SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS and IRAN
From The New York Times:
White House to Scrap Bush’s Approach to Missile Shield
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to announce on Thursday that it will scrap former President George W. Bush’s planned missile defense system in Eastern Europe and instead deploy a reconfigured system aimed more at intercepting shorter-range Iranian missiles, according to people familiar with the plans.
President Obama decided not to deploy a sophisticated radar system in the Czech Republic or 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland, as Mr. Bush had planned. Instead, the new system his administration is developing would deploy smaller SM-3 missiles, at first aboard ships and later probably either in southern Europe or Turkey, those familiar with the plans said.
Without a lot of specific information about the ship-based missile system, one can only deduce the nature and extent of the protection offered.
- Time to detect and verify launch direction and hostile intent - 5 to 10 minutes
- Time to react and launch SM-3 anti-missile missiles - 1 to 2 minutes
- Distance hostile missile flies in 10 minutes - hundreds of miles (see specs below)
- Range of SM-3 - about 325 miles
- Portion of Europe protected - not much
It seems questionable how much protection any area would be afforded from missiles based in the Mediterranean Sea. One might think that this is just another step in President Obama's effort to undercut the U.S. military presence and effectiveness around the world.
Shahab-3 Type Strategic MRBM Service history In service 2003–present Used by Iran Production history Manufacturer Iran Variants A,B,C,D Specifications Diameter 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) Warhead One (990 kg/2,200 lb) - five cluster warheads in new models (280 kg/620 lb) each warhead, each warhead can target different destinations. Engine Liquid & Solid (for models made after 2006) Operational
2,100 km (1,300 mi) Speed 5,500 km/h (3,400 mph), 21 mach in final phase.Specifications and images from Wikipedia.org
Missile defense is difficult and expensive. Certainly having our ships sitting around waiting for a missile to go off can't be cheap. Maybe the more rational approach is to place them within the borders of our allies... oh, wait, that was the plan.
Of course, it could be argued that Iran's missiles are only for defensive purposes and its nuclear program is only for generating electricity. They could be....