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Spartan/Sprint ABM and Derivatives

KJ_Lesnick

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I'm curious about a couple of things I've read on this particular thread: I've tried to keep my questions concise for brevity purposes

I. Regarding the idea of ABM's being destabilizing
My assumption would be, from what I've read on this topic, that a missile shield is only destabilizing when it is actually capable of repelling nearly all or all ICBM attacks: Am I right or wrong?

II. US Army & ABM Operations
Not that I object to the US Army handling ABM operations: I am curious why it wasn't covered under NORAD's air-defense mission?

III. Nike Improved-Spartan
I have the following questions (provided they aren't classified of course)

....1. The Improved Spartan had a range of around 2,000 miles due to superior acceleration and the ability to shut down it's motor; then re-activate it at a later date: I assume it was guided initially by the MSR, then used it's own IR-seeker for the terminal run to target?
....2. Was the IR-seeker similar to the types used on current air-to-air missiles, or a more sophisticated IR-Electro-Optic system?
....3. The Improved Spartan depended on the knowledge that the enemy fired missiles pretty much from the ground (it sounds like it in the excerpts): Was this provided by Satellites, Over-the-Horizon Radar, or both?
....4. Was the reduced warhead yield solely to give it greater range, or merely because it was unnecessary?

IV. Martin-Marietta Sprint
I have the following questions, provided they aren't classified

....1. Was the Sprint as intended, designed to defend only hardened targets, or population centers as well as hardened targets?
....2. How many g's could the missile pull?

V. Other Last-Ditch ABM-Systems

....1. I've seen pictures of the LoAD system: Does anybody have any information on it?
....2. Was the Boeing HiBEX used as the basis for the later Sprint II
....3. Was the likelihood of MaRV's a serious threat in reality (i.e did the fUSSR develop them) provided it's not classified?

VI. Fire-Control Systems

....1. If the missiles were fired fully automatically: Was there a human being in the loop to consent to the release of the weapons, to manually assign targets, or to self-destruct a missile if necessary?
....2. The computers used for the Sentinel & Safeguard consisted of multiple CPU's (this is from a site called http://www.nuclearabms.info ) which featured programming that allowed auto-reconfigurations on the fly in the event of the failure of a CPU, memory unit, console, as well as the ability to self-correct various errors/glitches: Would this (along with the ability to determine decoys from actual targets) qualify as early artificial intelligence?
 

RLBH

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KJ_Lesnick said:
I. Regarding the idea of ABM's being destabilizing
My assumption would be, from what I've read on this topic, that a missile shield is only destabilizing when it is actually capable of repelling nearly all or all ICBM attacks: Am I right or wrong?
My personal view is that it's stabilising, not destabilising.

That said, the theory behind the missile shield being destabilising is that if Orangeland is building an ABM system, Greenland's ballistic missiles lose their effectiveness. There's therefore a 'use it or lose it' effect, whereby Greenland has to strike before it loses the capability to overcome Orangeland's defences.

Greenland can spend money to develop ways to penetrate the ABM system, and Orangeland will respond by making the ABM system more capable. The offence:defence spending ratio is argued to be anywhere between 100:1 and 1:100 by proponents of one side or the other.

In the Cold War context, the US would have been less affected by Soviet ABMs than vice versa, since the US bomber force was capable enough to inflict serious damage whilst being immune to ballistic missile defences. The Soviets were much more dependent on ballistic missiles.

II. US Army & ABM Operations
Not that I object to the US Army handling ABM operations: I am curious why it wasn't covered under NORAD's air-defense mission?
It was. The North American Air Defense Command is, and was, a joint command including elements of the US and Canadian air forces, the US Army's Air Defense Command, and US Navy units at times.
 

Kadija_Man

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KJ_Lesnick said:
I'm curious about a couple of things I've read on this particular thread: I've tried to keep my questions concise for brevity purposes

I. Regarding the idea of ABM's being destabilizing
My assumption would be, from what I've read on this topic, that a missile shield is only destabilizing when it is actually capable of repelling nearly all or all ICBM attacks: Am I right or wrong?
Wrong. Anything that potentially prevents destruction of the ABM owner's own assets means that it will either be safe from a first strike or second, retaliatory strike. An ABM defence doesn't have to be 100% effective, in fact it doesn't have to be effective at all, however it has to be perceived as effective. Once the perception is planted and grows, the perceivers will act upon the assumption that it is effective. So, the first use imperative will grow, on both sides of a strategic balance. The owners, to destroy the potential threat that the other sides' ICBMs represent and the opponents' to ensure that while the ABM system is still being built and not yet operational, so as to prevent it from rendering it's ICBM forces obsolete.

This happened with the SDI "Star Wars" system. The US hyped it, with lots of pretty animations and drawings showing how it would destroy the nasty, incoming Soviet missiles and RVs. The Soviets fearful that their missiles would be rendered obsolete were forced to try and build their own (or more ICBMs to swamp SDI). No SDI system was built but the fear was sufficient to see the Soviets try and build the means of either matching or defeating it. The real danger was if the hawks had managed to gain power, that they would have seriously contemplated a first strike, rather than see their missiles rendered obsolete the moment the system was operational.

Remember, the Cold War was as much as about perceptions of capabilities as it was about the real capabilities themselves. Both sides often acted on faulty, flawed intel. In the US there was the "Bomber Gap", the "Missile Gap" and the "Window of Opportunity" which were used for domestic political gains. In the fUSSR there were similar scares about US capabilities, which led up the Able Archer '83 scare. The fUSSR was no more monolithic than the US and there were debates within the Politburo as to who or what should be believed, just as there were in the US. Hawks versus Doves, etc. Cold War Warriors who saw a capitalist under their beds, just as those in the US saw Communists under theirs.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Kadija_Man said:
Wrong. Anything that potentially prevents destruction of the ABM owner's own assets means that it will either be safe from a first strike or second, retaliatory strike. An ABM defence doesn't have to be 100% effective
Of course not -- even losing half your population is better than losing them all.

in fact it doesn't have to be effective at all
A bluff, it works so long as your opponent believes it.

So, the first use imperative will grow, on both sides of a strategic balance. The owners, to destroy the potential threat that the other sides' ICBMs represent and the opponents' to ensure that while the ABM system is still being built and not yet operational, so as to prevent it from rendering it's ICBM forces obsolete.
If what I read is correct: What you described sounds exactly like the definition of destabilizing
 

Richard N

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A picture of the upper half of a Nike Zeus A from "Rockets of the Armed Forces" by Erik Bergaust, 1966. Comparing it to the size of the man in the sling chair, it is a very large missile.
 

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sferrin

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Interesting footage of Sprint and Spartan. Hadn't seen this clip before.

 
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phil gollin

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.

This might be interesting about the other side ;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1624103499/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=U0BWZDEY7NLX&coliid=I32BTQ6VJERCRH

.
 

sferrin

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phil gollin said:
.

This might be interesting about the other side ;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1624103499/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=U0BWZDEY7NLX&coliid=I32BTQ6VJERCRH

.
http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/4.103506

:)
 

RyanCrierie

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According to this:

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a017242.pdf

---------------------

Development of SPRINT II began in 1972 -- it was to be a cheaper improved performance version with 65% commonality with SPRINT I.

SPRINT II CHANGES: Changes brought about by the Site Defense role of providing low altitude defense of Minuteman sites against an increased ICBM threat included Integrating the missile guidance set and autopilot into an integrated circuit Missile Guidance Set (MGS) which would increase reliability and accuracy at a reduced cost. Advances in semiconductor technology made it possible to combine the SPRINT autopilot and missile guidance set into one integrated assembly capable of performing in the SPRINT II environment.

----------------------

Development began in 1974 of yet another (tm) derivative, called Improved Sprint II Missile Subsystem (ISMS) which would be a "significantly enhanced performance capability SPRINT derivative".

Improved Sprint II Missile Subsystem (ISMS) CHANGES: The ISMS improvement includes a change from the analog MGS to a digital missile controller set (DMCS). The DMCS yields substantial improvements over the SPRINT II MCS in the areas of radiation order limits and reduced trajectory deviations, digital control circuits, improved circumvention scheme, and limited inertial navigation. This later capability is provided through the strap down inertial system using a laser gyro together with the on-board digital computer. The inertial navigation technique provides a large system benefit via a reduction in radar scheduling. Retention of vital system variables such as gains, steering commands, discretes, missile mode logic, and major filter state variables, enables a major reduction of radiation induced trajectory deviations. Restoration of the DHCS to normal operation is achieved more quickly and completely than in SPRINT II because the DMCS digital circuits have faster recovery times than the SPRINT II analog circuits.

Some data on SPRINT was also included. They are:

"The development philosophy for SPRINT was "a tactical missile from a tactical silo with the initial design." Although many changes occurred during the 13 year development, the first flight test missile (launched successfully on November 17, 1965) is not greatly different than the 70 that are being deployed at Grand Forks, North Dakota.

At the end of the Reliability Demonstration series (flown at both WSMR and KMR), the SPRINT subsystem had completed 51 flight tests with no electronic failures. Each missile contains about 9,000 electronic piece parts and the Ground Support equipment contains an additional 5,000 parts for a total of just over 700,000 parts tested with no failures. This highly successful flight test series demonstrated the flight reliability of the SPRINT subsystem."

...

The SPRINT I analog autopilot was the last major assembly to be qualified for tactical use.


-----------------

So basically, looks like:

1.) SPRINT I was analog.

2.) SPRINT II was aimed at cost reductions by making 2 circuit boards into 1, etc; similar to how you have today's PS4 (2013) and PS4 Slim (2016) with some around the edge performance increases.

2.) IMPROVED SPRINT II was to be *the* major change, going to a fully digital guidance system, allowing for a much "harder" missile against radiation, and significantly reducing the workload of the radar/computer combination on the ground, because it could now be commanded to fly a preset course in between guidance commands, as opposed to having to constantly track/guide it.
 

RyanCrierie

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http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a210006.pdf

Apparently the HEDI KITE test demonstrator in the late 1980s consisted of surplus SPRINT components:

Flight one (KITE 1) will be a basic test of the ability to safely and accurately launch the booster vehicle. The booster vehicle (the first- and second-stage rocket motors from a SPRINT missile) will be launched along a trajectory with an azimuth of 330 degrees (Figure 1-3) from Launch Complex
37.


...

Flight two (KITE 2) will be an experiment in which the HEDI seeker will track an IR
target flare to measure seeker performance. The target flare will be fired from the
vicinity of the Small Missile Range (Figure 1-3) using a 155-mm Howitzer, whereas
the HEDI KITE 2 vehicle (a first- and second-stage SPRINT missile plus the HEDI KV)
will be launched from Launch Complex 37 along the same trajectory as KITE 1


...

Flight three (KITE 3) will be an actual intercept test, featuring a HEDI KV engaging a
surrogate RV (attached to an ARIES booster), which will be launched from Launch
Complex 36, just west of Launch Complex 37 (Figure 1-3). The latter test will
include evaluation of the seeker system, fusing performance, and overall evaluation of
the performance of the conventional warhead. The HEDI KV will be launched from
Launch Complex 37 along the same trajectory as KITE 1


HEDI XTV was to have an improved Kill Vehicle (KV) and a new booster to replace the SPRINT booster used in HEDI KITE tests.

---------------

http://www.astronautix.com/h/hedi.html

KITE was a rail-launched two-stage test vehicle using surplus Sprint ABM motors (Hercules X-265 and a Hercules X-271). A KKV (Kinetic Kill Vehicle) fitted with an infrared seeker, was protected under a shroud during the initial high-speed 200G acceleration through the lower atmosphere.

KITE-1 on 26 January 1990 was followed by the failed KITE-2 on 23 September 1991 and the final KITE-2A on 26 August 1992. The operational HEDI program had been cancelled in 1992, but the KITE flights tested various system components like seeker, guidance and control systems. No actual intercepts were attempted.
 
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