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U.S., Japan say first test of Raytheon's new SM-3 missile a success

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"Ah, just what the world needs, a new missile."

Moonraker: I can't find much fault with a defensive missile.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I would rather have this than a Chinese, North Korean or Iranian missile raining down on my head.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

With geopolitical threats coming from Russia and China, and a country who just hates Japan: North Korea, I can't imagine 2 billion dollars better spent. Technology like this protects the people of Japan. Is that a bad investment?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Moonraker

Japan certainly does not have offensive ballistic missiles so what is your point?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Meanwhile we're testing the epsilon rocket. Someday we will put them to good use.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Moonraker

And exactly what's an "anti-missile missile"???

Is it something you've invented by any chance?

The SM-3 is already an anti-ballistic missile, designed to counter any attacker's missiles.

What are you on about exactly?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Well, paulinusa, let me explain. Say you are a country whose only means of defence is a missile but the enemy which is going to attack you has anti-missile missiles too. Well, then you have no defence. The attackers have won with this "defensive" system. If you are that put-upon country your only real recourse is to make even more missiles with the hope that your defense will at least evade some of the anti-missile missiles. This is called an arms race.

I assume your position regarding the usefulness of this missile would change if it intercepts and downs a NKorea extended range Scud or Musudan IRBM with a chemical or biological warhead on top aimed at the city in Japan where you (and your family) live..........

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Peeping_Tom:

I'm not. China's amphibious invasion capability didn't look like much, for one thing, looking at inventories on the web a few weeks or months ago.

But anti-ballistic missiles may be overrated. There was the supposed vast overstating of kill rates by manufacturer and military for Patriot missiles during the Iraq war (see Theodore Postol on wikipedia). And there's MIRVs and cruise missiles (China probably has MIRVs, don't know about cruise missiles). And the short distance from China to Japan. And the devastating result for every nuclear-tipped missile that gets through. Still, that's the all-in option, for China.

But if China doesn't mind stirring up trouble offshore of the Philippines with their unchallenged invasion of the Spratlies now, sooner or later they may not mind stirring up trouble with Japan. Multiple actions keep opponents off balance. And they're raising the current generation to hate Japan, apparently.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SRBM and IRBM are not equipped with MIRVs. Only ICBMs are.Shooting an ICBM against Japan is basically an overkill PRC would like to reserve them against the US since they only have about 100 missiles with miss fire rate of about 30%.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Burningbush. Sadly for the Iranians. 1 single US destroyer has more Tomahawks than Iran missiles. USA has like 90 Destroyers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Non-profit?

Since when has anything to do with the Military Industrial complex not made a profit?

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance is a registered 501(c) non-profit organization. It is not part of the Military Industrial complex and its finances are publicly available for anyone who questions their non-profit status.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TriringJ: SRBM and IRBM are not equipped with MIRVs. Only ICBMs are.

China's DF-25 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) might be capable of carrying one Reentry Vehicle or 3 RV's, nuclear-tipped. Maybe MRV not MIRV (I = 'independent'), still, ABMs will probably have trouble shooting down 3 RVs post-release.

Also they have DH-10 nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

Don't know if there's much available in Japan to defend against those. Seems like having an intervening ocean is a big part of the USA and Australia's defense (third link is a discussion of anti-cruise-missile defense from Australia's point of view, updated 2012). There's fighter jets involved, but are those up all the time?

Apparently PAC-3s have taken down cruise missiles, but at least one test depended on a JLENS aerostat radar system, not deployed outside USA. Also, probably none of the demos were surprise tests.

http://missilethreat.com/missiles/df-25/ - IRBM

Little information is available on the DF-25. It is believed that the system has a range of 3,200 or 4,000 km. Some have suggested that there may be two versions of the DF-25. One version could carry a single RV with a 1 to 3 MT nuclear warhead, or unitary HE, EMP, FAE, and submunitions. A second version could carry three re-entry vehicles with nuclear warhead yields of 20, 90, or 150 kT.

http://missilethreat.com/missiles/hn-1-2-3/?country=china - cruise missile

A nuclear armed version, DH-10 (sometimes referred to as CJ-10), is likely based off of HN-2 technology considering it has an estimated range of 1,500 to 2,000 km. ... A U.S. report from 2010 stated that China possesses 200 to 500 nuclear armed operational DH-10 missiles.

http://www.ausairpower.net/Analysis-Cruise-Missiles.html

Defeating Cruise Missiles

http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2012/pdf/army/2012patriot.pdf, http://defence.pk/threads/patriot-pac-3-successfully-intercept-a-cruise-missile.176196/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cruise missiles are no more then a jet powered drone that is armed. They can be shot down with either a SM-2 or SM-6.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

remember when our ICBMs were considered our guarantee of defence?

No, I don't. ICBM's were NEVER portrayed as a guarantee of defense. What they were was a deterrent - hopefully one strong enough to deter adversaries from starting something. Whoever told you ICBMs were posed in the past as a guarantee of defense was lying through his teeth.

Did Russia or China started aggressive wars under false pretexts for decades? No.

[COUGH!] Afghanistan, 1980 [COUGH!] Georgia, 2008 [COUGH!] Ukraine, 2013

Yeah, The Soviet Union/Russia NEVER did anything like that. (rolls eyes). China is just getting started on their aggressive trend.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peeping_Tom: ... plus countless land based PAC batteries

"Countless"? A 2014 article indicates 6 PAC-3 batteries. There might be THAAD batteries coming up, and PAC-4 batteries, but probably nothing approaching countless.

And when the batteries are exhausted, they're useless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps, Peeping Tom. It is possible you don't understand that it is not necessarily China or NK that will be attacking and the U.S. or Japan defending. Perhaps that is one way to characterize it and certainly the way Japan and the U.S. would like to do so. They are the good guys, in their minds. They will only ever have to defend. Until you start to look at their history of warmongering. Plus, it is all about perceptions. North Korea and China probably think they are in danger from the USA and Japan once this system gets implemented because their missiles (last resort defense) will become useless. What would you do if you were them? Look, this is basic game theory and should not really cause any problem of understanding. It certainly will not amongst the military elites. They will know surely what the response will be. But, there is money on the table to build more toys and that is paramount.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

non-profit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance...spend about $1 billion each to design, test and eventually produce the new missiles

Non-profit?

Since when has anything to do with the Military Industrial complex not made a profit?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's a $2 billion yen WE are paying with taxes, and you could sure put that amount of money to a better use.

What an ungrateful attittude. Japan-US security framework providing for the common defense of its people. No wonder all the anti-US, anti-bases usual commenters stray from this thread.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Peeping_Tom

Sorry, when I read "countless" I pictured 'jillions', like small arms ammo, not dozens or hundreds uncountable because Japan doesn't want China to know exactly how many.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2 billion! A SMALL price to pay for having a brand new missile! And along with the U.S. Japan will get first dibs on it. This is good because now with the internet, other countries know that Japan is weak after suffering many national disasters. 2 billion may seem like a lot but, people wont be saying that when they see how well protected Fukushima is from now on! Japan, always thinking about it's people! Other countries would do well to heed this example of how to care for those less fortunate!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yamashi

How about SCS, Ukraine, Chechen, Tibet, Uyghur、Vietnam, India, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ThePbot Cruise missiles are too slow and can be engaged by most defense systems. Aegis destroyers using Harpoon,sm2 and Sm3(expensive), patriots land based systems and aircraft

0 ( +0 / -0 )

[COUGH!] Tibet.

Data is limited on ABM and anti-cruise-missile defense systems performance. Possibly ABM's success under fire vs. Iraqi Scuds was greatly exaggerated. US ABM products have been getting good foreign sales, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moonraker

With all due respect I think yer a bit confused here. Japan will be the one countering an enemy's ballistic missiles.

The enemy, China or Korea(s) will only "attack at will", as you put it, if the defender, i.e. Japan runs out of defensive missiles; or an attacking missile sneaks past the defensive lines.

That's totally plausible; however China would have to break a sweat in order to get past Japan's defensive line of soon to be 8 Kongo Aegis destroyers plus countless land based PAC batteries.

Japan is certainly not there for the taking, contrary to popular misconception of what it means the country "only" has an SDF.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Here is the problem: The nail that sticks its head up gets hammered down. SHUT UP. Whatever tech success there is, keep it a secret. That is not possible because everyone wants 15 minutes of fame.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, we can only guess how many there are in fact. In all honesty you are not one of those who actually believes that Japan is defenceless and easily overrun by China, whenever China wants to. Or are ya?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@FernGully "With geopolitical threats coming from Russia and China....I can't imagine 2 billion dollars better spent"

Did Russia or China started aggressive wars under false pretexts for decades? No. The USA did it in various parts of the world. Therefore, main geopolitical threat comes from the USA. I don't know for China but it seems you seriously underestimate Russians. They are true masters of asymmetric warfare. Betcha, your SM-3s will be suddenly blown up with launch pads and all personnel minutes before you get the order to push "red" button .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Triring"How about SCS, Ukraine, Chechen, Tibet, Uyghur, Vietnam, India, etc"

And what about SCS, Ukraine, Chechen, Tibet, Uyghur, Vietnam, India, etc. ? Could you elaborate ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The solution is simple, don't use a ballistic missile, use a cruise missile instead. That's how you get through the SM-3.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Countless"? A 2014 article INDICATES 6 PAC-3 batteries. "

http://thebulletin.org/missile-defense-japan

"Japan's current missile defense capabilities

As of January, Tokyo has deployed a multilayered missile defense system that consists of sea-based midcourse missile defense (the Aegis ballistic missile defense system); and ground-based terminal phase missile defense (Patriot Advanced Capabilities-3, or PAC-3). With the accelerated process, a PAC-3 installment in the Tokyo Metropolitan area has been completed. By March 2011, PAC-3 missiles will be deployed at 16 fire units around Japan's major cities."

And that was for 2011!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I can't find much fault with a defensive missile.

So no problems with Russia selling the S-300 to Iran, or maybe the S-400 so Iranian Airspace would be totally sealed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes, Tom, that is my point. An anti-missile missile = anti-ballistic missile; a missile that shoots down another incoming missile. It can be used for offense as well as defence because it renders another country's defence (when that defence is ballistic missiles - remember when our ICBMs were considered our guarantee of defence?) useless. The attackers can then attack at will. You might argue that the USA is not the kind of country that goes around attacking others or unleashing missiles but some of us believe differently.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

paulinusa JUN. 09, 2015 - 07:53AM JST

I can't find much fault with a defensive missile.

In my living memory, no defensive missile system will be perfect. In the most cases, star war style defensive missile will intercept the incoming missile from orbit. If that missile has been attached with MIRVS (Multiple Independently Re-entry Vehicles), it will not be 100% possible for blocking individual war heads flying multiple directions. Some will re-orbit and re-land on the destination. One or two war heads may be missed in the worst case scenario.

According Late Martial Artist Guru Bruce Lee, his technique of the way of intercepting fist has limitation. It will not be possible for him to block every punches. His idea was the best defense is attack. Attacking missile system is more reliable than defensive missile system.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Moonraker: I can't find much fault with a defensive missile.

It's a $2 billion yen WE are paying with taxes, and you could sure put that amount of money to a better use.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Ah, just what the world needs, a new missile.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Well, paulinusa, let me explain. Say you are a country whose only means of defence is a missile but the enemy which is going to attack you has anti-missile missiles too. Well, then you have no defence. The attackers have won with this "defensive" system. If you are that put-upon country your only real recourse is to make even more missiles with the hope that your defense will at least evade some of the anti-missile missiles. This is called an arms race.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

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