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Spartan/Sprint ABM and Derivatives

Michel Van

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Orionblamblam said:
Quick questions:

1) Is having an anti-SLBM submarine defense system "destabilizing?"
2) Is having an anti-strategic-bomber SAM or interceptor system "destabilizing?"
3) Is having a system of neutron/gamma ray detectors to keep an eye on infiltrators with "suitcase nukes" "destabilizing?"
4) Is having anti-tank aircraft that can take out nuclear-armed "atomic cannons" "destabilizing?"
5) Is having a medical facility tasked with finding vaccines, cures and tests for known enemy biological agents "destabilizing?"
6) Is having a room full of pimply computer geeks tasked with fighting electronic espionage "destabilizing?"
in the mind of a politician YES !
during SDI program some Soviet leaders were convince
that USA can make a Nuclear First strike on USSR and
survive the Soviet counter attack with SDI !
 

sferrin

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Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
 

Abraham Gubler

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sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
 

Kadija_Man

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Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
Unusually, I find myself agreeing with you, Abraham. I suspect I better have a strong cuppa, a bex and a long lie down to get over it. :)

The politics are indeed intrinsically linked to the technology. You simply cannot divorce one from the other and I find the effort on this otherwise great site, sometimes rather rather naive and immature. Politics drives the technological choices, particularly where nuclear matters are concerned.
 

sferrin

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rickshaw said:
Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
Unusually, I find myself agreeing with you, Abraham. I suspect I better have a strong cuppa, a bex and a long lie down to get over it. :)

The politics are indeed intrinsically linked to the technology. You simply cannot divorce one from the other and I find the effort on this otherwise great site, sometimes rather rather naive and immature. Politics drives the technological choices, particularly where nuclear matters are concerned.
Of course you can, you just don't want to. ::)
 

sferrin

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Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
Uh, no, they aren't "intrinsically linked". Whether or not a system gets bought may be a political decision but it rarely has anything to do with a system's qualities. Dragging politics into every discussion here will be a sure way to turn the site to $hit.
 

Abraham Gubler

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sferrin said:
Uh, no, they aren't "intrinsically linked". Whether or not a system gets bought may be a political decision but it rarely has anything to do with a system's qualities.
No Sferrin you are completely wrong. In the case of strategic weapon systems it is the political level which defines the capabilities of the system. The different political perspectives brought to this thread by various posters displays the kind of thikning that has lead to the capability definition of BMD systems since the 1960s.

sferrin said:
Dragging politics into every discussion here will be a sure way to turn the site to $hit.
That's not what is being done here at all. As I said before we are talking BMD systems and BMD politics. Not BMD systems and the poltics of state education.
 

bobbymike

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Actually sferrin and A. Gubler both bring up good points that represent the opposite sides of the same coin. There are two distinct lines of intellectual endeavour especially when discussing "strategic" offensive and defensive forces. Sure one can have a purely system based discussion but it can easily cross into the realm of "politics" because politics have played such a huge role, IMHO, limiting what the US developed and deployed - or in many cased never deployed.
 

Kadija_Man

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sferrin said:
rickshaw said:
Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
Unusually, I find myself agreeing with you, Abraham. I suspect I better have a strong cuppa, a bex and a long lie down to get over it. :)

The politics are indeed intrinsically linked to the technology. You simply cannot divorce one from the other and I find the effort on this otherwise great site, sometimes rather rather naive and immature. Politics drives the technological choices, particularly where nuclear matters are concerned.
Of course you can, you just don't want to. ::)
If you do, then you operate in a vacuum, never understanding the reason why choices, indeed I'd suggest the real determining choices, are made.
 

sferrin

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rickshaw said:
sferrin said:
rickshaw said:
Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Can we please lose the politics and get back to the hardware? ::)
No. They are intrinsically linked. We aren’t discussing ABM systems in relation to the politics of Tort law reform.
Unusually, I find myself agreeing with you, Abraham. I suspect I better have a strong cuppa, a bex and a long lie down to get over it. :)

The politics are indeed intrinsically linked to the technology. You simply cannot divorce one from the other and I find the effort on this otherwise great site, sometimes rather rather naive and immature. Politics drives the technological choices, particularly where nuclear matters are concerned.
Of course you can, you just don't want to. ::)
If you do, then you operate in a vacuum, never understanding the reason why choices, indeed I'd suggest the real determining choices, are made.
Thing is this site isn't really about the WHY's and wherefors. (Unless Paul wants it to be obviously.) Do we drag out the merits of START when discussing the B-1 or te ABM Treaty when discussing Patriot or THAAD? No. Talking about HOW a treaty limited or affected the specs of a system is one thing. Arguing about the merits of a of a treaty or type of weapon is something else.
 

sferrin

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Abraham Gubler said:
sferrin said:
Uh, no, they aren't "intrinsically linked". Whether or not a system gets bought may be a political decision but it rarely has anything to do with a system's qualities.
No Sferrin you are completely wrong. In the case of strategic weapon systems it is the political level which defines the capabilities of the system.
Yes and no. For instance the ABM Treaty may have put limitations on Patriot and THAAD regarding their specs BUT that doesn't mean we need to have a discussion about the merits of the ABM Treaty or ATBMs. Treaties may determine the number of warheads on an ICBM or the number deployed but beyond that politics has ZERO to do with it. Nadda. Nothing. The Peacekeeper missile was probably THE most controversial missile in history, do you think I need to know what Carter's thoughts were on it to learn about the missile? Of course not.
 

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sferrin said:
The Peacekeeper missile was probably THE most controversial missile in history, do you think I need to know what Carter's thoughts were on it to learn about the missile? Of course not.
Disagreed. Take, for example, the B-1. Carters thoughts on it led to not only programatic changes (i.e. cancellation and eventual rebirth), but also massive design changes in several proposals, such as the fixed-wing subsonic version (which is not only *wholly* appropriate for SP, but also would not have been drawn up had not Carter had his thoughts about the B-1).

Aircraft (and missiles) are not desiged in a vacuuum. Politics and politicians *drive* the course of events, and the shape of engineering. So while it would be fair to argue that, say, a discussion of Nazi ideology would be inappropriate when describing the Me 262 as a whole, it becomes relevant to mention Hitlers little obsessions when describing why the Me 262 was diverted from fighter to bomber. And similarly, how the American ABM program (or the Orion program) suddenly vanished like a fart in the wind due to specific politics.

Turning the joint into a political debate forum would be a mistake. But chopping politics completely out would also do a disservice to factual, accurate and complete storytelling.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
The Peacekeeper missile was probably THE most controversial missile in history, do you think I need to know what Carter's thoughts were on it to learn about the missile? Of course not.
Disagreed. Take, for example, the B-1. Carters thoughts on it led to not only programatic changes (i.e. cancellation and eventual rebirth), but also massive design changes in several proposals, such as the fixed-wing subsonic version (which is not only *wholly* appropriate for SP, but also would not have been drawn up had not Carter had his thoughts about the B-1).

Aircraft (and missiles) are not desiged in a vacuuum. Politics and politicians *drive* the course of events, and the shape of engineering. So while it would be fair to argue that, say, a discussion of Nazi ideology would be inappropriate when describing the Me 262 as a whole, it becomes relevant to mention Hitlers little obsessions when describing why the Me 262 was diverted from fighter to bomber. And similarly, how the American ABM program (or the Orion program) suddenly vanished like a fart in the wind due to specific politics.

Turning the joint into a political debate forum would be a mistake. But chopping politics completely out would also do a disservice to factual, accurate and complete storytelling.
Seems like a slippery slope to me. And while Carter's thoughts on the B-1 may have lead to the subsonic, fixed-wing B-1 study, do I really need to know his politics to know the details of the subsonic version? Politics could be dragged into EVERY discussion here if you want to stretch it's relevance enough but typically it rapidly degenerates into arguement. Is that what we REALLY want here? The web is full of military boards that degenerate into that kind of crap on a daily basis, do we really need one more?
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
while Carter's thoughts on the B-1 may have lead to the subsonic, fixed-wing B-1 study, do I really need to know his politics to know the details of the subsonic version?
Well... *yes.* When you see a supersonic variable geometry bomber converted into a subsonic fixed wing missile truck, very likely your first thought is going to be "why?" and that cannot be answered without some understanding of the program history and that cannot be explained without understanding of the politics involved.

And ABM, its evolution and cancellation, is even more linked to politics. If the discussion is carefully controlled to "the program was cancelled because so-and-so signed this treaty, and so-and-so passed XYZ legislation," then I don't see the problem. If it becomes a debate over whether so-and-so was a dumbass, then you're going a bit off the rez.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
If the discussion is carefully controlled to "the program was cancelled because so-and-so signed this treaty, and so-and-so passed XYZ legislation," then I don't see the problem. If it becomes a debate over whether so-and-so was a dumbass, then you're going a bit off the rez.
I agree, but how often does that happen? Even in this thread you have people argueing over the merits of defensive weapons which is completely OT. Open the door a little and soon it'll be like every other site with people constantly bickering and drowning out legitimate posts with opinion.
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
Open the door a little and soon it'll be like every other site with people constantly bickering and drowning out legitimate posts with opinion.
It *has* to be open to some degree. Otherwise all you'd have is "look at this picture."

Now, it might be worth thinking about to have a site that is nothing but the drawings, art and dry facts, with no discussion. But a discussion forum by it's very nature *means* discussion. Maybe a Wiki sort of site... contributors post their submissions here, members debateand ask questions and whatnot, and eventually the subject gets its own locked-in Wikipage.
 

bobbymike

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Of course sferrin and Orionblamblam you realize you are both right and are arguing around the same issue. Mainly, politics have played an important role, especially in strategic offensive and defensive weapons. My close to favorite unbuild ICBM the WS-120A (OK not a single weapon per say but you get the point) was specifically not built by McNamara and then cancelled because of the cost of Vietnam (and basing issues for such a large missile). I just finished reading "A Fiery Peace in a Cold War" about early ICBM development and it was all politics all the time, especially internal Air Force politics.

But sferrin is right in that (and I am as guilty as anyone) debate can quickly deteriorate to - what Orionblamblam so eloquently stated - "so and so politician is a dumbass". When I first came to Secret Projects I was absolutely amazed by the technology that was being developed in the 50's and 60's and had to ask "why was it not built?" And a lot of the time it was politics and some politician being a dumbass :D
 

sferrin

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Squirt (Sprint developement vehicles). Text from Andreas's site.

"Squirt

The Squirt was a test vehicle used during development of the Sprint short-range anti-ballistic missile. The first stage consisted of an array of solid-fueled rockets, while the upper stage was a conical body similar to the Sprint. At least four, and possibly up to seven, Squirt rockets were launched from White Sands Missile Range in 1964 and 1965."
 

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bobbymike

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sferrin - the Sprint has incredible acceleration (needed obviously for RV endgame interception). I saw a news report in the 80's during the SDI debate showing historic footage of a Sprint launch, amazing fast burn energetics!

Now today if you go to the Aerojet website they show their Roadrunner rocket used to propel objects to very high speed to simulate intercepts (it was the Roadrunner, I believe that broke the rocket sled record) Anyway I have always had an interest in energetics and was curious as to what level of g's Sprint experienced and what it final speed was?
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
sferrin - the Sprint has incredible acceleration (needed obviously for RV endgame interception). I saw a news report in the 80's during the SDI debate showing historic footage of a Sprint launch, amazing fast burn energetics!

Now today if you go to the Aerojet website they show their Roadrunner rocket used to propel objects to very high speed to simulate intercepts (it was the Roadrunner, I believe that broke the rocket sled record) Anyway I have always had an interest in energetics and was curious as to what level of g's Sprint experienced and what it final speed was?
It was Roadrunner. I've often thought they could make a pretty interesting missile with it but maybe militarizing it would make it lose some ISP.

“It” was the final stage of a four-stage sled train, which included the sled, a Super Roadrunner rocket motor, and a 192-pound payload on top. The sled train delivered the payload into a target at a velocity of 9,465 feet per second, or 6,453 mph.

The record-breaking sled test, conducted in April 2003 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., broke the previous world record established in 1982. During the latter sled test, also conducted at Holloman’s High Speed Test Track, the sled train traveled at 8,974 feet per second – that’s 6,119 mph – with a 25-pound payload.

“The primary objective of the sled test was to validate the Super Roadrunner sled train at the maximum attainable speed,” said Dr. Jay Lilley, government program manager for Super Roadrunner, and chief of the Propulsion Technology Function, Propulsion and Structures Directorate, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Directorate, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. “It was over before you even heard it, just some sonic booms and explosions. It was kind of unreal.”

The Super Roadrunner motor developed specifically for the Hypersonic Upgrade Program produced 228,000 pounds of thrust for 1.4 seconds and weighed only 1,100 pounds. The maximum acceleration of the sled was 157-g’s, or 157 times the force exerted by gravity. When the payload impacted the target, it had 363 mega joules of energy – that’s equal to a car impacting a brick wall at 2,020 miles per hour.

“We developed the technical requirements, and we continue to monitor the contract work,” Lilley said. “We conducted the analyses and validated the performance of ARC’s predictions. And we did a lot of work on the composite rocket case. Our two main efforts were the in the areas of propulsion technology and aerospace materials. We’re in the production mode now, and it’s operational. We are still doing quality control on rocket propellant to determine the burn rate of the propellant.“

He noted that these new capabilities will be used on an upcoming missile defense warhead test program, since Holloman’s High Speed Test Track is the only ground test facility that can achieve the speed and payload combinations to simulate full-scale intercepts of missile defense systems.
“We will continue to push the boundaries of state-of-the-art technologies,” Lilley said. “The Super Roadrunner rocket motor is certainly a superior motor, and it combines most of what we know about the state-of-the-art in solid rocket propulsion. However, the end product is always to deliver a payload on a target, at a specific velocity, at a precise location. And records are meant to be broken, aren’t they?”
 

bobbymike

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sferrin - thanks for the stats. The Super Roadrunner (Meep Meep :D) is an amazing system. I wonder if a system like LOSAT or CKEM use similar solid propellant for their "acceleration"?

Advanced energetics for propulsion and warheads are an incredibly important part of future warfighting requirements. In the National Academy Press report on Future Strategic Strike they recommended aggressive R&D on energetics to produce material 100 X's :eek: as energetic as TNT, when today's state of the art is around four or five X's as measured by energy per volume and density. Imagine a one hundred pound bomb with the explosive power of today's 2000 pounders.
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
sferrin - thanks for the stats. The Super Roadrunner (Meep Meep :D) is an amazing system. I wonder if a system like LOSAT or CKEM use similar solid propellant for their "acceleration"?

Advanced energetics for propulsion and warheads are an incredibly important part of future warfighting requirements. In the National Academy Press report on Future Strategic Strike they recommended aggressive R&D on energetics to produce material 100 X's :eek: as energetic as TNT, when today's state of the art is around four or five X's as measured by energy per volume and density. Imagine a one hundred pound bomb with the explosive power of today's 2000 pounders.
There have been some pretty impressive ideas out there over the years. Sprint at 100Gs or so, HiBEX at nearly 400Gs, several European programs the name of which escapes me (there was the PDF floating around the site with the Typhoon carrying air-launched ABMs). LOSAT and CKEM definitely are fast accelerators and one antitank concept I have in a PDF around here was to be a cold launched missile with thrusters to tip it over (much like Tor / SA-15) which would then accelerate at 1400+ Gs. :eek: There was another ABM test vehicle that I only know from a blurb in a Military Technology supplamental on the value of computer simulation. They talked about an ABM test vehicle that accelerated at 400Gs that they only launched once and that was just to validate the simulation. Then there's the Russian Gazelle and S-300V, and at least one Chinese test vehicle. . .
 

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Russians like it bigger...Sprint and 53T6 size comparison
 

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sferrin

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flateric said:
Russians like it bigger...Sprint and 53T6 size comparison
I don't suppose you have more info on it than a triangle do you? ;)
 

flateric

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I do, but time has not come yet. At least size and shape are authentic.
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
I do, but time has not come yet. At least size and shape are authentic.
Looking at it's transporter in the video out there it didn't strike me as being much bigger than Sprint. Go figure. The more you have on it the better. Looking forward to it. :)
 

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Yes...more cone rockets awesome, there was of course the really, really, reallyyyyyyy big one...N1. Perhaps not a pure true cone but certainly very close. Wernher von Braun also had the cone thing going on with the early Disney booster only it had fins and I like the finless designs best. Then NASA did the GTX cone concept to bad they put fins on it to. Perhaps my admiration of these cone shaped rockets makes me a true mutant conehead ;D? Anyway I'm now anxious to see what Flateric is holding close to chest.
 

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sferrin

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airrocket said:
Yes...more cone rockets awesome, there was of course the really, really, reallyyyyyyy big one...N1. Perhaps not a pure true cone but certainly very close. Wernher von Braun also had the cone thing going on with the early Disney booster only it had fins and I like the finless designs best. Then NASA did the GTX cone concept to bad they put fins on it to. Perhaps my admiration of these cone shaped rockets makes me a true mutant conehead ;D? Anyway I'm now anxious to see what Flateric is holding close to chest.
Known "cone rockets" (to me anyway).

Sprint
HiBEX
LoADS
HEDI
S-300V
Gazelle

anybody know of others?
 

flateric

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airrocket said:
Perhaps my admiration of these cone shaped rockets makes me a true mutant conehead ;D?
It's becoming a popular video at SPF then
absolutely, coneheads would have conical rockets for ABM with nuke warheads
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uELhEYbZIy8
 

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sferrin said:
Known "cone rockets" (to me anyway).

Sprint
HiBEX
LoADS
HEDI
S-300V
Gazelle

anybody know of others?
Novator 5Ya26, the endoatmospheric missile for the S-225.
 

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Found this in a ABM Chronology I'm OCRing:

1 Oct 1962 The Government awarded four contracts for four-month studies of the program definition phase of the SPRINT missile. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation dropped out, leaving North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and the Martin Company as participants. (See entry dated 18 Mar 63.)
 

sferrin

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RyanCrierie said:
Found this in a ABM Chronology I'm OCRing:

1 Oct 1962 The Government awarded four contracts for four-month studies of the program definition phase of the SPRINT missile. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation dropped out, leaving North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and the Martin Company as participants. (See entry dated 18 Mar 63.)
Any plans of making the chronology available in some format at some time?
 

sferrin

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RyanCrierie said:
Um yes, I'm OCRing it; it's just pretty huge (80~ pages); I just finished OCRing, now to clean it up. It'll go up later today.
Sweet :)
 

sferrin

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Look how much they tested those missiles. Times have changed. :-\
 

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sferrin said:
Look how much they tested those missiles. Times have changed. :-\
Yes.

Of course, the missiles were basically command guided -- which kept costs down, especially with dummy nuclear warhead sections installed.

I've put in a lot of other ABM stuff which you can catch up on at my what's new list Link, and one of the options raised to make the cost/ratio better vs ICBMs was to go from a nuclear warhead to conventional.

They also practiced a lot of double firings versus targets, so that even if one missile failed, the other would go on to successfully intercept -- and thus not waste the cost of launching a target missile. I suspect a lot of missile defense tests in the modern era would have been successes if they had gone to SHOOT-SHOOT-LOOK, instead of SHOOT-LOOK.

This also caught my eye regarding SPRINT failures:

FLA-4 (Flight 4)
3 May 66

The missile impacted 1200 feet north and east from the launch site. Telemetry records indicated that feedback signals from TVC valves 2, 3, and 4 were lost at certain time intervals. The crater caused by the impact was approximately 30 feet wide and 7 feet deep, and the south side of the hole showed evidence of an explosion.


Yikes!
 
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