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Vasiliy Costin
Vasiliy Costin

Man Vs. Missiles 6.4 €?



The SPIKE family of fourth-generation anti-tank/multi-purpose missiles is produced by EuroSpike, a joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Diehl BGT Defence and Rheinmetall Defence. It includes three versions, namely SPIKE-MR (medium range), LR (long range) and ER (extended range).




Man Vs. Missiles 6.4 –


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The tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) is an anti-tank and precision-assault missile system produced by Raytheon Missile Systems. The capability to fire advanced TOW 2A, TOW 2B, TOW 2B Aero and TOW Bunker Buster missiles makes the TOW one of the best weapon systems in the world.


The latest TOW missile versions use a radio command link in place of a wire guidance system. The missiles can also be fitted with tandem or explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warheads. The TOW2 missiles are launched from land-based tripods, vehicles and helicopters for a maximum range of 4.5km.


Each 37.5kg UMTAS missile can be mounted on helicopters using a quad launcher with the capacity to carry four missiles. It comes with imaging infrared (IIR) seeker or laser seeker options and features lock-on before/after-launch capabilities.


The PARS 3 LR is the primary weapon of the Tiger attack helicopters operated by the German Army. The 1.6m-long missile weighs 49kg and the weapon system allows Salvo-firing with a rate of fire of up to four missiles in less than ten seconds.


The Kornet-EM system can be mounted on either a portable launcher or a carrier-based automatic launcher. The system employs three types of missiles, including 9M133M-2, 9M133FM-2, and 9M133FM-3. The automatic, laser beam guidance ensures the Kornet-EM to effectively destroy targets at a range of 10km.


The MILAN ER offers an extended range of 3km as opposed to the 2km-range of the last generation MILAN missiles. It is fitted with a tandem charge warhead to neutralise new generation explosive reactive armour used by some main battle tanks.


The missiles targeted the Shayrat air base near Homs, and were in response to a Tuesday chemical weapons attack. Officially announcing the strike, President Donald Trump said the targeted airfield had launched the chemical attack on a rebel-held area, and he called on other nations to oppose Syria's embattled leader.


Russia used a hypersonic missile against a Ukrainian arms depot in the western part of the country on March 18, 2022. That might sound scary, but the technology the Russians used is not particularly advanced. However, next-generation hypersonic missiles that Russia, China and the U.S. are developing do pose a significant threat to national and global security.


I am an aerospace engineer who studies space and defense systems, including hypersonic systems. These new systems pose an important challenge due to their maneuverability all along their trajectory. Because their flight paths can change as they travel, these missiles must be tracked throughout their flight.


A second important challenge stems from the fact that they operate in a different region of the atmosphere from other existing threats. The new hypersonic weapons fly much higher than slower subsonic missiles but much lower than intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. and its allies do not have good tracking coverage for this in-between region, nor does Russia or China.


It is the destabilizing influence that modern hypersonic missiles represent that is perhaps the greatest risk they pose. I believe the U.S. and its allies should rapidly field their own hypersonic weapons to bring other nations such as Russia and China to the negotiating table to develop a diplomatic approach to managing these weapons.


ICBMs are launched on large rockets and then fly on a predictable trajectory that takes them out of the atmosphere into space and then back into the atmosphere again. The new generation of hypersonic missiles fly very fast, but not as fast as ICBMs. They are launched on smaller rockets that keep them within the upper reaches of the atmosphere.


There are three different types of non-ICBM hypersonic weapons: aero-ballistic, glide vehicles and cruise missiles. A hypersonic aero-ballistic system is dropped from an aircraft, accelerated to hypersonic speed using a rocket and then follows a ballistic, meaning unpowered, trajectory. The system Russian forces used to attack Ukraine, the Kinzhal, is an aero-ballistic missile. The technology has been around since about 1980.


A hypersonic cruise missile is boosted by a rocket to hypersonic speed and then uses an air-breathing engine called a scramjet to sustain that speed. Because they ingest air into their engines, hypersonic cruise missiles require smaller launch rockets than hypersonic glide vehicles, which means they can cost less and be launched from more places. Hypersonic cruise missiles are under development by China and the U.S. The U.S. reportedly conducted a test flight of a scramjet hypersonic missile in March 2020.


With all of this activity on hypersonic weapons and defending against them, it is important to assess the threat they pose to national security. Hypersonic missiles with conventional, non-nuclear warheads are primarily useful against high-value targets, such as an aircraft carrier. Being able to take out such a target could have a significant impact on the outcome of a major conflict.


However, hypersonic missiles are expensive and therefore not likely to be produced in large quantities. As seen in the recent use by Russia, hypersonic weapons are not necessarily a silver bullet that ends a conflict.


For every 10 Minuteman nuclear missiles (known as a Flight) there would be an underground Launch Control Center (LCC) that remotely commanded and controlled the missiles. Since there were 1000 Minuteman Missiles across the upper Great Plains from the early-1960s up until the mid-1990s, there would have been 100 Launch Control Centers. The LCC at Delta-01 was 31 feet beneath the ground of the Launch Control Facility.


Two missileers worked and lived on 24 hour alert duty shifts within the LCC. There was an eight ton blast door that had to be opened from within before an oncoming Missile Combat Crew could enter the LCC. The two person crew would spend most of their time monitoring the status of their 10 missiles. Among their other work duties was authenticating message traffic, remotely monitoring maintenance at the silos and assisting with the dispatch of security police if any motion sensing alarms were tripped at the silos. When the missileers were not performing work duties they would pass time by reading, watching television or studying for master's degrees through a special Air Force educational program. There was also a bunk provided for one missileer to sleep while the other crewmember kept an eye on the weapons system. Former missileer, David Blackhurst remembered that missile duty was "hours and hours of sheer boredom, punctuated by seconds of panic."


On March 18, 2022, Russia launched a hypersonic missile against a Ukrainian arms depot in the western part of the country. That may sound frightening, but the Russian technology used in that attack was not particularly advanced. However, Russia, China, and the United States are developing next-generation hypersonic missiles, which pose a significant threat to national and global security.I am an aerospace engineer who studies space and defense systems, including hypersonic systems. Because of their maneuverability throughout their trajectory, these new systems pose a significant challenge. These missiles must be tracked throughout their flight because their flight paths can change as they travel.


Another important challenge is that they operate in a different part of the atmosphere than other existing threats. The new hypersonic weapons fly much higher than slower subsonic missiles but much lower than intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The United States and its allies do not have good tracking coverage for this in-between region. Neither does Russia or China.trywindow._mNHandle.queue.push(function()window._mNDetails.loadTag("974871025","600x250","974871025"););catch(error)Destabilizing effectRussia claims that some of its hypersonic weapons are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Whether true or not, this statement alone is cause for concern. If Russia were to use this system against an adversary, that country would have to decide the probability of the weapon being conventional or nuclear.How hypersonic missiles threaten to upend the relative stability of the current era of nuclear weapons.


ICBMs are launched on large rockets and then fly on a predictable trajectory that takes them out of the atmosphere into space and then back into the atmosphere again. The new generation of hypersonic missiles fly very fast, but not as fast as ICBMs. They are launched on smaller rockets that keep them within the upper reaches of the atmosphere.Three types of hypersonic missilesThere are three different types of non-ICBM hypersonic weapons: aero-ballistic, glide vehicles and cruise missiles. A hypersonic aero-ballistic system is dropped from an aircraft, accelerated to hypersonic speed using a rocket and then follows a ballistic, meaning unpowered, trajectory. The system Russian forces used to attack Ukraine, the Kinzhal, is an aero-ballistic missile. The technology has been around since about 1980.The type of hypersonic missile Russia has used in Ukraine, the Kinzhal aero-ballistic missile, is essentially a ballistic missile launched from aircraft. It is not as advanced as other types of hypersonic missiles that Russia, China and the U.S. are developing. Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service


With all of this activity on hypersonic weapons and defending against them, it is important to assess the threat they pose to national security. Hypersonic missiles with conventional, non-nuclear warheads are primarily useful against high-value targets, such as an aircraft carrier. Being able to take out such a target could have a significant impact on the outcome of a major conflict.However, hypersonic missiles are expensive and therefore not likely to be produced in large quantities. As seen in the recent use by Russia, hypersonic weapons are not necessarily a silver bullet that ends a conflict.Written by Iain Boyd, Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder. Iain Boyd receives funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, Lockheed-Martin, and L3-Harris.This article was first published in The Conversation.


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