September 17th, 2008
A South Korean newspaper (via the AFP) reports that North Korea has conducted an engine ignition test for a missile that might be capable of hitting U.S. shores. The engine may be for the Taepodong-2 missile.
North Korea tested nukes in October 2006. Last year, North Korea claimed it halted preparations for its main nuclear facility, which the International Atomic Energy Agency later confirmed after an inspection.
In other news, South Korea has begun deploying Advanced Patriot missile defense systems from Germany to South Korean Air Force bases, reports The Korea Times. The move is believed to be in response to North Korea’s missile threat. The defiant country may have deployed over 600 Scud missiles and 200 Rodong missiles capable of reaching Japan.
South Korea has plans to build a missile defense shield called Korean air and missile defense, which it hopes will protect against low-flying and short- and medium-range missiles coming from North Korea. The shield may be completed by 2012.
(Sources: AFP and The Korea Times)
August 13th, 2008
Kevin Mooney at CNSNews has written an informative story about missile defense in the present war in Iraq.
The war in the Gulf has proved a training ground, so to speak, for the U.S. Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) surface-to-air guided missile defense system. Deployed in Kuwait at the start of the war to defend against Scud attacks, PAC-3 successfully intercepted and destroyed Scud missiles, says the Missile Defense Agency.
There have been problems with the technology, however. CNSNews reports that PAC-3 was involved in “friendly fire” incidents. A British warplane was shot down on March 23, 2003, and in April 2004, a Patriot battery shot down a U.S. F/A-18 Hornet.
An excerpt of the article:
“Only two of the successful intercepts during Operation Iraqi Freedom involved PAC-3s, while the other seven were PAC-2s. Looking ahead to the near future, the U.S. military plans to more emphasis on PAC-3s, especially for ground-based systems, Ellison noted.
‘You have to remember that in the 1990s, missile defense was still a science project,’ he observed. ‘We were still in the research and development stage. This changed after withdrawing from the ABM Treaty [Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972] and we had to a do a lot of adapting with what was currently in inventory.’”
The article includes a brief mention of the threat of Islam and successful tests of other anti-missile technology. Read the whole article.
(Photo credit: Raytheon)