Missile Defense Vs. China, Russia: Decentralize, Disperse, & Hide
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Posted by: Brock Sheets
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. | January 25, 2018 | Breaking Defense
WASHINGTON: China or Russia could all too easily detect and destroy US Army missile defenses, exposing American forces to devastating attack, a forthcoming study finds. Patriot and THAAD units are big groups of big objects — launchers, radars, command posts — that emit lots of heat and radio/radar waves, are hard to camouflage, and can’t relocate quickly. To ensure our missile defenses can survive against near-peer threats, argues study lead author Tom Karako, the Army needs to decentralize its missile defense batteries, disperse the radars and launchers, and hide them in the terrain — a concept he calls “distributed defense.”
Making this concept a reality will require the Army to make new investments, Karako said. In particular, the service needs to finish its IBCS network to can connect these scattered components: A Patriot missile might fire at a target spotted by a faraway THAAD radar, for example. The Army needs to invest in better defenses against cruise missiles, drones (UAVs), and other threats that don’t fly the predictable ballistic arcs that Scuds and ICBMs do. And it needs to replace its current single-purpose launchers with ones that can load different types of missiles side by side, not only defensive but also defensive: The idea is similar to the Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) now in development for short-range missiles, but on a larger scale. READ MORE...
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