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‘Star Wars’ vindicated!

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Posted By: DVC, 4/21/2024 9:59:02 AM

I was in the United States Navy, embarked on a guided missile frigate, when President Ronald Reagan gave his landmark speech in 1983 introducing the concept of an advanced integrated weapons system to defend the United States and our allies from attacks from nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. Reagan was a staunch critic of the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, which since the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the 1950s had been in place to in theory preclude the first use of nuclear weapons. [snip] Reagan was convinced that the Soviet Union would be unable to match the United States


Good points, and he's not talking about the TV show or movie.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: DVC 4/21/2024 10:06:37 AM (No. 1703430)
The US anti-ballistic missile system was designed and built, and yet, after a year or so, Congress defunded it and it was left to rot in the northern great plains, North Dakota, IIRC. Yet, for 40 years we have funded joint development with Israel which literally is just upgraded versions of the old ABM system, some of it built by Israel much of it part of the USN's Aegis "anti-aircraft" system, which now has anti-ballistic missile capability and can shoot down nukes in space before they can get to us. Israel has had an ongoing need to build out these "high end" systems for ballistic missiles, and then fill in the capability to stop cruise missiles and these "drones" which are actually just ultra-low tech cruise missiles. And Israel developed their Iron Dome which can shoot down mortar shells and the cheap home-made unguided pipe missiles that the terrorists toss at them endlessly. All of this tech, our USN Aegis (which has many different missiles that it can select for different targets) and the Israeli systems are the direct follow on developments of the old SDI which was derided as "Star Wars" by the anti-defense media and Dems back in the 1980s and 90s. It all WORKS.
18 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Kate318 4/21/2024 10:51:02 AM (No. 1703453)
This is interesting. Back in the 1990s, I was a field investigator for MUFON. The man who was the state director had worked on the Star Wars program. He was a astro-physicist and an ex-Jesuit. He told us that the system had never worked, but had brought to our attention a NASA livestream video of something very much like a laser beam weapon shooting at something outside of the space station. It caused quite a stir in the UFO community because what it shot at was a couple of objects that made very quick, evasive maneuvers. NASA was forced to come out with a statement and called the objects “space icicles,” which became an inside joke in the UFO community. I don’t doubt that the state director was telling the truth when he said it never worked, but I wonder if at the point after which had been developed as much as possible, the researchers were dismissed and the military took over.
4 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Quigley 4/21/2024 11:27:29 AM (No. 1703477)
I wonder what the cost of the Iranian "drone" attack was, and what the cost of the defense to it was. I wonder if it would be cheaper not to give the Iranians additional $$$ Billions even if we can shoot their attacks out of the sky. Oh, but there is endless money, so never mind. Hope we're current on the monthly maintenance payments. Strategic Defense is now Tactical Defense. Maybe the Russians will just wait until we have spent ourselves into collapse.
3 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: bpl40 4/21/2024 11:32:18 AM (No. 1703482)
In the earlier days of the Reagan Administration, a staffer asked the President during deliberations what his strategy was. Reagan replied “Simple, we win they lose”.
6 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter 4/21/2024 11:52:13 AM (No. 1703491)
Reagan's timing couldn't have been more perfect, as Silicon Valley was at the time breaking through with technical marvelry that enabled miniaturization and then microminiaturization of integrated chips and other electronic components. Just as the gas turbine engine enabled helicopters to take flight, ultra-compact digital computers make today's smart weapons possible such that we really can "hit a bullet with a bullet." The next step in the evolution will be hypersonics - weapons operating at 6-8 times the speed of sound. Want to know what all those fast-moving "UFO's" observed in the Navy's op areas off the coast of Southern California (home to the Air Force's Plant 42 and Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works) really are?
3 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Alecto2 4/21/2024 12:04:46 PM (No. 1703494)
Another article "whistling past the graveyard." The Soviet Union was collapsing under the weight of its own sclerotic incompetence. Reagan gave it the push over the edge. Unfortunately, it has been the Russia under Putin that took the lesson to heart and not our moronic "leaders". We are the empire that is imploding and only needs a few more missteps by the Rules Based Order to take us over the precipice. As to this feel-good nonsense over Israel thwarting the Iranian attack - please. Like every time it's "didn't do nuffin" (99% shot down). Then many misfired-on launching or went off course. Then as some videos came in of missiles striking - maybe a few got through but did no damage. Iran told everyone in advance that they'd attack but only military sites (unlike Israel that bomb the crap out of civilians without compunction). First their slow-moving pawns that took hours to arrive allowing the air forces of Israel, US, UK and Jordan to meet them and some cruise missiles and take them out. But it cleared the way for the missiles that got through and hit three Israeli military targets. One report I read suggested the Iranians were not without a sense of humor, hitting the swimming pool and rec center at Nevatim air base. Now everyone is on notice that Iran plus Hezbollah and the Houtis with thousands more missiles (thank you FJB for giving away all those dollars) that are more than enough to overwhelm Israel's defenses several times over.
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Reply 7 - Posted by: DVC 4/21/2024 12:27:04 PM (No. 1703502)
Nonsense #6. Essentially all the Iranian weapons functioned normally, and 99% were destroyed. And some of the ones that were not destroyed were seen to be targeting empty fields away from any settlements and the systems just ignored them. The naysayers will always say "nay", no matter how many times something is proven to work. IMO, the primary issue is economic, not technical. YES, we can shoot down their attacking ballistic missiles and cruise missiles (the cheapest of which are now called 'drones'). But the cost to shoot them down versus the damage they might inflict is always an economic question. The battlefield in Ukraine is showing us a very difficult coming battefield, one where cheap $2,000 to $10,000 observation drones can be overhead almost 24 hrs a day, making assembling a large group of men and machines to push an attack subjected to artillery or missile attack. Knocking down these relatively inexpensive drones, be they observers or attack versions, with a $200K missile isn't economically feasible, and often these small flying machines present such a small "signature" (visual or radar) that targeting any weapon is difficult, aside from the economics of a $200K missile knocking down a $10,000 observation drone. The next crucial development is going to be INEXPENSIVE counter-drone systems that can be as ubiquitous on the battlefield as these small unmanned flying machines are. Technology is changing the way wars ARE and WILL BE fought. We damn well better be paying attention.
5 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Strike3 4/21/2024 1:27:04 PM (No. 1703533)
The MAD theory only works if you have sane people on both sides. Ironically, it's the United States that now has a lunatic government that is capable of snapping at any time because one hand does not know what the other is doing and Biden doesn't know what either hand is doing. Good point by #3. Missiles carried by our jet fighters can cost a million dollars each, more for ground-based missiles. $1,000,000 X 300 is a very expensive defense effort but it worked and Iran's showboat attack didn't.
3 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: DVC 4/21/2024 7:08:45 PM (No. 1703681)
Re #8, you're right that the cost of our longer range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is about a million bucks, but the shorter range model, the Sidewinder, is about $380-400K each, so 2.5 Sidewinders for one AMRAMM. I would expect that these air-to-air shoot downs would be using Sidewinders since the targets are pretty "easy" because they are slow and not maneuvering. Frankly, the drones should be "easy meat" for the cannons of our fighters, I wonder if any of them were shot down with cannon fire? It would seem to be, by far, the most cost effective way to destroy these larger attack dronesl
1 person likes this.

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