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Author Topic: Assault Breaker  (Read 13054 times)

Offline TomS

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Re: Assault Breaker
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 02:15:30 pm »
Also: given that even a conventional explosion of sufficient severity can generate a convincing mushroom cloud, you'd better not be using depleted uranium in those rods or someone with twitchy fingers is going to take the hit (and the resultant kick from the geiger counters) as evidence of a ground burst and then it's hasta la vista m.f.

The whole point of depleted uranium is that it's NOT significantly radioactive.  DU is what's left after you separate out  most of the short-half-life isotopes to make enriched uranium.

There's no way anyone would mistake a conventional warhead detonation for even a small nuke -- we're talking orders of magnitude difference here, even from just the thermal effects. 

Of course, since launch-on-warning was the general rule for much of the Cold War, it was still devilishly dangerous to play with such things.

Online quellish

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Re: Assault Breaker
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2012, 07:25:11 pm »
From Jane's International Defence Review, Jan 2006:

..."One conventional strike option against hardened targets was demonstrated under a "black" or classified programme in 1978-88.  Colliquially known as "rods from God" (a term attributed to science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle), it involved placing small space vehicles containing 15-20 long, dense, inert tungsten rods - 6m long and 0.3m in diameter - in elliptical orbits around the Earth.  (There is no treaty restricting the use or deployment of conventional or non-explosive orbital weapons.) The vehicles would achieve ultra-high apogees of almost 65,000km and would eject and de-orbit the rods on demand.  When something falls in a vacuum from 65,000km it is apt to be moving rather quickly when it hits the ground, and the concept involved impact speeds of 6,000m/s.  It was estimated that the sheer kinetic energy impact would be enough to destroy missile silos.  According to analyst Barry Watts of the Center for Strategic and Bugetary Assessments: "A total of perhaps USD70-80 million was spent... including test shots against the Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg AFB in California.  In the end, however, the programme met staunch opposition from Air Force fighter generals who were not interested in seeing SAC develop a non-nuclear global-strike capability.  As a result, the programme was terminated."...

Anyone here read Footfall?   ;)


Gosh, that sounds a lot like the Martin CAM.

Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Assault Breaker
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2012, 09:41:11 am »
The whole point of depleted uranium is that it's NOT significantly radioactive.  DU is what's left after you separate out  most of the short-half-life isotopes to make enriched uranium.


There's no way anyone would mistake a conventional warhead detonation for even a small nuke

I stand corrected on the DU. On the other hand, I was trying to imply that such a "mistake" would be made by persons somewhere between unreasonable and crazy, who wanted an excuse to push the button in return and didn't care how much the truth had to be bent/ignored to justify what they did (cf. "Nazi A-bomb" claims and moon hoax conspiracies).

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Assault Breaker
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2015, 05:51:18 am »
A little more info on Assault Breaker, via a summary of another program [MLRS Terminal Guidance Warhead (TGW)]:

G. (U) RELATED ACTIVITIES: The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering directed the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the emerging technologies and demonstrate the potential of a Long-range antiarmor
capability. The resulting DARPA technology demonstration, known as "Assault Breaker," will use a long-range Army carrier
missile with midcourse correction capabilities, an Air Force radar system to locate/track targets, and provide guidance to
the carrier missile, submissiles with infrared terminal homing TGSH (Terminally Guided Submunitions), and nonhoming
target-sensing submunitions called SKEET. The demonstration is to be conducted from January to November 1981. The Army,
through its Missile Command, has been directly involved as the contracting and coordinating agency for DARPA to obtain and
test the carrier missiles, submissiles, and submunitions. Although Assault Breaker was not initiated to validate NLRS-TGW.
MLRS has influenced how DARPA has proceeded through the initial stages of its demonstrations. The most significant MLRS
influence is the sizing of the TGSM. DARPA's TGSH was sized 4" x 25" so that six of them could be packaged into the MLRS
warhead. At this juncture, no incompatibilities have been found between Assault Breaker and the seeker requirements that are
visualized for the MLRS TGSH. The MLRS-TGI program schedule was also established so that the Concept Definition studies
would begin just as the Phase III Assault Breaker demonstrations terminated. This plan will assure the availability of a
maximum amount of data, both to contractor and government representatives. These data will also be invaluable to the team
that will evaluate the Concept Definition studies. The Assault Breaker seeker technology will provide the baseline for the
MILRS-TGW. Day-to-day involvement of the Army Missile Command's Advanced Systems Concepts Office in the Assault Breaker demonstrations
assures that the potential for duplication between Assault Breaker and MLRS-TG is minimized.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 02:18:19 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: Assault Breaker
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2019, 08:08:07 am »
DARPA revives Assault Breaker concept, this time with with greater stand-off range.

Not too much technical detail, but interesting as an organizing principle.  May be behind the firewall for a week or so.