I think there's been enough exposure to reports from two respected reports now to
support my claim that the tests were a failure. You're free to disagree, but I'm
going to drop it. If you want a last word, be my guest.

Dan R Allen wrote:

> Marc:
> You didn't. As I said, this is from my understanding of the technology
> involved,
> which has come from other sources than the two articles we both cited.
> It's not hard to destroy a balloon with a shock wave. Even a bit of
> shrapnel
> would puncture it.
> Dan:
> Your understanding of the technology involved then is flawed. These tests
> were of a "hit-to-kill" vehicle. A shock-wave was never designed, planned,
> or expected in the test results. Destroying a decoy is a failure,
> destroying the booster interface is a failure, only striking the target is
> considered a success.
> Marc:
> It's not the visual aspects that are the issue, but the aerodynamical ones,
> and
> balloons behave differently than cones.
> Dan:
> In the environment that these intercepts are taking place aerodynamics are
> not an issue. The intercept is taking place _before_ the MIRV goes
> atmospheric. That's why the aerodynamic differences between the target and
> decoys are irrelevant.
> Marc:
> I didn't get that in either article -- I saw all the references to decoys
> and
> assumed that the MIRV had already released its payload. You don't have to
> wait to
> get to exoatmospheric levels to establish a good trajectory. The first few
> minutes are the critical ones, and it's at that point that you need this
> 3rd
> party information asap.
> Dan:
> Yes, I finally figured out that we were talking about two different things
> too. And you're right that you don't need to get to the coast phase to
> establish a good trajectory, but you can use that time to get your defenses
> in place.
> A missile attack involves three basic phases: boost, coast, and drop.
> Ideally you destroy a missile during the boost phase, before anything is
> deployed. The problem is that you might have destroyed a legitimate
> payload. The next phase is better because you now know exactly where that
> payload is headed, and where it will come down. It's also better because
> you can still catch it while all of the warheads are still in the same
> basket. The drop phase is the most difficult because not only do you have
> multiple warheads, but you also have to find these multiple, _small_ items
> against an increasingly "noisy" background.
> Just knowing the point of origin, and the type of booster provides an awful
> lot of intel without needing to know specifics about the payload. The
> trajectory will provide other types of knowledge.
> Marc:
> I realized that -- it works on infrared. But it still has to distinguish
> between
> a valid target and decoys.
> Dan:
> But you don't need a cone-shaped decoy to fool an IR sensor, it doesn't
> even need to _look_ like the target; it just has to have the same IR
> signature - the actual physical shape is irrelevant to that task. That was
> the point of my contention with that part of the article.
> And the seeker head being tested is consistently showing that it can
> distinguish between multiple objects and the target.
> > Dan:
> > It _is_ biased. I attempted to show where the bias is with the ALL CAPS
> > parts, but I guess it didn't work, sorry.
> >
> Marc:
> No, it didn't work. I didn't see that as bias at all.
> Dan:
> Straight from the article followed by my interpretations.
> "THIS time, nobody could accuse the Pentagon of building up unrealistic
> expectations." - The insinuation is that the Pentagon has built up
> "unrealistic" expectations before.
> "But politically, of course, it was a pleasure to hit the target,..." - So
> it was politically expedient that the test succeed - technical success was
> secondary.
> "In any case, the promotion of a "culture of failure" has a purpose which
> goes far beyond this month's experiment." - I'm still trying to understand
> what (s)he's trying to say here, but it sounds like (s)he's trying to
> suggest that someone is attempting to justify repeated failures as success.
> What's your take on that sentence?
> "And if the Pentagon is sincere in saying that its main concern..." -
> Suggests that statements by the Pentagon is somehow untrustworthy.
> >From top to bottom the author has challenged the Pentagons' statements,
> suggesting that there is an ulterior motive behind them to hide continued
> failure.
> "Simultaneously, a decoy balloon was fired in a similar direction." - This
> sentence was injected in the middle of the paragraph describing the test.
> It is a complete fabrication on the part of the author, whether intentional
> or not, and suggests a radically different situation than what actually
> occurred.
> "Should American taxpayers be concerned, then, that not enough risks are
> being taken or envelopes pushed? In one sense, yes." - The taxpayer isn't
> their monies worth apparently.
> "The target was cone-shaped...and they would be identical in shape to the
> real target." - As I've stated, this is not a requirement for a successful
> decoy to function; particularly for an IR sensor. I think that (s)he might
> be confused as to where the intercept is actually taking place in these
> tests; as you were. This also speaks to the 'doctored test' you had implied
> earlier.
> Also, using the quotes from Mr. Coyle, they suggest that the test schedule
> published by the Pentagon is unrealistic.
> The more I read this, the more it appears to be an editorial piece with one
> intent; to suggest to the reader that it is _impossible_ to build a
> realistic anti-missile system that can hit a "real" warhead, and especially
> not in the time allotted.
> It is biased Marc, whether you can see it or not.
> /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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