Air-launched missile defence concept

DrRansom

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marauder2048 said:
Which is funny given the previous administration's view that boost phase interceptors carried by stealthy
aircraft were strategically destabilizing.

I was hoping that since MKV was cancelled and then resurrected as MOKV
that the AWL would be resurrected as AOWL..but alas it's still AWOL.
The Representative is from another party. In either case, I agree that the potential deployment of boost-phase interceptors by ULO stratospheric UAVs would be potentially massively destabilizing.

But... the best platform for a boost-phase interceptor is a super high-altitude ULO UAV. Not the F-35.

Edit: there is another part of the conversation conspicuously missing here. The Representative, following the line of the DoD and most analysts, has focused on defending against North Korean missiles. There has been very little emphasis on destroying North Korean missiles before they launch.

Imagine if the convseration was not just about defense, but about developing the capability to launch a counter-force attack at a moment's notice.

North Korean can build enough missiles to stress any reasonable missile defense system. (44 GBI rounds, at 4 rounds per target, makes for an easily overwhelmed system.)

Rather than single-mindedly focusing on defense, there should talk about what offensive systems can help.
 

marauder2048

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There's been lots of discussion about left-of-launch approaches to BMD. If you think BPI is hard...

Not suggesting that the F-35 was the best platform but given the difficulty in locating TELs
you'd want a higher density asset as well as your HALE LO UAV.

More importantly, we really need to crash-course a BPI interceptor; maybe (hopefully) LREW is more than just air dominance.
 

sferrin

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DrRansom said:
In either case, I agree that the potential deployment of boost-phase interceptors by ULO stratospheric UAVs would be potentially massively destabilizing.
Wouldn't really be useful against a larger country like Russia or China as they could locate their ICBMs further back and just lob them over these UAVs.
 

marauder2048

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Senate authorizers ask appropriators to fund boost-phase missile defense project

December 01, 2017 | Justin Doubleday

Two lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee are urging Senate appropriators to include funding in
their fiscal year 2018 spending bill for a Defense Department project that promises to deliver a boost-phase
missile defense solution in 18 months or less.

In a Dec. 1 letter, Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) ask top Senate appropriators to designate
$100 million for the "rapid development and deployment of a new kinetic boost phase missile defense
technology" in their FY-18 spending bill. The letter was sent to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad
Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Cochran released his chairman's mark of the FY-18 bill last week. The legislation, which busts mandatory
spending caps by $32 billion, includes $9.3 billion for missile defense.

Inhofe and Sullivan want the appropriators to set aside $100 million for a project known as the High Altitude Long
Endurance Kinetic Boost Phase Intercept, according to their letter. The system would make use of remotely
piloted unmanned vehicles loitering in international airspace at a safe standoff distance over international
waters, the letter states.

"When fielded, this system could detect and engage North Korean missiles in their boost phase and potentially
confine North Korean ICBMs to airspace over (or close to) North Korea -- protecting American families and our
allies," it continues.

They claim the system can be built within 12 to 18 months. The unmanned aerial vehicles and detection
technology already exist, while the missile interceptor would be developed by making "minor technical
modifications of already existing missiles," according to the letter.

The funding for the project was initially identified by DOD as part of a $6 billion supplemental spending request
sent over to Congress last month. The supplemental request included an extra $4 billion for missile defense
and defeat projects.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/senate-authorizers-ask-appropriators-fund-boost-phase-missile-defense-project
 

marauder2048

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Northrop Grumman FTX-20 Experiment 2014

Northrop Grumman’s Distributed Aperture System demonstrates the ability to detect and track ballistic missile threats
and share the trajectory information across the battlespace via an airborne gateway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhksMM0Dduo
 

marauder2048

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Griffin interested in airborne missile defense
By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON – The man poised to become the first ever undersecretary of defense for
research and engineering supports investing heavily in airborne missile defense and directed
energy weapons, as well as new ways of moving technology from theory to production.

Michael Griffin, the former NASA administrator up for the R&E job, faced few tough questions
during his nomination hearing Thursday, but did give insight into some of the areas he may
focus on after what appears to be an inevitable confirmation.

Asked about the feasibility of airborne boost-phase missile defense, Griffin expressed strong
support for the idea, calling it “very feasible” to develop the technology, which he said would
be particularly useful against a country like North Korea.

“It was feasible many years ago to do it. What we have lacked in the missile defense arena
until recently was the will, not the technology, not the means,” Griffin said.


The idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. Analysts have questioned how feasible
such technology is, and the Pentagon appears to be in just the early stages of experimenting
with the concept.

Griffin acknowledged that interest from the Hill outstrips that from inside the Pentagon,
saying “Congress is leading the department, ahead of the department on this. And if confirmed
you will not be ahead of me in your advocacy for this capability. I strongly support such [technology].”

He also showed support for directed energy weapons, saying that laser technology has been
“given that less priority, by far, than I think it deserves.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/01/18/griffin-interested-in-airborne-missile-defense/
 

sferrin

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"he idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. "

When I read this I can't help but think, "if a 747, with it's megawatt+ laser and giant beam director couldn't make the case, what hope does a Reaper-esque drone have?"
 

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sferrin said:
"he idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. "

When I read this I can't help but think, "if a 747, with it's megawatt+ laser and giant beam director couldn't make the case, what hope does a Reaper-esque drone have?"
Scott, has there been any studies on 'tail chase' missile technologies from an air launched platform that includes missile size, weight, speed, etc. requirements. I know a lot would depend on range from target and many other factors but curious if you've seen anything?
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
"he idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. "

When I read this I can't help but think, "if a 747, with it's megawatt+ laser and giant beam director couldn't make the case, what hope does a Reaper-esque drone have?"
Scott, has there been any studies on 'tail chase' missile technologies from an air launched platform that includes missile size, weight, speed, etc. requirements. I know a lot would depend on range from target and many other factors but curious if you've seen anything?
I've seen very little in the way of actual hardware concepts for air-launched boost phase intercept. NCADE wasn't meant for launching against large ballistic missiles (mostly because it's range was relatively short and the targets would be too far away at launch). Then this one but I don't know if it went anywhere:
 

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http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2018/01/left-launch-missile-defense-you-dont-want-have-just-one-solution-threat/145438/?oref=defenseone_today_nl
 

DrRansom

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sferrin said:
"he idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. "

When I read this I can't help but think, "if a 747, with it's megawatt+ laser and giant beam director couldn't make the case, what hope does a Reaper-esque drone have?"
I think the theory is a largish missile, perhaps PAC-3 size, but mounted on a stealth aircraft orbiting above the mobile missile operating region. I suspect the CONOPs is to surge Boost-Phase-Intercept drones into the enemy airspace while ground attack aircraft seek out the launchers. The missile interceptors give some protection against any launchers that escape the TEL hunt.
 

sferrin

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DrRansom said:
sferrin said:
"he idea of airborne missile defense systems has become more popular in recent months,
with members of Congress pushing the Pentagon on such ideas as arming drones with lasers
that, in theory, could take out a just-launched ICBM. "

When I read this I can't help but think, "if a 747, with it's megawatt+ laser and giant beam director couldn't make the case, what hope does a Reaper-esque drone have?"
I think the theory is a largish missile, perhaps PAC-3 size, but mounted on a stealth aircraft orbiting above the mobile missile operating region. I suspect the CONOPs is to surge Boost-Phase-Intercept drones into the enemy airspace while ground attack aircraft seek out the launchers. The missile interceptors give some protection against any launchers that escape the TEL hunt.
Except that by the time the decision to even move drones out of their hangars is made the missiles in question will be GONE.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
Except that by the time the decision to even move drones out of their hangars is made the missiles in question will be GONE.
The mobile missile threat was so acute in the 80's that the Regan administration authorized overflight of the Soviet Union
prior to the outbreak of hostilities; no reason that authorization couldn't make a comeback.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
Except that by the time the decision to even move drones out of their hangars is made the missiles in question will be GONE.
The mobile missile threat was so acute in the 80's that the Regan administration authorized overflight of the Soviet Union
prior to the outbreak of hostilities; no reason that authorization couldn't make a comeback.
You'd need something with a lot of stealth and very high speed weapons. And a lot of them.
 

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sferrin said:
You'd need something with a lot of stealth and very high speed weapons. And a lot of them.
Something like the Skunk Works Persistor? Mach 2 flight into enemy airspace and then high altitude stealthy loiter. That's a wildly expensive program.

The BPI drone use case is, I think, a counter-force strike launched in an escalating crisis against North Korea. The problem is that such a system only increases the pressure on KJU to launch earlier.
 

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I never really understood the notion of B-2s flying over the USSR looking for ICBM-carrying trains. The missiles would be long gone before the B-2s arrived, and how much endurance would they have overhead anyway? IMO you either need a long-endurance drone with very high speed, long range AAMs operating at the edge of the country's airspace (and it needs to be a SMALL country), or lasers in space.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
I never really understood the notion of B-2s flying over the USSR looking for ICBM-carrying trains. The missiles would be long gone before the B-2s arrived, and how much endurance would they have overhead anyway? IMO you either need a long-endurance drone with very high speed, long range AAMs operating at the edge of the country's airspace (and it needs to be a SMALL country), or lasers in space.
Wasn't AARS supposed to provide targeting data for depressed trajectory SLBMs (possibly with a terminally guided MaRV) ?

We can add to that the other ICBM-based counter-strategic relocatable target weapons
which IIRC, were PBV bi-static radar guided MarV and an ICBM deliverable cruise missile .
 

DrRansom

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sferrin said:
I never really understood the notion of B-2s flying over the USSR looking for ICBM-carrying trains. The missiles would be long gone before the B-2s arrived, and how much endurance would they have overhead anyway? IMO you either need a long-endurance drone with very high speed, long range AAMs operating at the edge of the country's airspace (and it needs to be a SMALL country), or lasers in space.
Or a Mach 3 air launched cruise missile...
 

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DrRansom said:
Or a Mach 3 air launched cruise missile...
Doubt even that would make a difference.
 

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https://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/201804/north-korea.cfm

Long (12,000 word) treatise by Ted Postol on North Korean ballistic missile capabilities and a potential BPI system using Reapers equipped with 600 Kg, 4 km/s interceptors with an additional 2 km/s divert capability in the KV.

Scroll to the end for the BPI info. In terms of preamble, there's a lot on rocket science, the potential sources of the North Korean technological advancements that underpinned the 2017 ICBM "breakout", and a discussion of how those various technologies were combined and adapted, plus some characteristic shade for GMD and, delightfully, the Grey Lady.
 

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https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235146350_Interceptor_Concepts_for_the_US_UAV_BPI_Program
 

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marauder2048 said:
Wasn't AARS supposed to provide targeting data for depressed trajectory SLBMs (possibly with a terminally guided MaRV) ?
No, AARS was meant to do long-range MTI against Topol TELs.

I never saw a reference to it being used against SLBMs.

And how would it help against MARV anyway? MARV is a problem for the interceptor and terminal radars, not detection.
 

marauder2048

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Maury Markowitz said:
marauder2048 said:
Wasn't AARS supposed to provide targeting data for depressed trajectory SLBMs (possibly with a terminally guided MaRV) ?
No, AARS was meant to do long-range MTI against Topol TELs.

I never saw a reference to it being used against SLBMs.

And how would it help against MARV anyway? MARV is a problem for the interceptor and terminal radars, not detection.
I think we are in violent agreement as to what AARS was intended to do.

The question is which weapons would be used to prosecute the attacks against the TELs that AARS was tracking.
 

quellish

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marauder2048 said:
I think we are in violent agreement as to what AARS was intended to do.

The question is which weapons would be used to prosecute the attacks against the TELs that AARS was tracking.
SRAMs launched from B-2s. AARS and the B-2s used MILSTAR to move data. No way to get AARS data to SLBMs in a timely fashion (SSBNs would have to be waiting for the data at periscope depth anyway and reprogramming the missiles may not be a quick process).
 

marauder2048

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Quick-retargeting of ICBMs (REACT) and SLBMs (SRS) began in the mid-80's.
I would think that it any crisis that motivated the launch of AARS, communications with SSBNs
would be easier.

Was the "mobile missile hunting B-2" concept anything more than a fanciful "Save the B-2" effort?

While the Regan administration was willing to permit ISR overflights of the Soviet Union
in peacetime (which made AARS viable) I don't think it extended to nuclear armed bombers.

Short of a US first-strike (or the mother-of-all tanker chains), I don't see how the the B-2 has much
more than residual capability in the mobile-missile hunting role.
 

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marauder2048 said:
Quick-retargeting of ICBMs (REACT) and SLBMs (SRS) began in the mid-80's.
I would think that it any crisis that motivated the launch of AARS, communications with SSBNs
would be easier.
SSBNs have (long range) communications when at periscope depth and when submerged. The submerged system is very very low bandwidth. Targets can be sent from STRATCOM over the high bandwidth system. The low bandwidth system can be used to tell the SSBN to go to periscope depth for new orders/targets/pizza/whatever. AARS would be unable to use the low bandwidth system for technical and practical reasons.

When SLBMs are retargetted imagine it as loading a new program into the system. The program isn't (and can't be) created on the SSBN.

marauder2048 said:
Was the "mobile missile hunting B-2" concept anything more than a fanciful "Save the B-2" effort?
It was a primary mission of the B-2 from 81-89. The mission justified much of the stealth, the DMS and ESM, and in particular the radar. The B-2 can hang out for a long, long time over defended territory without much support. That was the idea, and that drove many of the more interesting requirements.

The plan looked something like this:
SS-20, -24, -25 are continuously monitored using national assets in peacetime (SIGINT, COMINT, overhead radar).
When hostilities are initiated AARS uses radar and SIGINT to search the areas where mobile targets are likely to be based on the peacetime monitoring. This narrows the search area and hopefully identifies precise target locations.
B-2s follow in and track the mobile targets using the strike radar. SRAMs are launched to destory them. MILSTAR is how the B-2s communicate with AARS and STRATCOM.

That was the plan as these systems were being developed and funded, and how USAF and STRATCOM were sold on participating in AARS. AARS was originally a CIA/NRO program but, you know, money.
USAF/STRATCOM needs added/changed requirements. AARS had to do much more than just be a persistent eye to satisfy SIOP needs and that drove costs up further.

There was never an actual SIOP that incorporated these elements. The world changed, programs were canceled (AARS, MILSTAR(?), SRAM-II, B-2) etc. and even the nature of the SIOP itself changed.

marauder2048 said:
While the Regan administration was willing to permit ISR overflights of the Soviet Union
in peacetime (which made AARS viable) I don't think it extended to nuclear armed bombers.
There are many flaws in the above plan. What if national assets did not know the (general) locations of all the mobile missiles at the start of hostilities? How would AARS get in place in time? How many AARS would be needed to cover SIOP, Trans-SIOP, and post-SIOP needs?
How would AARS lift off the ground with the weight of all the computers it would need? They were trying to automate like.... all of NPIC. Into the aircraft.

Would it not make a little more sense if AARS was a high speed aircraft rather than a persistent subsonic one?

marauder2048 said:
Short of a US first-strike (or the mother-of-all tanker chains), I don't see how the the B-2 has much
more than residual capability in the mobile-missile hunting role.
This is how the B-2 and AARS were sold to the people who funded them. Whether this would have worked in practice is another thing.
 

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"There are many flaws in the above plan. What if national assets did not know the (general) locations of all the mobile missiles at the start of hostilities? How would AARS get in place in time? How many AARS would be needed to cover SIOP, Trans-SIOP, and post-SIOP needs?
How would AARS lift off the ground with the weight of all the computers it would need? They were trying to automate like.... all of NPIC. Into the aircraft.

Would it not make a little more sense if AARS was a high speed aircraft rather than a persistent subsonic one?"

yes these are now contemporary issues.
 

marauder2048

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quellish said:
SSBNs have (long range) communications when at periscope depth and when submerged. The submerged system is very very low bandwidth. Targets can be sent from STRATCOM over the high bandwidth system. The low bandwidth system can be used to tell the SSBN to go to periscope depth for new orders/targets/pizza/whatever. AARS would be unable to use the low bandwidth system for technical and practical reasons.
The submerged system was not particularly low bandwidth since the BALPARS data set was not small and was sent twice a day.
Indeed, GAO in 1992 said that C3 to SSBNs is about a prompt as ICBMs silos and there was no operationally meaningful
difference in time to target for SLBMs.

In any event, the crisis that prompted the launch of AARS would have prompted SSBNs to come shallow.


quellish said:
When SLBMs are retargetted imagine it as loading a new program into the system. The program isn't (and can't be) created on the SSBN.
It's interpolation or extrapolation from the existing target set which they have to do anyway to accommodate the BALPARS data.

marauder2048 said:
Was the "mobile missile hunting B-2" concept anything more than a fanciful "Save the B-2" effort?
quellish said:
It was a primary mission of the B-2 from 81-89.
Which is contradicted by:

Welch's congressional testimony in 1989: “finding and striking highly mobile targets is neither the reason for the B-2...."
GAO, which said in 1992 for the B-2 vis-a-vis SRTs that "no special capability exists or is foreseen"
and the declassified NSDD 178 (July 10, 1985) which says that:

"During the development of the ATB, design options will be preserved to ensure that the ATB could ultimately have the capability in conjunction
with other national assets to locate and attack relocatable targets within the Soviet Union and other potential adversaries"

That's pretty far from a primary mission. Had it in fact been ATB's primary mission there would be no need to mention this.

I can't find any evidence that any of the counter-SRT warheads that were studied were envisioned for SRAM II.

quellish said:
The mission justified much of the stealth, the DMS and ESM, and in particular the radar. The B-2 can hang out for a long, long time over defended territory without much support. That was the idea, and that drove many of the more interesting requirements.
You would have needed all of the above and SRAM II just to survive against the mobile SAM systems and to prosecute attacks
against the existing stationary target set protected by terminal defenses.


marauder2048 said:
There was never an actual SIOP that incorporated these elements.
Agreed.

marauder2048 said:
While the Regan administration was willing to permit ISR overflights of the Soviet Union
in peacetime (which made AARS viable) I don't think it extended to nuclear armed bombers.
quellish said:
There are many flaws in the above plan.
Who claimed it was flawless? But it is well attested to in the declassified documents.
It's clear that there were no flawless plans or concepts for countering the SRT threat.

quellish said:
Would it not make a little more sense if AARS was a high speed aircraft rather than a persistent subsonic one?
No. Because EO/IR and particularly SAR/ESM/GMTI all like long dwells and low platform speed.
That leads you to persistent subsonic platforms or ICBM/SLBM rapid delivery of subsonic platforms like MSTART
which is of course consistent with REACT and the other SRT targeting system the US actually funded and pursued.

quellish said:
marauder2048 said:
Short of a US first-strike (or the mother-of-all tanker chains), I don't see how the the B-2 has much
more than residual capability in the mobile-missile hunting role.
This is how the B-2 and AARS were sold to the people who funded them. Whether this would have worked in practice is another thing.
It's clear from all of the declassified documents that the Reagan administration wanted at least residual capabiltiy
against SRTs from all of the elements of the Triad.
 

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marauder2048 said:
The submerged system was not particularly low bandwidth since the BALPARS data set was not small and was sent twice a day.
ELF - particularly as used by the US Navy - has a bandwidth of about a word per minute. And we are talking about very short words here. That is low bandwidth.

The Navy "fast retargeting" systems introduced in the 90s and 00s are intended to shift missiles to existing fixed targets, not new ones. When a target is missed by a missile the retargeting system can shift a subsequent missile to that (already programmed) target.
Regardless, fast retargeting systems were not deployed at the time.

marauder2048 said:
Indeed, GAO in 1992 said that C3 to SSBNs is about a prompt as ICBMs silos and there was no operationally meaningful
difference in time to target for SLBMs.

In any event, the crisis that prompted the launch of AARS would have prompted SSBNs to come shallow.
They would not be hanging out at periscope depth for the duration of a crisis.

marauder2048 said:
Which is contradicted by:

Welch's congressional testimony in 1989: “finding and striking highly mobile targets is neither the reason for the B-2...."
[/qupte]

Which continued:
"...nor are we likely to accomplish that in the near to mid term with great efficiency unless we make a further big commitment to some other system."

The big commitment to some other system being AARS. This was at the time when USAF was gaining a larger responsibility for that program.

marauder2048 said:
GAO, which said in 1992 for the B-2 vis-a-vis SRTs that "no special capability exists or is foreseen"
By 1992 the B-2 mission had changed. Again, the world had changed. STRATCOM had changed. SIOP, as we knew it, was dead.

marauder2048 said:
and the declassified NSDD 178 (July 10, 1985) which says that:

"During the development of the ATB, design options will be preserved to ensure that the ATB could ultimately have the capability in conjunction
with other national assets to locate and attack relocatable targets within the Soviet Union and other potential adversaries"
[/qupte]

"Other national assets" here being the very systems we are talking about. AARS and satellites.

As far as the B-2 SRT mission, see attached from "Testing and operational requirements for the B-2" testimony. There are many other examples in the public record of the B-2 SRT mission.

marauder2048 said:
You would have needed all of the above and SRAM II just to survive against the mobile SAM systems and to prosecute attacks
against the existing stationary target set protected by terminal defenses.
As you might imagine this problem was studied to death at the time and the outcomes did not agree with that position. The B-2 was more than capable of accomplishing its mission given the current and projected threats at the time.

marauder2048 said:
No. Because EO/IR and particularly SAR/ESM/GMTI all like long dwells and low platform speed.
A few SR-71 RSOs would disagree with that.
There is nothing inherent to, say, SAR that dictates a low platform speed.

marauder2048 said:
It's clear from all of the declassified documents that the Reagan administration wanted at least residual capabiltiy
against SRTs from all of the elements of the Triad.
STRATCOM had a strategy of cross-targeting at the time. For some targets this was not practical. Not every target was vulnerable to multiple capabilities. Arms control agreements put additional pressure on STRATCOM targeting.
 

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BALPARS was VLF anyway so the submarine had to come (relatively) shallow to get the wind/atmospheric data
to ensure that its very expensive SLBM RBs weren't scattered. Plus, Trident D5 was supposed to be
MILSTAR compatible.

I've love to see some actual evidence that the B-2's primary mission since 1981 was counter SRT.
The 1985 document pre-dates and contradicts what you provided and was at a much higher classification level.
GAO's 1992 analysis is still valid because as they say: "Our analysis of the B-2 focused on its originally intended
strategic-nuclear mission."

Fast retargeting would have been suitable for the SS-25 threat since most of
the studies during the period considered attacks on the dispersal regions around their garrisons.

"Fast retargeting systems were not deployed at this time." Well neither was the B-2.
But I think it's clear these programs all got their counter-SRT start after 1985 per the presidential directive.
And many of the counter-SRT efforts the Air Force actually funded were not built around the penetrating bomber.

The SR-71 was retired (in part) because it wasn't a very good SAR platform; for SAR, platform velocity is in the denominator for SNR.
That's why the U-2 continued since ideally you want high, slow and good endurance.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
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https://twitter.com/MIL_STD

MDA is seeking tech across the Hypersonic Defense ‘kill chain’ including early ID and persistent sensor technology, low-latency comms and processing tech., and advanced technologies supporting future components for weapon systems."

https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cb4a2ed31c089499d981c0530ba8b014&tab=core&_cview=0
 
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