Ballistic-Missile Defence and Strategic Stability (Adelphi - download pdf or read online

By Dean A. Wilkening

May still the USA set up ballistic-missile defences? The arguments for and opposed to have gotten more and more polarised. This paper bargains what's at present missing within the debate: a quantitative research of ways good defences must paintings to satisfy particular safeguard targets, and what point of defence could disillusioned strategic balance.

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Extra resources for Ballistic-Missile Defence and Strategic Stability (Adelphi series)

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However, lower-tier defences cannot meet the defence criterion alone because too many interceptors would be needed; other layers must also be present. Ballistic-Missile Defence and Strategic Stability 49 The effectiveness of an upper-tier defence depends on the number of sites required to provide adequate coverage of a theatre; the number of interceptors that engage the attack; and their technical performance. " Northern areas of South Korea including Seoul require lower-tier defences because the minimum altitude at which THAAD can intercept (4okm) implies that the system cannot defend against North Korean missiles with ranges of under 15okm, and hence apogees below 4okm.

80 that all five warheads are destroyed. 956. 80. 80 that all the warheads are destroyed. Obviously, as the size of the threat increases, higher detection and tracking probabilities and/or higher interceptor SSPKs are required. Figure 1 N M D Interceptors Required for a Five-Warhead Attack Interceptor SSPK 36 Dean A. Wilkening These figures assume that no decoys are present in the attack, or that the defence can discriminate warheads from decoys. Since this may not be possible in all circumstances, the number of apparent warheads with which the defence must contend may be several times the number of real ones.

For example, it would take between 50 and loo 'THAAD-like' footprints to cover Russia's populated regions. Such a system deployed around Russia's national territory should not appear threatening to three of the four major nuclear powers until 58 Dean A. Wilkening more than 500 interceptors are deployed, assuming that the US, France and the UK concentrate their retaliatory strikes, to varying degrees, so as to saturate the defence. China could feel threatened unless it concentrates its retaliatory strike against only a few defended areas.

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