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2010-04-26 Science & Technology
Got £10 million? Cruise missile in a shipping container
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Posted by trailing wife 2010-04-26 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1301 views ]  Top

#1 The Russians. Striving to make the world a better place one weapons system at a time.
Posted by gorb 2010-04-26 00:18||   2010-04-26 00:18|| Front Page Top

#2 Systematic launch under attack requires functional C3I. First thing we do is knock out C3I. Blind deaf and mute command structure cannot give orders to a tightly controlled "top down" system like Iranian one. Launches are then done a few at a time, sporadically, and can be dealt with by current layered defenses. IR signature for launch is huge and will generate counterstrikes very quickly against launch points.

The only thing these are adequate for is a surprise attack, which would then justify and generate a massive retaliation across a wide variety of infrastructure in Iran or NKorea, possibly involving strategic strike assets.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-04-26 00:28||   2010-04-26 00:28|| Front Page Top

#3 Hmm. Maybe this thing can be put to good use after all.
Posted by gorb 2010-04-26 00:36||   2010-04-26 00:36|| Front Page Top

#4 Blind deaf and mute command structure cannot give orders to a tightly controlled "top down" system like Iranian one.

But what if it were handed over to Hizb'allah in Latin America, Old Spook, with orders to shoot off when they get a phone call... or on a certain day and time?
Posted by trailing wife 2010-04-26 00:55||   2010-04-26 00:55|| Front Page Top

#5 Eventually, the "West" will have to abandon the idea that---due to tech superiority---it can stop Jihad by, feel-good, surgical strikes and start doing some serious (I'm talking Dresden or Tokyo scale) damage.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2010-04-26 01:48||   2010-04-26 01:48|| Front Page Top

#6 Comments like g(r)omgoru's frighten me. And we accuse the left of being bad?
Posted by gromky 2010-04-26 02:44||   2010-04-26 02:44|| Front Page Top

#7 "The West" doesn't exist any more.

After the Berlin Wall fell, western Europe let NATO become a dead letter, and most Europeans are more eager to appease Putin and his thugs than they are to defend any notion of freedom or individual dignity or other aspects of the western heritage.

Then we elected a clown who goes out of his way to insult the British, and Britain for its part said goodbye to the special relationship. That leaves Canada and the Aussies, who provide outstanding soldiers but veer toward left-wing anti-American governments, and Israel. Oh wait...

Maybe it's time we just went back to splendid isolation and selective "balancing" arrangements against the ChiComs and Iranians. Which means that the relationships that really matter will be with India and, if we can kick out Barry in 2012, Israel (again).
Posted by lex 2010-04-26 02:46||   2010-04-26 02:46|| Front Page Top

#8 And we accuse the left of being bad?

No actually we accuse them of inability to ditch theories that don't fit reality.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2010-04-26 02:57||   2010-04-26 02:57|| Front Page Top

#9 Another reason the West has ceased to have much meaning for Americans: our culture, high as well as middlebrow, has ceased paying attention to Europe. You're much more likely to hear Mandarin or Hindi spoken on US college campuses these days than French or German, and elites as well as ordinary Americans ignore French, German, Italian etc filmmakers, novelists and artists. They're outside the US consciousness. Add to this the fact that a majority of Americans are now of non-European extraction and have no memory, let alone fond memories, of Europe. Finally, now that the dollar is for $hit, it's very difficult for ordinary Americans to afford a vacation to Europe, which makes it unlikely that new memories will even be created.

No wonder there's so much ignorance, disinformation, and bad blood -- on both sides of the pond. We and the Europeans are ships in the night.

It's no wonder that we elected an ignoramus like Barry, given how ignorant the broader nation has become of our European heritage. That's a damned shame. A realpolitiker would say that we should pay more attention to Asia anyway, and forge an alliance with India, but the fact remains that the best parts of American civilization came from Britain (via Locke) and France (via Montesquieu). When we ignore that heritage, we rip our civilization out of the soil that nourishes it.

Posted by lex 2010-04-26 02:57||   2010-04-26 02:57|| Front Page Top

#10 The "West" is an idea of individual rights---the pre-eminent of which is the right of self-defense. Lex.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2010-04-26 02:59||   2010-04-26 02:59|| Front Page Top

#11 pre-eminent of which is the right of self-defense

"Self" is rather narrowly defined these days in the lands formerly known as "the West." Article V is a dead letter. The Germans would rather lick Putin's arse than come to the defense of the Poles, or the Balts, or anyone else in Europe. They, the French and the Italians are desperate not to pi$$ off Putin and his fellow thieves.

NATO is finished. The big continental nations don't want to go out of area and don't want to stand up to Putin. They aren't allies in any meaningful sense. We might as well have bilateral treaties with the Poles, Czechs, British, Dutch, Danes and the Balts.

If France, Germany, Italy and Spain aren't on board, then "the West" is meaningless. It's really an anti-Russian and anti-jihadist alliance.
Posted by lex 2010-04-26 03:07||   2010-04-26 03:07|| Front Page Top

#12 Comments like g(r)omgoru's frighten me. And we accuse the left of being bad?

Here are some of my thoughts on this issue.

Whether or not you agree with it, it is reasonable to at least consider the path as an option. You don't want to get caught totally unprepared to think like this should the necessity arise. That would be a disaster.

What do you think would happen of Al Qaeda got their hands on a nuke compliments of Iran or North Korea or Pakistan or a loose nuke from the USSR? Would they hesitate to use it on you? How much would they hesitate? Why?

I don't think equating people who think these thoughts with "the left" holds any more water than when the left accuses you of being "racist" if they happen to disagree with your opinion.

Obviously killing is bad. But sometimes you have to fight when faced with an insane opponent or one who wants to impose their hideous will on you. I wish the whole situation would go away, too. But I will not ignore it if it is imposed on me.

I'd really rather be worrying about Whoopie's weight or Tiger's rehab success.

Hopefully, and probably, we won't have to nuke (or whatever) them into oblivion.

And for the sake of brevity, folks here don't preface every statement made in this blog with some huge disclaimer detailing all their assumptions, decision matrices involving probabilities and the importance of success or failure of choosing or considering options. Or the failure to choose or prepare for options.

Besides, who wants to talk about peace when worrying about what to do in peacetime it is not so important as worrying about what to do if you are attacked? That's boring. And minimally productive.

And we are under attack.
Posted by gorb 2010-04-26 03:27||   2010-04-26 03:27|| Front Page Top

#13 Comments like g(r)omgoru's frighten me. And we accuse the left of being bad?

And g(r)omgoru is Israeli, gromky, which makes all of this even more immediate for him and his. He only recently reached the age where he is no longer subject to being called up as part of Israel's army reserve... unless the next war gets really bad, or the one after that, or...

Bottom line, if the surgical approach doesn't make the jihadis stop waging war on the rest of us, we will have to choose between surrender or sterner measures. Israel has been acting surgically thus far. Do you see an end to the war against them?
Posted by trailing wife 2010-04-26 07:48||   2010-04-26 07:48|| Front Page Top

#14 TW, I think your critique of the Western/Israeli "surgical response" to war and terrorism is wrong because thus far the surgery has generally been on the wrong target.

Take, for instance, the 2006 war in Lebanon. The reason a lot of it went wrong was not that Israel was too surgical, or not surgical enough, in targeting Hezbollah instead of the civilian Lebanese population.

I think to a large extent they needed to target another country completely if they wanted to deter attacks on their country from Lebanon; the Lebanese don't get to make those decisions, but the Syrians and Iranians do.

(In fact, very particular Syrians and Iranians, who probably can't be deterred by non-surgical attacks on their civilian population).

Which raises the question of what *could* deter them... well, let's look at history and the Cold War. The Soviet Union spent most of the 60's and 70's winning the arms race, and did not budge on meaningful arms control until the US deployed to Western Europe short-range ballistic missiles accurate enough to target command bunkers where their senior leaders and their families would be.

THAT caused the senior leadership to suddenly re-evaluate whether a nuclear war was winnable, not how many million proles they might lose in the process.

I think a similar strategy might be useful here.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2010-04-26 09:05||   2010-04-26 09:05|| Front Page Top

#15 Perhaps I should rephrase things:

If we limit ourselves to retaliating, either surgically or brutally, to whatever proxy-of-the-week gets shipping-container cruise missiles with no money down and twelve easy payments, the West is going to _die_, one "victory" where we lose a couple cities and the proxy loses twenty cities at a time.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2010-04-26 09:15||   2010-04-26 09:15|| Front Page Top

#16 Don't you have to have a high performance aircraft to carry a cruise missile?


Don't you have to mount the missile on this aircraft with a high degree of skill?


Doesn't the cruise missile's guidance get communication from the command of the aircraft?

I don't see how the container missile system helps Al Q.
Posted by lord garth 2010-04-26 10:24||   2010-04-26 10:24|| Front Page Top

#17 Thing - If that's the case then the West will also die by not responding to attacks that blow up two cities at a time. Because they're coming.

You have to have faith that there is a future. What's more reasonable, to believe (1) that a robust response to evil will (a) kill many evildoers and (b) deter others, while (c) giving a chance to the good people to take power in their societies, or (2) that inaction in regard to evil will somehow lead to a lessening of evil? When has history shown that (2) works? When has (1) failed to prove true in the end? Civilization has always advanced in the long run, and it will do so even after the era of nuclear weapons and missiles.
Posted by Skunky Angeack7024 2010-04-26 10:24||   2010-04-26 10:24|| Front Page Top

#18 I thought maybe Fred was taking up a collection for one of these. It would be an impressive edition to the 'Burg
Posted by IG-88 2010-04-26 10:51||   2010-04-26 10:51|| Front Page Top

#19 preview is your friend... addition, not edition.
Posted by IG-88 2010-04-26 10:54||   2010-04-26 10:54|| Front Page Top

#20 LG, we routinely launched cruise missiles from ships both on and below the water during both Gulf wars so they don't necessarily have to be launched from an aircraft.

As far as command in control logistics though.........
Posted by Everyday a Wildcat(KSU) 2010-04-26 11:44||   2010-04-26 11:44|| Front Page Top

#21 Lord Garth,

No, you don't have to mount one on a aircraft. They are currently fired from subs and ships, as well as ground vehicles.

You can pre-program a cruise missile with a predetermined path. The 1980s version, before GPS was done this way. So a missile could be very easily fired in this way from a container and find its target based on terrain map data and a pre-programed route.

This is actually not a hard bit of engineering to do for the Russians, or anyone else for that matter. China could build some of these up pretty quick.
Posted by DarthVader 2010-04-26 11:48||   2010-04-26 11:48|| Front Page Top

#22 I could see the effectiveness depending on target...and warhead. Coordinates of where station is and where target is, especially a static target, and again depending on warhead and goal may not need to put it through a window just get close.

Yes, good question - who do you pull the sledgehammer out on if its some Liberia flagged ship, and if there are survivors to question and they are stateless proxies how does one make the case? Not every potential target is defended. Concerning indeed that there is an official storefront, the concept has been considered at least in fiction for some years now. Also considered have been troops in containers - though I'm not sure how many/container/how long such a concept is capable of (or have the Russians already done this with their q-trains?).

Total War has been a concept and option used really until recently, for whatever reasons or theories covered by many on all sides. Its when these perceived values of saving are overrun by the real value of surviving that the big ones get going, usually instigated by an self-idealogue but also by some seemingly random and/or outside event setting off a chain reaction.
Posted by swksvolFF 2010-04-26 12:36||   2010-04-26 12:36|| Front Page Top

#23 gromky does g(r)omgorou commets frighten you more than ppl willing too starp bombs too themselves orany other suicidal way of killing as many westernors or non muslims as possible? Screw the civilian casualty numbers because most of the ppl in these countries like pakistan hate us and are not worried about our civilian death toll.
Posted by chris 2010-04-26 13:04||   2010-04-26 13:04|| Front Page Top

#24 This is irresponsible of the Russians, to say the least. Besides selling to Iran, their Hezbollah proxies, Chavez has made a large investment in Russian military hardware. Targeting from a container and pre-programming them is bad enough, but if I understand it, the insurgents in the war zone could use Google Earth to get coordinates. We can't secure the land border with Mexico so how could we possibly defend our shores?
Posted by Lumpy Elmoluck5091 2010-04-26 13:31||   2010-04-26 13:31|| Front Page Top

#25 thsnks darth

my clock stopped on this
Posted by lord garth 2010-04-26 13:34||   2010-04-26 13:34|| Front Page Top

#26 Ten million is affordable for anyone awash in drug money, too, and that isn't likely to be abated anytime soon since it was drug money that boosted the banks out of insolvency.
Posted by Lumpy Elmoluck5091 2010-04-26 13:36||   2010-04-26 13:36|| Front Page Top

#27 Many of you miss the point.

If these weapons are used against civilian targets or US warships, the question will not be who started the war, but who will win the war.

At that point, total devastation of the government and military of Iran and North Korea becomes necessary militarily and politically. We tell Iran and North Korea they will be held responsible no matter who initially pulls the trigger. Iran with conventional strikes, North Korea with burrowing warheads, and if needed, tactical nuclear weapons.

We need to erase these sources of evil once they have proven they will not remain restrained by political measures. The dismemberment and destruction of North Korea's hereditary dictatorship and the Iranian Mullah-ocracy becomes necessary and there is no avoiding it.
Posted by No I am the other Beldar 2010-04-26 15:24||   2010-04-26 15:24|| Front Page Top

#28 What frightens me is not the fact that these can be launched, but what they can carry. It would only require a little bit of engineering to modify the payload for a chemical or biological weapon.

Now imagine 6-7 of these being fired at 4-5 coastal cities in the US. It would make 9/11 look like a test run.
Posted by DarthVader 2010-04-26 15:37||   2010-04-26 15:37|| Front Page Top

#29 It doesn't matter if the Russians sell any of these. The main problem is they have shown others another path. This will work, so many other similar things will work. I won't list them.
Posted by Whiskey Mike 2010-04-26 16:39||   2010-04-26 16:39|| Front Page Top

#30 Darth, consider several of them fired at Lake Mead, or the northern California reservoirs. Do you have enough drinking water to last until all the toxins die or are killed? Consider how many containers work their way through the Great Lakes system - or any other port in the world. Consider how easily it would be to dump a deadly water-soluble chemical into any port or harbor in the world. The one major constant is that we all need water. The container system is our greatest vulnerability point in the entire planet, and damned little is being done about it. The Russians may actually be doing us a favor with this one.
Posted by Old Patriot 2010-04-26 17:00||   2010-04-26 17:00|| Front Page Top

#31 OP,
Dunno how feasible that would be. After all, that is a LOT of water and the toxins would be pretty diluted by the time they got to the processing plant.

From a terrorists view, 100 mil to buy 7 and outfit them with VX gas would be not that hard a task. They could fire them from 200 miles out at sea, close to the edge of territorial waters and hit a major sporting event or mall.

Easy to do and almost impossible to stop. I'm sure they could find plenty of people/governments that would be willing to fund it.
Posted by DarthVader 2010-04-26 17:17||   2010-04-26 17:17|| Front Page Top

#32 Oh, another thing, while we're on the subject...

I think both Israel and the United States should look into producing, either separately or together, some sort of gun-based CRAM system for shooting down artillery rockets or worse. This could be something as simple as hooking a larger-caliber gun to a phalanx mount, or integrating one with the guidance system on Iron Dome.

We now have sophisticated 3d-radars, that should be able to see the location of targets and intercepting shells _in stereo_, so that the radar doesn't have to be co-located precisely with the gun. And that could fire a proximity-fused 2" shell in a sabot in a 3" gun, for example.

It would be nice to be able to build these things so that the shell could be cost-competitive with the incoming rocket.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2010-04-26 18:38||   2010-04-26 18:38|| Front Page Top


Posted by JosephMendiola 2010-04-26 21:40||   2010-04-26 21:40|| Front Page Top

23:32 Barbara Skolaut
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22:55 JosephMendiola
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