I don’t read The Drive. The Drive reads me.
- Aug 6, 2007
- Reaction score
marauder2048 said:It was the exact strategy (in terms of platforms and payloads) the US was using to counter the theater mobile missile threat.
Makes sense to scale it up to strategic mobile missile threat. And such weapons would have first strike or second strike utility i.e.
they would be generally useful in a strategic sense.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]No, it wasn't.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]In the 80s the "[/font]theater mobile missile threat" WAS the same as the "strategic mobile missile threat" - this was the SRT mission. Conventional TBM hunting was not really on the radar. The "strategy" was exactly as I outlined: LACROSSE, QUARTZ, B-2.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]In 1985 DARPA started the Smart Weapons Program which focused on using loitering autonomous weapons to hit fleeting mobile targets. Some of this concept became TACIT RAINBOW. SWP Phase 2 was THIRSTY SABRE, which aimed to put sensors and smarts on a conventional ACM as a hunter-killer system dispensing "dumb" submunitions on mobile targets. Sensors and software were tested on a surrogate aircraft.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]During DESERT STORM the [/font][font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]"theater mobile missile threat" was a higher priority. This lead to THIRSTY WARRIOR, which was a continuation of THIRSTY SABRE focused on mobile TBM. After DESERT STORM interest in the concept dried up. Later WARBREAKER attacked the mobile TBM problem with a very different, fully integrated approach.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]None of these efforts used ICBM delivered vehicles.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]The only "ICBM" delivered payload vehicle that had terminal homing like you describe was the Ballistic Intercept Missile, which was not an ICBM and not an anti-surface weapon. The Air Force hypersonic glide vehicle was also not delivered by an ICBM, was an anti-surface weapon, but did not have terminal homing. The ballistic ASSAULT BREAKER concepts were also not ICBM delivered and did not have terminal homing. [/font]
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]The only "ICBM" delivered cruise missile I am aware of was the "Ballistic Cruise Missile", which was not an ICBM (but required a very large booster) and was the size of an airliner. It was not used for the SRT mission nor was a hunter-killer.
marauder2048 said:Given that the Reagan administration had rescinded the ban on overflights in order to aid in the hunt for the mobile missiles it was
QUARTZ would have to be forward staged during a crisis. This was not practical. For QUARTZ to be useful it had to be over the target area before the strikers - either forward deployed or deployed from CONUS well ahead of the bombers.
If there was a change in overflight policy I am not aware of it.
marauder2048 said:It would have filled that need by taking very low SNR images over a vast area at hypersonic speed, then using a data link that works at hypersonic speed (none were known to exist during this period or well after) transmit that vast amount of data to the survivable satellite relay system that could handle all of 1.2 kilobits/sec? C'mon...
All of these things had been flight demonstrated by 1985.
marauder2048 said:If you want a hypersonic imager you would get it by reserving some of your survivable ICBM/SLBM forcer or bombers equipped with Pegasus as LEO satellite launchers.
That would serve the far more pressing need of reconstituting your space systems with any number
of the lightsat, smallsat, cheapsat or sparse phased array radar sat concepts that were explored in the early 80's.
Pegasus is volume and mass limited. An IMINT system of sufficient resolution to find and track mobile ICBMs would not fit. A radar would probably not fit either because of power and antenna requirements.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]And these things did not exist during this timeframe.[/font]