HistoryNet.com RSS
ArmchairGeneral.com RSS

HistoryNet.com Articles
America's Civil War
American History
Aviation History
Civil War Times
MHQ
Military History
Vietnam
Wild West
World War II

ACG Online
ACG Magazine
Stuff We Like
War College
History News
Tactics 101
Carlo D'Este
Books

ACG Gaming
Boardgames
PC Game Reviews

ACG Network
Contact Us
Our Newsletter
Meet Our Staff
Advertise With Us

Sites We Support
HistoryNet.com
StreamHistory.com
Once A Marine
The Art of Battle
Game Squad
Mil. History Podcast
Russian Army - WW2
Achtung Panzer!
Mil History Online

Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War

Notices and Announcements

Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11 Jan 17, 15:09
Cowboy31a's Avatar
Cowboy31a Cowboy31a is offline
Lieutenant Colonel
United_States
5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Barstow, Ca.
Posts: 1,437
Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100] Cowboy31a has demonstrated strength of character [100]
Balistic Missile Defences....

I have been looking at the USAF's Safeguard system of the 1970's

In its test phase both the Spartan and the Sprint missiles were making good intercepts in the test program. The system was proving effective enough in tests for the US to start building the systems to defend mainland United States. One of the 'missile fields' were completed but under the terms of the SALT II talks the base was closed two or three days after it opened.

The Soviets were concerned enough about the system that they included its deployment in the SALT talks.

I have set up computer simulations of all the planned "fields" and well those simulations have shown the system could have stopped about 70 to 80 percent of the warheads that were coming in, though the Spartan and Sprint missiles also chased down decoys.

Still considering as many warheads coming in to the US, from Russia, that 30 percent could still be devastating.

I wonder if Safeguard would have really worked in real life...? I wonder if the system was worth the money the US spent on it, and then just stopped using it? What do you all think?
Reply With Quote
Facebook Connect and Magazine Promotions

World War II Magazine
$26.95

Armchair General Magazine
$26.95
Military History Magazine
$26.95
  #2  
Old 18 Jan 17, 18:17
T. A. Gardner's Avatar
T. A. Gardner T. A. Gardner is online now
General of the Forums
United_States
5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: T. A. Gardner
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 33,349
T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Probably not. There are two serious issues with the system:

1. It could easily be overwhelmed. It wouldn't have taken much to do it either. A couple dozen incoming MERV type missiles and its pretty much going to see most of the warheads leak through the system.

2. Lack of ability to real time respond. This is mostly a problem of lack of computing power and available electronic systems. Sprint is a good example of how bad the problem was. It required the use of a nuclear warhead to ensure a kill. That would have pretty much trashed any follow up firings from the EMP resulting from the first detonation, not to mention that potentially "stuff" on the ground below the detonation suffering from it.

The computers of that era had maybe 8K to 64K of RAM running on them and were slow. This was a major problem of the previous Nike systems at the time. Data transfer relied heavily on land line telephone systems and early modems to move it. These were both vulnerable and prone to data overload.

Then there would be the problem of operator error. Sprint was command guided from the ground. That means if the operator was confused by decoys or chaff and the like he could have easily directed the missile to the wrong target. Given the relatively high error rates in joint USAF US Army air defense exercises where ECM was employed... Often due to the lack realistic training of operators who were seeing real jamming of their equipment for the first time. While operators learned pretty quickly how to distinguish one from the other, that's a learning curve Safeguard wouldn't have.

So, once you start intercepts, you get partial blanking of the following missiles / warheads such that the tracking system has less and less time to develop a track and lock on a target. Leakage increases exponentially, and the whole system simply can't keep up due to lack of processing power and the use of a human element in controlling the missiles.

Safeguard was simply 30 years too early.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 Jan 17, 23:29
Work_permit's Avatar
Work_permit Work_permit is offline
Sergeant
United_States
 
Real Name: Alex
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 104
Work_permit is on the path to success [1-99] Work_permit is on the path to success [1-99]
The original Safeguard plan called for building 12 sites at an estimated cost of at least $20 billion. The only facility built was the Mickelsen Complex near Concrete, North Dakota. The complex handled 100 missiles. It may have been designed for a few more but the 1974 agreement under the ABM treaty with the Soviets placed a limit of one ABM site with 100 missiles. The site became fully operational in October of 1975 then Congress to shut it down soon afterwards. The reason given then was what T.A.Gardner points out today: The system could be easily overwhelmed by multiple warheads (and decoys) launched from a single ICBM. Cost is an issue as well. Its cheaper to build a single ICBM with 10 warheads than it is to build 10 anti-ballistic missiles to intercept them.

By the way it was run by the Army. The facility was turned over to the Air Force after it was shut down.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Please bookmark this thread if you enjoyed it!


Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 00:56.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.