US to deploy missile interceptors at Japan base

July 20th, 2006  

Topic: US to deploy missile interceptors at Japan base

TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States will start deploying missile interceptors at a key air force base in Japan from this summer, as part of efforts with Tokyo to deal with the threat of North Korea's missile arsenal, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The U.S. military will install Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air interceptors at its Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa from September and plans to make them partly operational by the end of the year, the ministry said.
They will be fully operational by the end of March, a ministry official added.
The deployment of the PAC-3s at Kadena -- the largest U.S. air base in the Asia-Pacific -- would be the first at a U.S. facility in Japan.
Japanese officials said while the system was meant to protect the country from North Korea's missiles -- which include hundreds of Rodong missiles that can hit all of Japan -- the timing of the deployment, soon after Pyongyang's test-firing of seven missiles earlier this month, was a coincidence.
Japan and the United States had agreed in May to deploy the PAC-3s at U.S. military facilities in Japan as soon as possible, as part of a realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.
The PAC-3s are the U.S. military's state-of-the-art missile interceptors and are designed to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles at their terminal phase, shortly before they reach their targets, by firing interceptor missiles at them.
But military analysts say the system can cover an area within a radius of up to 10 km, and Japanese officials said the PAC-3s at Kadena will only be able to cover parts of Okinawa.
Separately, Japan plans to equip its own military, the Self-Defence Forces, with PAC-3s, and is set to deploy the first such system at an air base just north of Tokyo by the end of March, officials said.
As part of U.S.-Japan cooperation on missile defense, the U.S. Navy will deploy Shiloh, a cruiser equipped with the Aegis missile tracking and engaging system, at one of its bases in Japan, the officials added.
July 21st, 2006  
Patriots? Don't they have flimsy record at best, or is this some other interception missle?
July 23rd, 2006  
Patriots? Don't they have flimsy record at best, or is this some other interception missle?
In 91 they had a software problem that was fixed in the feild. Since then they have a pretty impressive record against scuds...and F-18s.
July 24th, 2006  
The Patriot had a few, shall we say, modifications lately.

The Patriot Air and Missile Defense System is the world's most advanced ground-based air defense system.
Patriot is a long-range, high-altitude, all-weather system designed to defeat advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Combat proven during Operation Desert Storm, Patriot can simultaneously engage multiple targets under the most severe electronic countermeasure conditions. Since Operation Desert Storm, the United States Department of Defense has invested over $3.0 billion to further improve and extend Patriot ground equipment performance.
Multifunction phased array radar, track-via-missile guidance, and automated operations - including man-in-the-loop (human) override - are the key features of the Patriot system. In addition to the phased array radar, a Patriot Fire Unit is deployed with an engagement control station, an electronic power plant vehicle, an antenna mast group for communications, and up to sixteen remote launching stations. Each launcher contains four ready-to-fire Patriot missiles.
Patriot's lower-tier air defense against tactical ballistic missiles is part of a two-tier U.S. defense against this escalating threat. Internationally, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Greece field the system.
July 24th, 2006  
I don't know if they will stop ICBMs though, those are fast and very difficult to intercept especially at such a short distance between japan and NK. I generally don't have much faith in any ABM systems, they just haven't been tested enough, maybe in 10 years or 20 years, but i still think you have plenty of development to go before you have a sound system.

That said, why were they delpoyed before they were properly tested a decade ago? The MX peace maker spent forever in development before it came out, why isn't the patriot system doing the same?
July 24th, 2006  
The whole idea of ICBMs was to fire enough stages to put a warhead into orbit where there is no atmospheric drag and the speed to target is in minutes. A small warhead coming straight down at a target and separating into multiple warheads for multiple targets cannot be stopped by any known method as of yet. The Patriot wasn't designed for that role, it is a high speed anti-missile missile used for short and medium and some longer range missiles slow enough to target and track.

There were tests in the 60's at White Sands where a Nike Hercules knocked down a missile in mid-flight. I forgot which missile was the target but it was a fully operational long range missile. The Nike program ended before much more research could be completed, which is normal for a lot of military contracts.

Similar Topics
SU-22 Kill over the Persian Gulf
U.S., Japan to Work on Missile Defense; Successful Test Completed
N. Korea said readying missile test: US officials
new chinese sub fires ballistic missile: range 12,000km
Pearl Harbour one more lie?????