• Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Why the Patriot Missile Might Fail America's Military

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by OldTwilight, Dec 7, 2017 at 10:43 PM.

  1. OldTwilight

    OldTwilight FULL MEMBER

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    America risks entering into a war with the mistaken belief that it has a shield against the enemy’s missiles when all it has is a sieve.

    It turns out that history does repeat itself. The news that the Patriot anti-missile system failed to shoot down a Scud in Saudi Arabia is in November 2017 is exactly what happened when the Patriot system failed spectacularly in Saudi Arabia in the Gulf War of 1991.

    Then, as now, the public and officials were misled by quick, false claims of success. Then, as now, journalists reported the claims as fact without checking. Then, as now, the claims of success were used to justify huge increases in missile defense budgets. Then, as now, the administration trumpeted the false claims as proof that missile defense works.

    It does not. Even shooting down simple, short-range missiles like Scuds is extraordinarily complex. It is exponentially more difficult still to shoot down a long-range missile like the ones North Korea is testing. Compared to these sophisticated, ocean-spanning missiles, modified Scuds, like the one that forces in Yemen shot at the Riyadh airport, are large, slow and usually launched from fixed sites. Still, Saudi Arabia could not hit one after firing five interceptors at it, according to new reporting from The New York Times and analysts at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey.

    I spent almost a year examining the performance of the Patriot missile on the Gulf War for the House Government Operations Committee in 1992 (a summary of the investigation is available here). We learned a great deal about the performance of these Scuds and the Patriot PAC-2 system. Very little of this has been explained to officials, the public or to those who are being sold the Patriot system.

    Basic Scuds are designed to fly about three hundred kilometers. To increase the range, Iraqi engineers in 1991 lengthened the missile and lightened the warhead. This seems to be what the Yemeni engineers did to produce the “Burqan-2” Scud variant used in this attack. This increases the range to about six hundred kilometers, but it has the unintended effect of destabilizing the missile in flight.

    In the Gulf War, a launch would carry the Scud out of the atmosphere into a brief flight in space. It peaks at about one hundred kilometers altitude and then falls back towards earth. As it reenters, the nose of the Scuds, instead of pointing downwards, were often too light and thus the missile hit the air flat, like a paper airplane without a paper clip to keep it aerodynamic. The resulting stress tore the missile apart. It would disintegrate, sometimes in great fiery tumbles, sometimes streaking like a comet with pieces trailing behind.

    The Patriot computers in the Gulf War misinterpreted this break-up. It depicted on its screen not one but two, three or a dozen Scuds streaking in towards the Patriot fire unit. It looked to the troops buttoned up in the small control van as if one missile had blossomed into several, now diving into the area they were supposed to defend. They followed protocol and would launch one or two interceptors per target (or the computers would take over and automatically fire the missiles).

    Observers outside would often interpret the explosion of the Patriot’s warhead as evidence that it had intercepted its target. But the PAC-2 warhead is designed to explode in front of its target, spraying shrapnel it hopes will hit. The Patriot has to explode with a few tens of meters of the warhead to have any hope of hitting it. In case after case, the Patriots would be launched at relatively slow-flying debris from the disintegrating missile, whose warhead had often detached and would spiral in toward the ground. Crews would get “probable kill” symbols on their computers and, if there were no reports of damage (they rarely went outside to check), they would declare a confirmed kill. When they examined debris from the Scud, they thought the Patriot had caused the damage, when it was just the heat and stress of the reentry.

    That is precisely what seemed to have happened in Riyadh . . . again. The Iraqis in 1991 and the Houthis in 2017 modified the Scuds and created—by accident—a stealthy, fast-flying, maneuvering reentry vehicle cloaked by decoys. It’s accuracy is very poor, but it is also impossible to hit. In 1991, software fixes were rushed into the field, but about half of the 158 Patriots fired in that conflict were likely fired at false targets and debris.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-patriot-missile-might-fail-001800385.html

    READ FULL ARTICLE AT THIS PAGE
    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-the-patriot-missile-might-fail-americas-military-23530
     
  2. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Fake propaganda nonsense.

    The firecracker was intercepted with no personal or material losses as shown in the video below. Moment of impact is shown at the end of the video.



    Without the upcoming THAAD or S-400 missile defense system.

    A certain miserable entity and a certain neighbor in the neighborhood who use ancient USSR/North Korean/Ukrainian technology while claiming it as their own, should leave their daydreaming to the bed at night.



    Anyway the Houthi terrorist cult is on its last breathes after having alienated everyone in Yemen. More liberated towns and areas earlier today together with Saleh's forces and allied tribes.

    Gov. forces captured #Khokha and advanced more than 20 km north of the city. All pro-#Saleh forces in #Khokha area joined government forces. #Hudaydah #Yemen https://t.co/CzqR6gLgBD

    Yemen’s national army entered the town of Khokha south of Hodaidah port today. They were met by cheering residents.. https://t.co/sdFEV7FOXZ



    70 Houthi terrorists killed in Sana'a.



    ‘By killing Saleh, Houthis have pitted themselves against the GPC, Republican Guards, Northern Tribes, Southern separatists & the Coalition. The Iranians have found themselves in a situation where it’s only them & their proxy against an entire population.’ https://t.co/oNlBn0MLPH

     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 11:21 PM
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  3. OldTwilight

    OldTwilight FULL MEMBER

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    when national interest or Yahoo become Iran propaganda tool !?
     
  4. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Nobody mentioned Iran but yourself. It is a propaganda article when it claims that the missile was not shot down when there are videos that show the moment of impact. Like with all other attempts at firing firecrackers at KSA.

    Anyway you believe what you want to.
     
  5. OldTwilight

    OldTwilight FULL MEMBER

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    I assume you don't know the meaning of "Propaganda" ...
     
  6. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    You seem to assume a lot of things.

    Inaccurate news that serve a certain agenda, often politically motivated.