The answer to the headline is no, they don’t have a clue, at least as it relates to the space, missile, and missile defense items they’ve been running courtesy of WikiLeaks. And remember friends, you still can’t spell Assange without a-s-s.
A 2007 briefing by General Patrick O’Reilly, director of the US Missile Defence Agency, disclosed that the radar system would be unable to detect long-range missiles in the launch phase because it could only see in a straight line, not over the horizon.
By the time the radar "saw" the missile, it would be too late to launch an interceptor in time to stop it striking its target.
Err…except this missile defense system doesn’t count on the radar for an initial look that’s needed. Instead the radar would be queued to the missile by an infrared detecting satellite.
The Czech radar system was the lynch-pin of George Bush’s “son of star wars” missile defence plans, ostensibly intended to intercept missiles launched from North Korea and Iran.
Well, what’s more annoying here: the snotty “son of star wars” reference, the bogus “ostensibly,” or spelling defense with a “c”?
And if not North Korea or Iran, then who? Pakistan, India, or Russia?
Russia reacted furiously to the proposed system, which it claimed could threaten its own defences and be used to spy on its interests.
So why would Russia react furiously if it didn’t work? It does not follow…
A leaked cable obtained by WikiLeaks detailing US talks with Moscow describes a briefing by General O’Reilly on the capabilities of the Czech radar.
It states: “He noted that it was an X-Band radar which could only see in a straight line, not over the horizon; its range was approximately 2000 kilometres, its beam size was point 155 degrees; and it could not search and locate by itself.
“The key was that the Czech radar could not bend radio waves; its minimum elevation was two degrees… Below two degrees, ground clutter would interfere.
“Thus, depending on the location of the launch, the first 245, 450 or 850 kilometres of flight could not be seen. Therefore, the radar was incapable of seeing a missile in the boost phase. By the time the radar saw the missile, it would be too late to launch an interceptor.
“Even with upgrades to the radar, Gen O’Reilly continued, an X-band radar in the Czech Republic would never give the US the capability to intercept Russia’s ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles).”
So despite the Russian contortions and table-thumping, this system was never designed to defeat Russian ICBMs. It is possible the Russians knew this and their protestations were for show?
It would therefore seem it was ostensibly designed to address a North Korean and Iranian missile threat.
To the Telegraph writers: wake up McFly!