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Drones as missle defense?

Posted by: lightningbob - Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:32 pm
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Drones as missle defense? 
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Post Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:32 pm
I wonder if anyone has thought about using drones as a missile defense network. They could be equipped with E.M.P. rockets , air to air missiles lasers or maybe a combination of defense systems or drones types.


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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:33 pm
....ok this has nothing to do with space lol


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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:28 pm
I don't know, I can see a couple of connections to space...

1. These drones would communicate via satellite
2. The missiles they would intercept would likely be dropping from space (ballistic missiles typically travel on a trajectory that takes them through space). :D

To answer your question, though, I had always imagined land based (or ship based) interceptors, but I can see how the drone idea has merit. For one thing, they could be directed on very short notice to specific regions where threats were likely to emerge. A land based system is pretty much stuck wherever you build it.

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:43 am
Unless they are in space...

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:19 pm
A "focused cluster laser" or mass "slug" would be much more effective...

missiles have a heat trail, and send out radar or use passive guidance that can be jammed by duplicating it's frequency and sending junk,

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:20 am
I'm sure the U.S Military has this as a plan


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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:10 pm
They have an entire agency devoted to it.

http://www.mda.mil/


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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:14 pm
The only practical ballistic missile defense system that is in active service, is the Israeli Arrow anti missile missile. Drones could be of use, though, in detecting and examining the incoming missile - especially to figure out if the payload is a nuke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_%28Israeli_missile%29

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:56 pm
Actually, the Patriot missile system, although originally designed for use against aircraft, can also shoot down ballistic missiles. It didn't do so well in the first Gulf War because the software was not designed for anti missile use, but AFAIK that's been fixed now. It's in service with several countries, although not currently in active use I think.

I'm not sure what a drone would add over a ground-based launch site for anti-missile missiles, unless it can hover over enemy territory, detect the launch, and shoot down the missile shortly after it's airborne. That would be really useful, but I don't see such a thing entering North Korean airspace undetected and unchallenged. It would be big and not very stealthy...

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:07 am
Early detection and target discrimination are two roles the drone should be well suited for. But I will admit that lugging around the actual interceptor hardware seems a little impractical. Still, I like the idea of the rapid mobility... always a plus when you're trying to stay ahead of the bad guys.

I suppose we either need drastically larger and heavier drones, or smaller and lighter hardware... the latter being vastly preferable.

As noted by JamesG above, a space-based anti-ballistic network would solve virtually all of the problems. I wonder if anybody has done a cost analysis of something like that in the last few years. I know it's the type of thing people discussed in the 1970s and 80s, but I haven't heard anything lately.

Seems to me there'd be some major diplomatic hurdles as well... something about putting weapons in space? Kind of silly how any dictator with a ballistic missile can put a weapon in space temporarily (on it's way to kill people indiscriminately), but we'd have a terrible time negotiating to put up a system designed to shield against such an attack.

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:55 pm
I was thinking about this thing actually. It exists, although it's a manned aeroplane, not a drone.

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:47 pm
Lourens wrote:
Actually, the Patriot missile system, although originally designed for use against aircraft, can also shoot down ballistic missiles. It didn't do so well in the first Gulf War because the software was not designed for anti missile use, but AFAIK that's been fixed now. It's in service with several countries, although not currently in active use I think.

I'm not sure what a drone would add over a ground-based launch site for anti-missile missiles, unless it can hover over enemy territory, detect the launch, and shoot down the missile shortly after it's airborne. That would be really useful, but I don't see such a thing entering North Korean airspace undetected and unchallenged. It would be big and not very stealthy...


Yeah, you're right all though the Patriot missile system was created as an antiaircraft missile, and then took on a anti missile role. The US Navy's Aegis system also can be used against missiles. The Arrow system is the only one in the world that was purpose built to defend against ballistic missiles, an in active service (there have been defense systems in the cold war based on nuking incoming missiles - just another reason to be glad the cold war is over).

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:35 pm
Lourens wrote:
I was thinking about this thing actually. It exists, although it's a manned aeroplane, not a drone.

Wow! Nice post.

It's funny how you can go for months and months with no idea what you want for your birthday and then suddenly... there it is!
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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:59 pm
Having 400 small lasers that focus on a tiny point would be better :)

Laser bloom is great for Zeropto but not so good for shooting things,

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Post Re: Drones as missle defense?   Posted on: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:44 pm
Sigma wrote:
Having 400 small lasers that focus on a tiny point would be better :)

Laser bloom is great for Zeropto but not so good for shooting things,
Yes, blooming is certainly an issue, but the more I read about the recently cancelled airborne laser system the more amazed I am at how much has already been accomplished by this program. Consider the following quote from Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:
On February 11, 2010 in a test at Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off the central California coast, the system successfully destroyed a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile. Less than an hour after that first missile had been destroyed, a second missile—a solid-fuel design—had, as announced by the MDA, been "successfully engaged"...

If the ABL achieves its design goals, it could destroy liquid-fueled ICBMs up to 600 km away. Tougher solid-fueled ICBM destruction range would likely be limited to 300 km, too short to be useful in many scenarios, according to a 2003 report by the American Physical Society on National Missile Defense...

The main laser, located in a turret on the aircraft nose, is fired for 3 to 5 seconds, causing the missile to break up in flight near the launch area. The ABL is not designed to intercept TBMs in the terminal, or descending, flight phase. Thus, the ABL must be within a few hundred kilometers of the missile launch point. All of this occurs in approximately 8 to 12 seconds[22]
Plans to make the system operational have apparently been scrapped because of budgeting issues and certain remaining technological hurdles. Still, considering the ABL's remarkable achievements, I imagine we haven't seen the last of this concept.

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