Could Alaska’s missile defense system stop an attack from North Korea?
Anchorage (KTUU) – Missile defense technology is not easy and, despite recent success, some question the reliability and technical capabilities of the US intercontinental ballistic missile defense program.
The midfield system was tested a total of 18 times in the past 12 to 15 years. Although defense missions of the Missile Defense Agency have confidence in the system’s ability to protect the country, so far, only 10 of the 18 tests were successful.
“The record of the test to date has not been proven that this system provides a reliable capability to defend Alaska or the rest of the United States,” said Kingston Reif, defense missile expert and director of the disarmament policy and reduce The threats to the Arms Control Association. “He had a turbulent history and the overall record of the test is slightly over 50%.”
The most recent test took place on May 30 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. So far, the system is for ballistic missiles, but Reif says the test was not realistic.
“The interception of this test system against a target missile with a mannequin warhead was tested under strict controlled conditions, which means that the realism of the test case is limited,” Reif said.
“This is a test against a missile interceptor fired at a target. In a real scenario, it is unlikely that North Korea fires a missile in Alaska or the rest of the United States, and this system has never been tested against more than A goal at the same time. ”
In a real situation, Philip Coyle, co-author of “The Challenges of Nuclear Proliferation” and a member of the Central Board for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said compensating system dashboard in order to get a positive response, The doctrine of shooting indicates only 3 to 5 interceptor would be drawn to each incoming ICBM.
He said the number of interceptors would be exhausted quickly if a country like North Korea fired a missile over.
At present, the ICBM defense system limited to the United States includes 36 interceptors based on the operational field. Four are located in California at the Vandenberg Air Force Base and 32 are in Alaska at Fort Greely, 8 more on the way in late 2017, and even beyond 2017 when the National Defense Authorization Act is passed As it is.
There is about a week, the NDAA, which finances the United States Army has passed from the Senate Defense Commission. Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said one of his amendments to the bill includes an increase of 28 missile interceptors in the ground, 14 will be deployed in Alaska.
Following the news of the successful launch of North Korea Monday Sullivan sent this message on Facebook. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that the people of Alaska and the rest of the nation that we are ready.
This is the reason I recently submitted a bill – most of which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act that was suspended last week committee – which will significantly increase our ability to defend missiles and maintain Insurance to the United States.
But expert missile defense Philip Coyle and Kingston Reif did not agree with Senator Sullivan’s choice to spend money to boost missile defense.
“Expansion of the current system continues to have problems of reliability and technical problems is not a winning strategy to stay ahead of the threat of North Korea,” Reif said. “In this case, quantity does not replace quality.”