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Old 07-04-2007   #2
Watcher In The Middle
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Long time lurker, here. But this is the type of topic (at least for me) to salivate over. Not military, but into technology. Applications software designer, all web based software applications.

"Our air forces' fighters don't shoot down enemy planes because AMRAAM, Mica, Sidewinder, IRIS-T, Magic2 get shot down by some hard kill close-in defense missile."

This is scary, not because of the weaponry advancement as much as the base technology advancement required to get there. To me, this would be the equal of jumping in a single step from an mid range 80486 based processor up to a mid-range Intel Celeron / early AMD Athlon processor.

That means that not only has an opposing entity jumped multiple generations in processing capabilities, their entire chipmaking environment has moved a number of generations in a single step, and their embedded software development for the chipsets has also made a corresponding leap of giant proportions.

That's when things get really out of hand, because an opponent's technology has just "jumped" a number of generations, not just in one area, but in all the related areas.

If that's indeed the case, and we have to figure out counters, well, if it was up to me, I'd try 3 fairly immediate alternatives. First off, "faster" and "more powerful" are probably not going to work well. "Faster" = larger in size = bigger target. Betting that you can make a missile "faster" than an already effective point-blank interceptor strikes me as being a fools bet. Same rules apply with "more powerful". Just a bigger target that gets there a little quicker.

My alternatives would be: 01 "Smaller, with reduced warhead size"; 02 "Smaller, with No Explosive warhead (kinetic charge)"; and 03 "Smaller/Multiple Heads", so a launch of a missile actually works more like a MIRV with independent seekers, with at least one acting more as a decoy.

Logic:

01 Smaller, with reduced warhead size. Kills are great, but damaged/crippled is just about as good. If I can't kill them, at least let me be able to knock them out of the fight.

02 Smaller, with No Explosive warhead (kinetic charge). See 01. Also, we would probably be assuming that their point-blank defense system was guidance based. What if it's not? What if it's a sensor based system that identifies/locks onto incoming explosive warheads? Unlikely, but "What If?"

03 "Smaller/Multiple Heads", so a launch of a missile actually works more like a MIRV with independent seekers, with at least one acting more as a decoy. This is where it gets interesting. If you have to fight like this, the over-the-horizon era goes out the window. I don't want to be carrying a dozen large missiles highly subject to countermeasures, I want to carry 28/36 missiles, shorter range, where 3-4 can be launched at a time, with at least one missile set to be "hotter" then the others. Increase your chances of success.

I'd throw one other thought out there. If there's a point-blank defense system that is this effective, they are probably using a totally new chip technology, and not just an extension of existing technology. Optical chips would be a possibility. How can you spoof optical chips? I'm sure it's possible.

I hope you don't mind the intrusion. Great topic, my complements.
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