Weapons 25/01/20 “Anti log”: how the Americans are going to intercept Russian missiles

to Hit a ballistic missile in different ways: blast wave, fragments, neutron charge. However, the Pentagon decided that the most effective method of fight against ballistic targets is by using kinetic energy interceptors.

a New concept

the warhead missile is a metal disc without explosive charge weighing 20-40 kg, which as a result of contact with the warhead destroying it. A sort of flying scrap.

This method will achieve success only as a result of high maneuverability missiles and, as a consequence, precise hitting the target. Therefore, the kinetic interception is used to neutralize ballistic missiles – that is, flying along a predetermined path and having a relatively low maneuverability.

the Idea of kinetic interception or that in military circles called “anti log” is not new. In the 1960-ies it was developed by the Soviet rocket scientists. However, only in the 1990s in the U.S., it received the status of the defense of the concept. Americans this prompted the analysis of the anti-Patriot Iraqi missile R-11 (Scud) Soviet production during the war in the Persian Gulf. “Patriots” designed to impress “the Scud” the explosion of the warhead 3UR, showed a very low efficiency.

According to the U.S. Department of defense, each shot down a P-11 has gone up to 28 Patriot missiles. According to various estimates, from 52% to 91% launches missiles and had an attempt on goal. And most of the missiles that still have shrapnel damage, was put out of action: damaged only motor compartments, the warhead maintained its performance and was able to hit the target.

At the Pentagon came to the conclusion that high-explosive damage can destroy Ballystatistical rocket and even to displace it from its appointed course, but do not guarantee the complete destruction of the warhead. In addition, the radar is damaged rockets will not differ from the whole, which will necessitate the expense of additional missiles to finish off the destroyed warheads.

War in the middle East in the early ‘ 90s a dramatic effect on the future strategy of the defense industry of the United States, which determined the fate of the American missile defense. Now the most promising was considered a tactic of kinetic interception, which included a higher percentage of neutralization of ICBMs of the enemy with less consumption of missiles.

His calculations, the U.S. military had made for the supply to Iraq of Soviet missile 8K14. Its weight without fuel 2076 kg, the maximum speed at the final stage of the flight – about 1400 m/s, and hence, kinetic energy products could reach nearly 2035 MJ or 485 kg in a trotyl equivalent. The conclusion was that clash with any body of relevant features is guaranteed to detonate the missile 8K14. The question was accuracy.

In search of a solution

Immediately after the Gulf war in the US started to modify Patriot air defense system under a new designation PAC-3. The main task of the us military was the creation of missiles, which is using kinetic strike could destroy targets flying at speeds up to 1500 m/s. the Work lasted for several years – only in 1997 the world saw the first instance of the ERINT missile.

a New missile with a length of 4.82 m, with a diameter of 254 mm and a weight of 316 kg (warhead 24 kg) were equipped with a solid engine and the active radar homing head, through which she was able to provide self-seeking and calculating a favorable point of collision. ERINT operated at ranges up to 45 km and altitudes up to 20 km.

Brought to mind of SAM Patriot PAC-3 was adopted in 2001, and he immediately beganisnil previous versions. Two years, complex actively tested on exercises, and in 2003 “Patriots” again took part in the conflict in the middle East within the next military operation of the USA and its allies against Iraq. For the entire period of the war (less than two months), the Iraqi army issued 10 operational-tactical missiles, and all of them, the assurance of the Ministry of defense, were successfully struck a PAC-3 on a downward trajectory, and the scattered fragments do not pose a threat to NATO.

In the early 1990s, in parallel with Patriot in the United States were developing another land-based mobile missile complex THAAD, using the principle of kinetic interception. Its most important difference from the “Patriot” in range – new SAM could hit ballistic targets outside the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 150 km, the range was even more impressive – up to 200 km. In contrast to the Patriot air defense system THAAD interceptor missile was not equipped with radar and infrared homing head. Up to 1999 there were 11 test launches of THAAD and almost all were amazed by the test target.

the Third major component of the American missile defense system after the Patriot and THAAD – Aegis BMD SAM, with predominantly sea-based. It uses anti-aircraft missiles of several types, one of them missile-the SM-3 interceptor with a kinetic warhead. Posted on Aegis cruisers, destroyers, rarely are used as ground installations. Warhead SM-3 equipped with its own engine, for the purpose of its sums of the matrix an infrared homing head with high resolution. The detection range of targets Aegis can reach up to 300 km and the trajectory correction is 3-5 km away.

In the early 2000s, made four test launch of SM-3. All cases ended in a successful intercept simulator ballistic targets at altitudes of about 250 km. 11 December 2003, launched from the cruiser Lake Erie interceptor missile was shot down in space a target moving at hypersonic speed – withabove 10 km/s. the Whole procedure from detection to destruction, took less than 4 minutes.

outside of the US missile SM-3 was first tested in October 2015. According to the drill scenario had to intercept a ballistic missile short range and two cruise missiles fired from the territory of the Hebrides (Scotland) the destroyers of the US Navy. All targets were successfully struck the interceptor, launched from an American ship, the Sullivans. Then the Pentagon put before the military task in the shortest time to deploy Aegis BMD sea-and land-based in Northern and southern Europe.

Another set, using the principle of kinetic energy hitting the target, called “national missile defence” is a GMD (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense). It is designed to tackle the most technically challenging tasks of interception of warheads of Intercontinental ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere in the main part of the trajectory. The warhead the EKV (Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle) weighs 64 kg, she is fitted with the engines for maneuvering, and an infrared homing head.

Its main task – the fight against single-warhead ICBMs that do not use the latest tools to overcome missile defense. It is first and foremost about ICBMs, listed on the armament of Iran and North Korea. To date, there were 17 launches the EKV for educational purposes, of which only 8 have succeeded, however, on assurance of developers, it is close to the estimated figure of efficiency of the complex. Total in service with the United States is the 48 systems GMD (posted on Alaska and in California), to the middle of this decade that number will increase to 78 units.

the Struggle against hypersonic

the Main target for missile interceptors, kinetic actions are ballistic missiles, both long-range and short-range. Here the picture is clear: the speed and the trajectory of BR does not significantly affect the ability of missiles to detection and interception, including because they are great fixed radar facilities. However, with the advent of new missile technology, primarily Russia, where the warheads are much more maneuverable and fast, to use a kinetic intercept would be much more difficult.

Theoretically intercept a missile that after the launch of the spontaneously changes the trajectory, but it’s likely to need more than a dozen missiles. In addition, the latest Russian ICBMs are equipped with the missile defense complex, which includes electronic warfare equipment, equipment counter an infrared homing head and flying in the cloud of false targets. Similar protective mechanisms have “Iskander”, “YARS”, “Magistrates” and “Sarmatians” – they all create an extra headache for us developers ABOUT.

Even more difficult s kinetic technology intercept will deal with cruise missiles. For example, “Calibers”. They, unlike ballistic missiles, do not go up, and keep a constant rate at low altitudes from 50 to 150 meters, sharply declining directly in front of the goal. Soon the Russian Navy will come “Zircons”. Them in the Pentagon are afraid to openly. Moving at the speed of Mach 9 (almost 11 thousand km per hour), they can be elusive for virtually all the means ABOUT the US. According to the American experts, this missile can be detected at the distance of only 34 miles, so her interception will be no more than 20 seconds.

However, the Russian military acknowledged that any system of national, domestic or foreign, is able to neutralize only a limited number of targets. In the event of a massive missile strike any modern missile defense system will not be able to fully protect its mandated region, especially if we are talking about kinetic interceptors.

However, the Americans do not abandon your concept. They recently announced the development of the interceptor Glide Breaker (consists of a small aircraft), capable of destroying hypersonic missiles kinetic method. According to the creators, this anti-missile missile will be able to deal with the Russian hypersonic aircraft missiles “Dagger”.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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