Tech & Science The Missile Defence Agency wants a laser-equipped drone that would be a silver bullet for stopping North Korea

00:50  20 june  2017
00:50  20 june  2017 Source:   Business Insider Australia

Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to U.S. security

  Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to U.S. security The statement comes five months after Jim Mattis identified Russia as first among threats facing the United States. The change comes as Pyongyang moves forward with what the United States calls an unprecedented number of tests on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and as the Trump administration’s connections to Russia are scrutinized by the FBI.“North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them has increased in pace and scope,” Mattis said.

A concept drawing of what the boost-phase interceptor drone could look like. The US Missile Defense Agency just issued a bold request for proposals for a missile defense system that could change the game and act like a silver bullet against North Korean missile launches.

× The Missile Defense Agency wants a laser - equipped drone that would be a silver bullet for stopping North Korea . Alex Lockie. Jun.

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2 US aircraft carriers may get America's answer to China's 'carrier killer' missile

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It has real capabilities, and I have confidence that if North Korea launched a long-range missile in The John Paul Jones was equipped with most recent version of the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) [4] Missile Defense Agency , “Airborne Laser Test Bed Successful in Lethal Attempt,” News

The US Missile Defence Agency just issued a bold request for proposals for a missile defence system that could change the game and act like a silver bullet against North Korean missile launches.

The MDA asked for proposals to build a high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft capable of flying higher than 63,000 feet and carrying a laser to shoot down ballistic missiles as they arc upwards towards the sky.

While the laser system sounds like something out of science fiction, -- and is something the US Navy has struggled to field for over a decade -- Ricky Ellison of the Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance told Business Insider that this drone could be the perfect application of the technology.

Boeing MDA drone concept © Provided by Business Insider Inc Boeing MDA drone concept "What it can do is intercept missiles in the boost phase, therefore you don't need to have billion dollar radars all over the world to intercept with 80 million dollar interceptors," said Ellison.

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Ballistic missiles fly high into earth's atmosphere before breaking apart, often releasing multiple reentry vehicles, countermeasures, and decoys. This makes them a nightmare for traditional missile defence systems which track the launch and then fire interceptor vehicles to smash them apart upon reentry.

Even the top-of-the-line THAAD system, recently sent to South Korea, would struggle to destroy a large salvo from North Korea, and the price of installing and using the entire system, interceptors included, would cost into the billions. Additionally, THAAD's high-powered radar capability makes China extremely nervous, as they believe it could limit their ability to respond to a nuclear strike from the US.

Meanwhile, a solid state laser can be fired continuously for dollars a minute, about what you'd pay for electricity in your home. Though building the platform would cost millions in research, development, and testing.

Top North Korea Nuclear Negotiator Secretly Met With U.S. Diplomats

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Korea (left) contrasts China (right). Last year, photographer Michael Huniewicz traveled to North Korea from China to explore the secretive country, as These photos are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, as they contrast greatly from the polished photographs peddled by the state-run news agency .

Laser drone © Provided by Business Insider Inc Laser drone Traditionally, while boost-phase interception looks more attractive on paper because it hits the missile in a more vulnerable stage, it's been impractical because the interceptor has to be close to the projectile.

So there's just no way the US could intercept a missile fired from central Russia or China in its boost phase. With a small country like North Korea though, US drones right off the border could melt down missiles with a light-speed weapon in the cloudless upper atmosphere.

"This would be far more efficient to have boost-phase intercept capability over that territory at that height to handle that," said Ellison. "As North Korea develops countermeasures, decoys, MRV (multiple reentry vehicles), and all the things that will continue to evolve, you have a great opportunity to eliminate all those advancing technologies before all that gets dispersed."

The MDA hopes to field this technology by 2023, at which point most experts agree North Korea will have perfected an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea's New Smartphone Looks An Awful Lot Like An iPhone .
Behold. The Jindallae 3. Designed and manufactured locally by North Korea's Mangyongdae Information Technology Corporation, the new smartphone is "versatile and multifunctional" and comes in white or black, according to state-sponsored news agency DPRK Today. Behold: The Jindallae 3. Designed and manufactured locally by North Korea's Mangyongdae Information Technology Corporation, the new smartphone is "versatile and multifunctional" and comes in white or black, according to state-sponsored news agency DPRK Today. It also looks just like an iPhone.

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