Military Review

US global missile defense system. Not so global?

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With dreams of creating an impenetrable "umbrella" capable of protecting the country as reliably as possible from a nuclear strike from a potential adversary, the United States has been running since the days of the Cold War. Periodically, extremely attractive projects of something similar arise and are voiced, and from time to time high-ranking officials of the Pentagon admit that they are practically impracticable at the modern technical level.


Nevertheless, the National Missile Defense (NMD) system in the United States has existed since the beginning of this century and is developing quite intensively. What is it like at the current stage? First of all, it should be mentioned that the American missile defense system consists of three echelons, or contours, each of which performs its own range of tasks in accordance with the available capabilities and capacities. The main element designed to intercept and destroy the most formidable and deadly weapons (enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles) is Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GBMD), that is, the ground echelon of missile defense.

It consists, as you might guess from the name, of stationary radar stations (radars) located not only in the United States, but also in Great Britain, at the Filingdales Moor base, in Scandinavia and even in Greenland. The means of destruction for this echelon are heavy silo-based anti-missiles GBI with transatmospheric EKV interceptors. Their number, which at first barely exceeded a dozen, now stands at 44. Four dozen are stationed in Alaska (Fort Greeley base), another four are based at Vandenberg California base. The Pentagon is talking about the need to create another similar outpost to cover the Atlantic coast, but so far these are only plans.

The next contour, protecting the United States from a nuclear strike, consists of the US Navy groupings (warships equipped with the Aegis missile defense system). Originally designed to provide cover for US military aircraft carrier formations from missile attacks fleet, this system is now included in the overall architecture of the country's missile defense. It, as already mentioned, includes ship groups that patrol in the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic Seas, as well as the Asia-Pacific region. The same echelon also includes similar ground-based complexes Aegis Ashore, located on the territory of Poland and Romania.

As a matter of fact, the forces and means of this echelon can conduct a more or less effective fight only against short- and medium-range missiles. Ballistic missiles, despite the optimistic statements made by the American side, will hardly be tough for the SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, which constitute the main striking force of these complexes. Unless the trajectory of their flight will successfully pass just over the missile defense system.

The power and capabilities of the third echelon NMD are even more modest. This includes the THAAD and PAC-3 Patriot mobile complexes, designed to solve not strategic (as in the first two circuits), but narrow tactical tasks such as covering military bases and other objects from missile strikes delivered against them. There can be no question of any kind of transatmospheric defeat: enemy warheads are supposed to be destroyed on approach. Moreover, if in the performance characteristics of THAAD complexes, the most significant group of which is located in Hawaii, the ability to hit targets at a distance of two hundred kilometers and at an altitude of one and a half hundred kilometers is declared, the Patriot is capable of much less. Especially many questions to these air defense systems arose after the failed "protection" with their help oil fields in Saudi Arabia.

Without a doubt, not only the most important, but increasingly important element of the American missile defense system is the satellite systems for early warning of a missile attack located in outer space. A number of programs to create such a grouping (SBIRS) were adopted in Washington at one time, but in the end they were not implemented on the planned scale (instead of the planned 29, only 8 satellites were launched into orbit), and last year the Pentagon started talking about the need implementation of a completely new space project, the satellites of which will allegedly be able to detect and "guide" targets up to hypersonic rockets - NGOPIR.

What will be the fate of this undertaking is a big question, but great concern in our country is the possible prospect of the United States deploying in space not only detection systems, but also strike weapons to destroy potential enemy missiles, including those equipped with nuclear warheads.

According to the idea and design of its creators, the entire US missile defense system should act as a single organism, fully interconnected and coordinated, where the actions of one of the echelons are certainly insured and supplemented by the support of others. According to the estimates of most military experts, in reality such a level of integration of the system scattered literally all over the world is problematic.

Yes, to carry out the tasks of the NMD (protection from a hypothetically possible attack by rogue countries such as the DPRK or Iran), the forces are more than enough. But to achieve the true goal that Washington has been striving for for decades (achieving such a strategic superiority that would have avoided a retaliatory attack in the event of a preemptive nuclear strike against Russia or China), they are not enough even at the current stage. With the appearance of the same hypersonic missiles in service with Russia, the task becomes technically impossible. The question is how well this is understood in the United States.
Author:
Photos used:
Wikipedia / US Missile Defense, Faylingdales Radar
32 comments
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  1. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 12 September 2020 06: 31 New
    +1
    The most important thing is that they continue to develop and implement, allocating huge funds.
    1. Ilya-spb
      Ilya-spb 12 September 2020 06: 50 New
      +1
      I support, but with a proviso:
      - may our people always have money for R&D!
      Let the Americans saw, ours - let them create!
      1. _Ugene_
        _Ugene_ 12 September 2020 17: 45 New
        -4
        Let the Americans saw, ours - let them create!
        as if not the other way around, they even have a pro exists and develops in this form, but what pro do we have? only Moscow is covered and then according to rumors
      2. kutuz
        kutuz 12 September 2020 23: 26 New
        -3
        Saw while "yours"!
  2. Doccor18
    Doccor18 12 September 2020 07: 09 New
    10
    With the advent of the same hypersonic missiles in service with Russia, the task turns into a technically impossible task at all ...

    So all ICBMs are already hypersonic ...
    The question is that the number of these ICBMs in the Russian NSNF does not decrease. It is difficult to intercept a dozen, but it is possible already now, but to intercept 3-4 hundreds will be problematic for a long time.
    1. BABAY22
      BABAY22 12 September 2020 19: 17 New
      +6
      And I agree that we should not rest on our laurels.
      Theoretically, they can shove up to 3 pieces of SM-9 Block IIА alone into their launchers. And thanks to the mobility of carriers - URO destroyers and cruisers, quickly move them around the globe. Kinetic interception, the operating range, according to conservative estimates, is 000 km, in some sources - 1000 km.

      We have no analogues to this SM-3, as I understand it. Promising S-500, if only.
      And if in the air defense niche - (THAAD, Patriot) we and our S-400 are quite at the level and even surpass the adversary, then at the missile defense level, as they say, there is something to think about. You will not be full of Cupid.
      1. kutuz
        kutuz 12 September 2020 23: 28 New
        -2
        "and even surpass the adversary" did the Zvezda TV channel tell you?
        1. BABAY22
          BABAY22 13 September 2020 01: 28 New
          +8
          No, adversaries.
        2. Nehist
          Nehist 13 September 2020 08: 09 New
          0
          In the air defense niche, we really excel in quality! But as you know in the database, the quantity is great, in which we are much inferior
  3. Svetlana
    Svetlana 12 September 2020 07: 36 New
    0
    With the appearance of the same hypersonic missiles in service with Russia, the task becomes technically impossible. The question is how well this is understood in the United States.

    As far as I know, hypersonic - strategic, those that are hypersonic, low (in the atmosphere), fly all the way, have not yet been created. There are ordinary and "fancy" ballistic, flying in near space, but with a hypersonic atmospheric final section. But that being said: Not that.
    1. Alexey Sommer
      Alexey Sommer 12 September 2020 07: 57 New
      -2
      Quote: Svetlana
      but a hypersonic atmospheric end section.

      Yeah, but that goes for any ballistic one.
      What about the Vanguard?
      1. Svetlana
        Svetlana 12 September 2020 08: 18 New
        +2
        The vanguard is also a ballistic missile. The difference from the classic ballistic ones is that the warhead can maneuver at the final stage. That is, I understand the PDA, in the classics, the block on hypersound follows an easily calculated trajectory, in the Avangard it maneuvers.
        1. Alexey Sommer
          Alexey Sommer 12 September 2020 17: 03 New
          0
          Quote: Svetlana
          in the classics, the block on hypersound follows an easily calculated trajectory, in the Vanguard it maneuvers.

          I will not reveal the secret.
          A comrade with a jacket in the 90s served on Topol. Even then, the warhead could maneuver to a limited extent.
          1. Alex777
            Alex777 13 September 2020 14: 33 New
            -1
            Poplar trajectory was very suitable for the SM-3 Block 2A,
            which should fly up to 2000 km.
            So they replace Poplar with Yars and others.
            1. Alexey Sommer
              Alexey Sommer 13 September 2020 15: 22 New
              -3
              Quote: Alex777
              Poplar trajectory was very suitable for the SM-3 Block 2A,

              Did you think you wrote?)
              1. Alex777
                Alex777 13 September 2020 17: 20 New
                0
                What the lieutenant general (now deceased) said, he wrote. He talked a lot on this topic.
                But I will refrain from further publications.
                Laugh further. lol
                1. Alexey Sommer
                  Alexey Sommer 13 September 2020 17: 27 New
                  -3
                  Quote: Alex777
                  Chuckle further

                  Duck you are a liar.
                  1. Alex777
                    Alex777 13 September 2020 22: 52 New
                    0
                    A comrade with a jacket in the 90s served on Topol. Even then, the warhead could maneuver to a limited extent.

                    Whose would bellow, and yours would be silent. lol
                    1. Alexey Sommer
                      Alexey Sommer 14 September 2020 01: 08 New
                      -2
                      Quote: Alex777

                      Whose would bellow, and yours would be silent

                      And what did I lie about?) Mr. vengeful general? laughing
                      Ida .. Do you have a twink here, or a friend?)
      2. Errr
        Errr 12 September 2020 09: 28 New
        0
        Quote: Alexey Sommer
        What about the Vanguard?
        Obviously, the working altitude of the Vanguard is about 100 km, which is nothing more than the Karman line and, accordingly, the border between the atmosphere and space. Look at the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfzt5HfAHFA with 1: 42.
      3. GTYCBJYTH2021
        GTYCBJYTH2021 12 September 2020 12: 23 New
        -9
        Quote: Alexey Sommer
        Quote: Svetlana
        but a hypersonic atmospheric end section.

        Yeah, but that goes for any ballistic one.
        What about the Vanguard?

        And what about the Vanguard? Have you already experienced it? Did you shoot at the ULTIMATE range? The landfill in the Pacific Ocean has been closed for a long time ...
        1. Alexey Sommer
          Alexey Sommer 12 September 2020 17: 01 New
          +5
          Quote: GTYCBJYTH2021
          And what about the Vanguard? Have you already experienced it? Did you shoot at the ULTIMATE range? The landfill in the Pacific Ocean has been closed for a long time ...

          Since December 2019, the regiment has been on alert.
          1. GTYCBJYTH2021
            GTYCBJYTH2021 13 September 2020 02: 46 New
            -6
            Quote: Alexey Sommer
            Quote: GTYCBJYTH2021
            And what about the Vanguard? Have you already experienced it? Did you shoot at the ULTIMATE range? The landfill in the Pacific Ocean has been closed for a long time ...

            Since December 2019, the regiment has been on alert.

            The regiment is, perhaps, BUT WERE those missiles fired ...
            1. Alexey Sommer
              Alexey Sommer 13 September 2020 03: 54 New
              +2
              Quote: GTYCBJYTH2021
              The regiment is, perhaps, BUT WERE those missiles fired ...

              Sorry for not being informed personally.
        2. Alex777
          Alex777 13 September 2020 14: 43 New
          0
          And what about the Vanguard? Have you already experienced it?

          The regiment has been in service since last year. lol
          https://ria.ru/20191227/1562956017.html
          And the Americans showed the test, through the window of the satellites, so that they would not doubt ... wink
        3. sheridans
          sheridans 16 September 2020 15: 54 New
          -1
          Polygon Kura doesn't suit you? And do not be confused with the purpose of the Pacific floodplain.
  4. Aleksandr1971
    Aleksandr1971 12 September 2020 16: 57 New
    +4
    Something about an empty article. Apparently the author picked up some scraps from Wikipedia.
    The reader of this site will not get anything new and interesting from such an article.
    1. rocket757
      rocket757 14 September 2020 22: 32 New
      0
      What article, such a discussion, ha, ha, around the bush.
      So it’s good, no one will give away any secrets .... the enemy, however, is much more aware, therefore their military speaks out more or less adequately, that at the modern technical level, neither we nor they will defend themselves from each other WE CAN!
      That is why they do not fly, do not shoot, although they are making Napoleonic plans, but for very later!
  5. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 12 September 2020 17: 48 New
    -1
    THAAD There can be no question of any transatmospheric defeat: enemy warheads are supposed to be destroyed on the approach. declared the ability to hit targets at a distance of two hundred kilometers and at an altitude of one and a half hundred kilometers
    and a hundred and fifty kilometers is this not a transatmospheric defeat?
    Karman line
    Height above sea level, which is conventionally taken as the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and space. The Karman line is located 100 km above sea level.
    Earth's atmosphere boundary
    It is generally accepted that the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and the ionosphere is at an altitude of 118 kilometers. This is shown by an analysis of the parameters of the motion of high-energy particles moving in the atmosphere and ionosphere.
  6. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 12 September 2020 19: 00 New
    +6
    It's a pity you can't put a big and fat minus to the author .. Who is this bullshit meant for? It turns out that the US has no early warning system! ?? The author was a cow parsnip in the country with his teeth or something .. Fortunately, everyone was obliged to destroy him wassat

    Unfortunately, we have problems with the early warning system .. And we also have big problems with the authors describing the real situation, as we all see ...
  7. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 17 September 2020 14: 35 New
    0
    Yes, to carry out the tasks of the NMD (protection against a hypothetically possible attack by rogue countries such as North Korea or Iran), the forces are more than enough.

    Iran does not have ICBMs, and the DPRK has the best defense against ICBMs - they will not start a war.
  8. Sistemnik
    Sistemnik 17 September 2020 20: 50 New
    0
    Quote: _Ugene_
    Let the Americans saw, ours - let them create!
    as if not the other way around, they even have a pro exists and develops in this form, but what pro do we have? only Moscow is covered and then according to rumors

    smile Therefore, one can hope for the Russian missile defense system, because you know nothing about it.