YES" to that question. Would they still be deterred from intruding if we had 999? 998? ...... Surely there is nothing magic about 1000 that causes Genelar Ri to say: "OK yestelday, Too lisky today!"

Today we have, say, 100. There are lizard visits to Sikkim Finger area (is that the Middle Finger?) practically every week.
So tomorrow if we had 150, would they not visit? I'd say yes. How about at 200? .....

Deterring intrusion requires showing that there is some cost associated with intrusion, that is not worth paying. Like return intrusions. Or something unfortunate happening to the intruders and their bosses.

I wonder if China intrudes routinely into Vietnam, or even across to Taiwan, and how many nuclear missiles is it that keeps them from doing so.


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