Thanks to threats from North Korea, an experimental missile shield and radar system may be deployed to Hawaii before testing has been completed. After North Korea's recent nuclear test and vague threats of launching another Taepodong-2 missile towards Hawaii, the Pentagon has decided to rush the still-in-development Army Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense missile systems and the SBX x-band radar into action. Although the technology has existed for many years it may finally get its first test in real-world conditions.
The shortcomings of the THAAD missile shield and SBX radar, however, are somewhat worrying. The THAAD originally was tested in the 90s with dismal results at intercepting incoming targets. The system was revamped and proved much more accurate. However this was with simulated targets that tend to be easier to hit than their real counterparts. There's also been criticism of the SBX x-band radar with reports of technological and maintenance problems along with security concerns. It also does not seem to work as well in rough waters, which was its original purpose.
Barring all of that, if there were an attack Joint Chiefs vice chairman General James Cartwright is "90-plus percent sure" the missile shield and radar would be able to intercept incoming targets. Let's hope we never have to find out if his odds are right.
No, that would also be a waste of money. Just wait, you'll see.
Damn, 2009 and we still can't play Missle Command with NK or Iran?, even with a soon to be $637 quintillion budget!?!?
Seems like we did a good job with the C-Bloc, but that was 20 years ago...
meh, it's a start but i would rather they update their warning systems instead of making such a bad countermeasure. i still can't believe that the same technology that was searching for nukes in the 70's and 80's(?) is still being used. that just isn't comforting at all...
and really how did it even come to this? didn't we set up laws and rules that basically said you can't make and test your own missiles without the united nations consent? really i would rather see another bush case where they looked and didn't find anything than whats happening now where they just aren't doing anything... can't say we didn't ask for this response though, we practically blasted george out of the water when it became clear that there wasn't anything at all to be found...
Hey wowlfie, great logic. Hawaii could use the medical insurance after they get nuked. Let us all put our heads in the sand! Its nice and warm and soon it will be glass like. In that position, our best feature will be ready for some socialization.
This article makes it sound like we just stopped testing it after it failed.
We just spent all this money to deploy this thing not knowing if it works.
This article is not only mis-leading, it is not informative on any facts of this system.
I love and expect better from my beloved Pop-Sci.
The North korea menace is particularly created by America. The tussle begins in cold war period and continued upto now even after the demolish of former USSR. The establishment of any arms and mass destruction system near NK does not affect the peace process.
You're right, it would be far more cost effective to simply nuke NK preemptively wouldn't it? Problem solved!
For the love of Jimbo, what possible threat could North Korea or Iran pose to the combined might of the International community.
Seriously the reason why no G8 nation has gone to war with another G8 nation is simply because it is the most COUNTER productive activity you could do.
Both the offending nations are tiny and relatively weak in comparison to the G8 nations. Which begs the question when has a smaller nation with a weaker army ever directly go out of its way to go to war with a more powerful nation.
Not anytime recently...
So relax, you are 100% safe from attacks from either nations.
"I'm smarter than the average bear" - Yoga Bear of Yellowstone Park
The best Missile Shield System that can protect Hawaii is the tested and proven Israeli Green Pine system.
This article is irresponsible as it plants the idea of a weak defense shield and incompetent leadership not only throwing money at projects but fielding them with little to no testing...
The ballistic missile defense shield is multi-tiered as each layer of defense has a certain probability of success and focuses on a different phase of the target's flight. So in the event of one layer failing or letting one of many targets through, there are multiple contingencies. Aegis would be used before THAAD which you also mentioned was drastically improved. The door is not flailing open inviting doom and gloom.
Arrow / Green Pine is a joint project between Israel and the US. South Korea will be using a version of them around 2012