Groan. Missile Defense Failure

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Drat.  From Reuters:

A test of the sole U.S. defense against long-range ballistic missiles failed on Wednesday, the second failure in a row involving the system managed by Boeing Co (BA.N), the Defense Department said.

No failure explanation was offered, but is sounds like everything except the intercept worked: Sensors?  Green.  Launch?  A go.  Kill vehicle?  Deployed.  Inbound missile destroyed?  Crickets. 

The miss brought the so-called ground-based midcourse defense’s batting record to eight intercepts out of 15 tries, as reckoned by the Missile Defense Agency.

This whole hitting a bullet with a bullet thing can and has been done.  It has to be shown that it can be done reliably and at a reasonable cost.

"This is a tremendous setback for the testing of this complicated system," Riki Ellison, head of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a booster group, said in a statement. He said it raised troubling questions about the reliability of the 30 or so interceptor missiles deployed in silos in Alaska and California.

Missile defense will, IMHO, be a defining defensive mission for the next twenty or thirty years.

Sounds like an award-fee withhold for Boeing.

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