Category Archives: Missiles

Why does China react so strongly over the South Korea-based anti-missile system? | South China Morning Post

Chinese military observers said Beijing’s response reflected concerns the system would view the PLA’s operations over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea in greater detail and eventually further unite South Korea, Japan and the US in a defence alliance.

With radars that can reach up to 4,000km away, a THAAD system based in South Korea would severely compromise China’s controversial air defence zone.

They also warned that the system could prompt China and Russia to stockpile ballistic missiles and deploy more nuclear-powered submarines as counterbalances.

South Korea was spurred to restart the formal talks after North Korea conducted a rocket launch on Sunday, ramping up tensions in the region and underscoring the security threat posed by Seoul’s unpredictable neighbour.

Why does China react so strongly over the South Korea-based anti-missile system? | South China Morning Post

Iran to unveil upgraded ballistic missiles that could reach Israel – Israel News, Ynetnews

The next generation of Emad, long-range missile that can carry nuclear warhead, to be unveiled later this year; Tehran to also start taking delivery of S-300 missiles defense system from Russia.

Iran will unveil an upgrade of its Emad ballistic missiles this year, the defense minister was quoted as saying, advancing a program that has drawn criticism from the United Nations and sanctions from the United States.

The Islamic Republic would also start taking delivery of an advanced Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system in the next two months, Hossein Dehghan added – a system that was blocked before a landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran to unveil upgraded ballistic missiles that could reach Israel – Israel News, Ynetnews

Top Iranian General Threatens Israel With “Defensive” ICBM’s

The Iranian Army’s Chief of Staff announced plans to upgrade their missile program, despite threats of renewed sanctions, and accompanied his statement with an implied threat to Israel.

Major General Ataollah Salehi was quoted by the Tasneem news agency as saying, “Iran’s future missile program will become more precise and stronger, and these are deterrent weapons that pose no threat to our neighbors and friends, but are against enemies.”

“They are rather a threat to the enemies of this establishment. Israel should fully realize the meaning of this concept,” he added.

Top Iranian General Threatens Israel With “Defensive” ICBM’s

Report: Pyongyang fueling at Dongchang-ri launch pad – UPI.com

North Korea has started injecting fuel into its long-range missile and is on the brink of a launch.

The activity is ongoing at the North’s launch pad in Dongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province, according to a Pentagon official who spoke to the Asahi Shimbun on the condition of anonymity.

The movements were captured using a U.S. reconnaissance military satellite that can identify objects on the ground as small as 12 inches, according to the report.

The satellite also detected movement of people and equipment beneath a roof that is covering the launch pad.

Report: Pyongyang fueling at Dongchang-ri launch pad – UPI.com

North Korea is ‘days away’ from launching ballistic missile, official says | Fox News

North Korea is “days away” from launching a ballistic missile similar to the long-range rocket they launched in 2012, a U.S. official told Fox News on Tuesday.

The official said North Korea has a pattern of announcing its launches in advance and that they normally say they are space launches, “but the components are the same” for a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.

This kind of rocket launch would cause international outrage because such tests are seen by the United Nations and other critics as covers for banned long-range missile tests meant to further North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea is ‘days away’ from launching ballistic missile, official says | Fox News

Russia Sure Seems to Be Testing a Lot of Nuclear Missiles These Days | VICE News

Russian media outlets are running stories saying that the Russian Strategic Missile Force is going to keep itself busy in 2016, carrying out a total of 16 intercontinental ballistic missile tests. This poses a few obvious questions: Is that a lot of tests? Are we all going to die? Do I need to start digging a bomb shelter in my backyard right this instant?

The answers are, respectively, yes, no, and it’s complicated.

First off, 16 tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, is a lot. Last year, Russia conducted eight, and doubling a nuclear missile test program is kind of a big deal. Of the planned 16 tests, 14 will be for new systems, while the remaining two launches are meant to test extending the life of existing missiles.

What, then, are the Russians testing? Well, they’re testing road-mobile missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and beginning the test program of their new heavy ICBM, which NATO calls the SS-X-30 Sarmat. “The missile is in early phases of development and engineering,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

Russia Sure Seems to Be Testing a Lot of Nuclear Missiles These Days | VICE News

Russia’s Buildup Of S-400 Missile Batteries In Kaliningrad Is Freaking Out NATO

The same air defense system that has seemingly kept coalition fighters out of western Syria is now being installed in the heart of Europe, at Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad. Russia’s setting up surface-to-air missile systems in their territory is nothing new, but the S-400’s long-range and effectiveness is.

The S-400 (NATO code name SA-21 Growler) is very much a wide-area, anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) system. It has the ability threaten enemy aircraft within a 250 mile radius of its location. Because of the small territorial size of Kaliningrad, this means the S-400’s engagement envelope expands well into surrounding NATO countries, such a Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, as well as far over the Baltic Sea.

Russia’s Buildup Of S-400 Missile Batteries In Kaliningrad Is Freaking Out NATO

South Korean officials: North Korean rocket could hit U.S. mainland – CNN.com

Based on a simulation, the officials estimated the rocket can travel more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), meaning it could reach the U.S. mainland from North Korea. It can carry a payload of about 500 to 600 kilograms (about 1,100 to 1,320 pounds).

The oxidizer tank used red fuming nitric acid, based on technology the officials said originated in the former Soviet Union and can now be found in Iran. They said an Internet analysis suggests a technological connection between North Korea and Iran, though there is no firm evidence that any of the parts discovered thus far were imported from another country.

South Korean officials: North Korean rocket could hit U.S. mainland – CNN.com

North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Reaches The U.S. In Its Design

North Korea has developed nuclear missiles with improved reliability capable of reaching the West Coast, according to Popular Mechanics. North Korean engineers have extremely improved the KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile, first unveiled at military parades in 2012 and 2013, making its design simpler and boosting its reliability.

However, the improved nuclear missile is still expected to be vulnerable to shots fired from advanced missile defenses.

The KN-08 nuclear missile was initially designed with intercontinental range in mind. The nuclear missile is claimed to have been developed based on the R-27 Zyb, an obsolete Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The nuclear missile’s projected range is 5,592 miles, which means the missile could reach the United States with a lightweight nuclear weapon. The upgraded nuclear missile, which has not been yet tested, was spotted at a North Korean military parade earlier this year.

North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Reaches The U.S. In Its Design

North Korea May Have Obtained More Advanced Missile Technology from Russia in 2005

In 2005 there were indications that North Korea had obtained more advanced ballistic missile technology from Russia and the KN-08 may be the result of that. The Russian tech was the SS-N-6, a 1960s vintage ballistic missile known in Russia as the R-27. NATO called it SS-N-6. This was Russia’s first true submarine launched ballistic missile, and sixteen of them were carried in Yankee class SSBNs (missile carrying nuclear submarines.) The R-27 had a range of 2,800 kilometers. After the R-27 was replaced by more modern missiles in the 1970s, the missile continued to be used for scientific research until 1990. By that time, 492 R-27s had been launched, 87 percent of them successfully. It would be very embarrassing for the Russians if someone had illegally exported SS-N-6/R-27 missiles to North Korea. It is more likely, and was reported in 2001, that someone in the Russian organization that designed the R-27 had illegally sold the plans to North Korea. This was supposed to have happened sometime in the 1990s and the main reason for the deal was for the North Koreans to obtain the missile guidance technology. The Russians kept improving the guidance system of the R-27 through the 1980s and the North Koreans have always been desperate for better missile guidance technology. But North Korea may have obtained useful information on longer range ballistic missile design and construction as well. That would explain the appearance of the KN-08.

Strategic Weapons: Russia And The North Korean ICBM

Does the U.S. Need the Minuteman?

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry calls for the nuclear land based force of 450 Minuteman missiles to be eliminated. He says that the United States does not need the missiles for nuclear deterrence. He also says that, because of Russia’s current reckless and cavalier attitude about the early use of Russian nuclear weapons, he worries that in a crisis, an American President might launch Minuteman missiles out of fear that Russia might preemptively launch a first strike against America’s “vulnerable” missile silos.

Although the former Secretary of Defense is to be admired for his previous work on stealth technology, now part of the backbone of America’s strategic nuclear bomber force[1], his recommendation on land-based missiles is, in fact, dangerous, wrong-headed and will lead to the very destabilizing relations with Russia he is hoping to avert.

There are five key reasons why his proposal makes little sense.

Does the U.S. Need the Minuteman?