Thursday, June 01, 2017

... and the Gipper Did Grin, and the People Did Feast ...

Over the weekend it seemed that decades of hard work once again broke out in to the open,
The US military said Tuesday it had intercepted a mock-up of an intercontinental ballistic missile in a first-of-its-kind test that comes amid concerns over North Korea's weapons program.

A ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California "successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target" fired from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands, the military said in a statement.

The test saw a rocket from the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system blast into space and then deploy its "exo-atmospheric kill vehicle," which smashed into the dummy ICBM, destroying it in a direct collision.

"This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat," Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the US Missile Defense Agency, was quoted as saying.

The exercise marked a significant step for the GMD system, which has had a checkered record in previous tests.
An important thing to remember about the emerging reality of an effective and layered ballistic missile defense is that it did not happen overnight. It happened because for decades - often neglected, ignored, shunned and usually underfunded - some of America and her allies’ best engineers and scientists toiled away making steady progress. In some places they failed, in others underperformed, but they kept working on what worked. They left behind what didn’t, improved what could be improved, and embraced new tools as they became available.

Patriot modernization, Iron Dome, evolution of Aegis with/to SM-2ER Block IVA and now SM-3, THAAD, and the Ground Based Interceptor are the better known functioning parts of this system.

There are still those who oppose BMD, but they are drifting in to the past as the more nuanced and complicated security environment of the 21st Century is replacing the previous century’s hold-overs.

Watch the launch, and like the first infantryman’s view of the tank coming in support through the trenchline, smile a bit and know the future will be just a little bit brighter.

Also, know where this all started. 

Speaking of started, you have to love that the test ICBM that was shot down was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein.

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