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Comment Re:I've heard that before (Score 1) 440

Try to think beyond this article for a second. You only complain so loudly against this use of money because you have something physical, or at least easily recognizable, to complain about. There are a thousand other "projects" being funded by the government right now that consume way, way more tazpayer money than this for basically no benefit. Pork projects by themselves are worth billions, let alone the stuff that's around because lawmakers don't want to deal with changing the way they do business (or with whom), overly expensive contracts that will never expire, foreign aid, the list goes on.

As for this project itself, you argue that since nK (North Korea, for those of you speaking with a civilian accent) and Iran don't use anything targetable by this, we shouldn't bother. I would suggest looking into the AEGIS BMD systems. Railguns are the future of mobile ballistic missile defense.

Complain all you like about government spending, it is your money after all, but consider that this project at least (not that it's insignificant) produces a demonstrably useful product.

Comment Re:Devil's Advocate..... Again (Score 1) 185

Welp, you have to choose. You believe information should be free? That comes with the price of ALL information being free, even the false information, which comes with its own price of the effect it will have. Even if you only had genuine information be totally free, you have different interpretations of information, and each different interpretation has its own set of differing reactions. Your stance doesn't make much sense because you call for free information but turn right around and say that the government should restrict information in the name of peace and control.

Freedom of information is non-workable. Everybody needs secrets.

Comment Re:Truth? Let me tell you about TRUTH (Score 1) 579

Speaking of cold, sad truths and people believing bullshit, anti-military nonthinkers like yourself are the types who genuinely believe that if any country (you can put USA in there if you're anti-that, too) completely disarms it will somehow lead to Everlasting Peace. Just like the blind dopes who criticize the government for not communicating every single thing transparently, you don't get why militaries exist. Do you lock your door at home? Puh, your door isn't defending anything! It's the puppet of some guy who doesn't want to rest of the world to know he's watching porn or using Windows while he extols the virtues of Linux and Christian Morality!

Luckily, there are people like us who sacrifice personally to join a military (the purpose of which, by the way, is to prevent wars) accept that we're working to protect dopes like yourself. Go ahead and mock Col. Nathan R. Jessup; for all his moral dubiousness he has a solid point of defense of a country.

Comment Re:Send in the subs (Score 1) 299

Talking with South Korean sailors, they almost universally say that "the only way we would team up with North Korea is to attack Japan." That's right, they feel a stronger bond with fellow Koreans (who regularly kidnap South Koreans, send special forces into South Korea, shoot provocative missile tests around South Korea, occasionally SINK SK WARSHIPS) than with their Japanese allies with whom they train, share military technology (which by the way is a mostly one-way trade), and have much, much stronger economic bonds.

How many South Koreans would want to take on the burden of nK? More than you might think.

Comment Re:Some clarifications from an American naval offi (Score 1) 618

Well, let's discuss.

The carriers had aircraft which were used exclusively to protect - the carriers. And bombing was done by aircraft which flew straight from the the US via the UK.

This doesn't make sense. Carriers showed up, launched all their aircraft to protect themselves, then let long range bombers do all the work? Why even send the carriers? You should read into the Libya conflict some more. Carriers accompllished a lot that long range bombers could not, the easiest example being that carriers are moving airstrips that can move around airspace restrictions.

the anti-missile tests went smashingly well, right? Right?

What tests are you talking about? Cite your source so I know what you mean.

we cannot possibly hook up a new system to an existing radar

Sure you can. Lots of weapon systems do this. Their cheap to build, easy to use, and simple to install. They're also trivial in terms of defending against them. People don't use commercial navigation radar for fire control because it's not designed for that. A Wikipedia-level understanding of PRF, beamwidth, and net cycle time should show you why radars are either cheap OR good for fire control, not both.

our rules are idiots and morons, this has happened in practically every war since Egypt was founded...

That's the nature of war. As I said, it's taken into account in warplans. Military planners are very careful to learn from history. Usually.

Which already is more or less how civilians are treated by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Whether you know it or not, this is a separate issue, and probably a troll/anti-US shot. I'll leave it alone.

Comment Some clarifications from an American naval officer (Score 5, Informative) 618

A few good points have been made (but need a few editions), and some dumb points have been made. Let's run through them:

1. The SS-N-22 is a hush-hush subject because it basically reduces our carriers to floating targets
Not the case. Details about the SS-N-22 (commonly called the Sunburn) are unclassified. Every ship in the US navy has tactics to defeat it, though obviously some classes of ships are better at it than others. Actually, the missile in the video behaves nothing like a Sunburn; it appears to have satellite guidance, Over the Horizon (OTH) targeting capability, and a terminal sprint vehicle. Thus, it's closer to an advanced Sizzler missile (SS-N-27) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS-N-27 than a Sunburn.

2. Somebody mentioned Exocet missiles and their relative effectiveness. Exocet missiles, to the US navy, are kids' stuff. My ship (an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer) is basically armed to the teeth and can shoot one own without so much as a second thought, but even ships built with self-defense as a third priority are in no real danger. Exocet was a threat when they made the movie Top Gun, but not today.

3. Someone mentioned targeting requirements. This is a good point. If a ship expects to use this in an anti-ship role, it will either have onboard radars for detection and missile control (US is the only navy that has a radar which does both), or receive targeting information from another ship/sub/satellite. In any of these cases, the targeted ship can detect the radar, and any missile control radar it detects is considered a hostile act under international law and triggers the captain's right of self defense (read: he can shoot at you if you point missile control radar at his ship). Also, any merchant ship leaving port with a bunch of innocent container boxes PLUS high-powered missile control radar is, to say the least, suspicious.

4. Several people mentioned the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS, pronounced See-Whiz). This is the last resort for most classes of ships. It can only shoot out a few miles, but it's very effective when it does fire. If this system is firing, by the way, then the missile has somehow made it past your three to four other layers of defense, not even counting soft kill options like jamming whatever active radar or semi-active/passive sensor is guiding the missile.

5. A few people mentioned the ethical issue of arming merchant ships. This is always considered in warplans, from low to very high scale. Bottom line is that it's a dumb idea that will get you one free shot and then cost you your whole merchant fleet.

6. Ignoring all of that, no matter how effective any weapon system is, at least in a shipboard environment, you only get one free shot. After that free shot it becomes a hot war scenario and every ship captain will change from "ask first, ask again, check three times and only fire when fired upon" to "ask once and if you think he's hostile, shoot." It can even go further to "Check to see if your'e sure he's a friend, and if you can't tell, shoot." At that point the name of the game is ship detection, not missile technology.

This weapon system doesn't revolutionize warfare at all. Business as usual.

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