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Comment The "analysis" in this report is completely flawed (Score 1) 312

Garbage in:

Bad data - the report used fuzzy public videos of DoD intercepts to determine whether warheads were impacted. However, the very limited publically available data contains no way to know the actualy impact point or, most crucially, the impact's effect on the warhead.

Bad assumptions - the authors assume that the warhead would continue onto their original targets if not directly impacted. In reality, the hypersonic velocity impact of the interceptor on the missile body has the effect of a very energetic conventional explosion very close to the warhead. Very large impact forces would be transferred to the warhead through the missile body and also via fragments produced in the explosion. There is zero probability that the missile warhead would continue on its original course. There is high probability that the warhead would be disabled or destroyed by these forces, which will be much larger than any forces experience in reentry.

Garbage out:

The authors contend that 9 out of 10 intercept tests could not be considered successful. In fact, in all likelihood they were highly successful and verifiably so via sensor data of the debris field after impact.

In other words, the authors of the study put out garbage masquerading as analysis.

The Military

Critics Say US Antimissile Defense Flawed, Dangerous 312

Hugh Pickens writes "The New York Times reports that President Obama's plans for reducing America's nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran's missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses which last year he called 'proven and effective.' Now a new analysis being published by two antimissile critics at MIT and Cornell casts doubt on the reliability of the SM-3 rocket-powered interceptor. The Pentagon asserts that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests. But a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis finds only one or two successful intercepts, for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent. Most of the approaching warheads, they say, would have been knocked off course but not destroyed, and while that might work against a conventionally armed missile, it suggests that a nuclear warhead might still detonate. 'The system is highly fragile and brittle and will intercept warheads only by accident, if ever,' says Dr. Postol, a former Pentagon science adviser who forcefully criticized the performance of the Patriot antimissile system in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Dr. Postol says the SM-3 interceptor must shatter the warhead directly, and public statements of the Pentagon agency seem to suggest that it agrees. In combat, the scientists added, 'the warhead would have not been destroyed, but would have continued toward the target.'"

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