Friday, April 5, 2013

THAAD Missile Defense System to be deployed to Guam

In response to increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula and the threats of nuclear attack by North Korea, the United States has ordered the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to be deployed to Guam.

Guam and other bases in Japan and South Korea are considered to be within striking distance of North Korean ballistic missiles. Despite severe internal problems, North Korea has invested its limited resources into ballistic missiles.

Although not as sophisticated as those in Russia and China, the North Korean arsenal has several ballistic missiles with which it could potentially launch an attack, including:
  • Nodong-1
  • Taepodong-1
  • Musudan
  • Taepodong-2
The Taepodong-2 is the only one with enough range to reach Alaska, but has only been tested once, which resulted in a failure.

For its part, the US has invested significant resources into ballistic missile defense. It has a range of systems of systems available to form a multi-layered defense under the guidance of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), including:
  • Ground Based Interceptor (GBI)
  • SM-3
  • PAC-3
These are all hit-to-kill systems using kinetic impact to conduct missile
intercepts. Other systems, such as the Airborne Laser (ABL) may also join service.

While ballistic missile defense true effectiveness is  something that has been debated extensively, it is something that can only be determined for sure in an actual conflict under real conditions.

However, there is very little doubt that todays systems are more capable than ever. Today's technology has made possible what wasn't doable in the past during say the eighties.

Of course, this applies equally for both the attacking and defending sides. As technology continues to progress, what's impossible can become possible. It is up to each country to make sure that they keep up, don't fall behind and perhaps even gain an advantage over opponents.

No comments:

Post a Comment