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Author Topic: Could we defend ourselves today?  (Read 4219 times)

Offline syhprum

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Could we defend ourselves today?
« on: 28/04/2012 08:47:39 »
During 1940 we were attacked by the German air force and we were able to mount a pretty effective defence but technology moves on if a once freindly power decided to attack us with their cruise missiles and B52 bombers could we mount any defence.
« Last Edit: 28/04/2012 10:25:58 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #1 on: 28/04/2012 11:48:20 »
I believe Russia is the only nation with a functional Anti Ballistic Missile system, just protecting Moscow, although it may not be "ready" at this time.  The USA has made several test systems, but I don't think any are in active use.  Perhaps a navy based system in the USA.

Apparently it is easier to protect from aircraft and short-range ballistic missiles than the long range ICBMS. 

I would imagine that the SAM missile defence systems could be be deployed within a few days or weeks.  For example the Patriot Surface-Air missiles are good for short-range ballistic missiles, but less effective with the long range ICBMS.  Obviously there are fighters on standby too.

I suppose the best defence would be to anticipate attacks.  A full-scale attack launched from France to London could be over within a matter of minutes, so one would have to be mindful of political changes, and munition build-ups.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #2 on: 29/04/2012 19:19:03 »
Cruise missiles are not ballistic missiles. They are difficult to defend against because they follow a low level flight plan "knowing" the terrain. They don't get detected by radar easily as a result. The best way to defend against these may be to detect launch sites and direct attacks against these. This may be by high altitude or satellite surveillance. It is possible to shoot them down by air to air missile but you have to know where they are and have fast aircraft nearby. Ground to air missiles are usually not fast enough to detect, fire and catch them unless they happen to be positioned luckily in the right places.

Ballistic missiles present different problems. They are essentially free falling from space or near space having been set on a trajectory at and just after launch. They can be detected but are moving very fast. As Clifford said, the Patriot system was designed for these but, when deployed by Israel some years ago, was not wholly successful. I think they have been improved since then and may well be effective now. The US was planning to deploy ICBM interceptors in Poland (Russia made strong objections and I think the idea is on hold) so I assume there is a system with that capability.

I don't think B52s would be much use once it was known that these were to be used. Amazingly they are still operational after many decades. Very good for Boeing. If we are talking about an attack on the UK it would mean the USA doing it. I know they get the odd looney President but I can't see that happening in the near future! They would need a friendly air base from which to attack and most of these are in Britain. We had better watch out for huge imports of B52s which would be a dead give-away :-)

I would guess if the USA wished to Nuke the UK there would be quite a few ways that would work. The deterrent is supposed to stop attacks but I doubt anyone planned on it coming from the USA. The UK has a deterrent but alas the missiles are US built and supplied Tridents and there may be a suitable defence to these that we don't know about - it would not be in the advertising literature. We would have to use highly trained runners to carry strongly worded complaints from Canada.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #3 on: 29/04/2012 20:13:15 »
I know they get the odd looney President but I can't see that happening in the near future!

I wouldn't be too sure about that. Not mentioning any names or anything, but some of the recent wannabees are extremely scary people. I think its only a matter of time until a "right nutter" gets elected.

"Honey, have you seen my Dr Strangelove DVD?"

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Offline RD

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #4 on: 29/04/2012 20:49:13 »
I would imagine that the SAM missile defence systems could be be deployed within a few days or weeks.

http://news.yahoo.com/apartment-blocks-may-host-missiles-olympics-123840712--olympics.html
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #5 on: 29/04/2012 22:56:31 »
I would imagine that the SAM missile defence systems could be be deployed within a few days or weeks.
http://news.yahoo.com/apartment-blocks-may-host-missiles-olympics-123840712--olympics.html
Quote
Around 700 people living at the building in Bow — about 2 miles (3.2km) from London's Olympic Stadium — have been contacted and warned that the weapons and about 10 troops are likely to be based at the site for around two months.
Does this mean that Britain doesn't have the equivalent of the Bill of Rights?
Quote
Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers


No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The way that article reads, it sounds like the British residents of the apartment complex are being TOLD that their property will be used.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #6 on: 30/04/2012 10:58:42 »
Although all the replies bristle with confidence I am going to keep a white flag handy just in case.
PS when my sister was at school in the fourties the head mistress had the foresight to include the German language in the curriculum.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #7 on: 30/04/2012 17:08:13 »
Quote
It said the missile system would be "only authorized for active use following specific orders from the highest levels of government in response to a confirmed and extreme security threat."
http://news.yahoo.com/apartment-blocks-may-host-missiles-olympics-123840712--olympics.html

Blowing-up a hijacked 747 full of passengers mid-air with a SAM to prevent the plane possibly crashing into the Olympic stadium would be something of a Pyrrhic victory.
« Last Edit: 30/04/2012 17:14:09 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #8 on: 30/04/2012 23:45:24 »
Blowing-up a hijacked 747 full of passengers mid-air with a SAM to prevent the plane possibly crashing into the Olympic stadium would be something of a Pyrrhic victory.
I can imagine a terrorist's orders now.
Hijack an A380
Maintain Radio Silence (destroy radio).
Fly over Olympic Village, low altitude.
Look Menacing.
Make a Last-Minute Emergency Landing in Heathrow.

Keep in mind that destroying a large plane over a populated area may burn up or disperse much of the fuel mid-air, but it would still create a large debris field, and potentially numerous casualties on land.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #9 on: 01/05/2012 11:14:24 »
An attack on the last games in China might not have had the desired effect, but London, or Paris, most certainly would. I would hope that airports worldwide would have had this in mind as soon as the selection had been whittled down to London and Paris and taken appropriate precautions.

But it isn't just aircraft or just an attack on the olympic village that we must be wary of. The last thing I want to do is put ideas into fanatical heads, so I shall say no more, but I can think of several targets which would leave an olympic legacy.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #10 on: 03/05/2012 04:47:35 »
The Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) scenario can only be overcome by decapitating the opponents ability to participate in the first round of missile exchange. Both sides have a board which represents its ability to neutralize each of the opponents missiles. If all the lights turn green, you have a twenty minute window to initiate a first-strike attack without taking any return fire. After this twenty minutes, the enemy will have taken so much damage it will be unwilling to participate in a second round which will damage the attacker but reduce itself to extinction, so it will surrender. Since these boards are still operational in Russia and the U.S. and possibly China, much policy will be driven by the need to stay ahead of the enemy's ability to detect and neutralize your missiles, without alerting the public to how close to the edge we are.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #11 on: 07/05/2012 06:47:22 »
Quote
Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers


No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The way that article reads, it sounds like the British residents of the apartment complex are being TOLD that their property will be used.

Well, in this case it's not a soldier (person), but a SAM (machine), and it's not in the house, it's on the roof..
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #12 on: 07/05/2012 07:08:10 »
Quote
Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The way that article reads, it sounds like the British residents of the apartment complex are being TOLD that their property will be used.
Well, in this case it's not a soldier (person), but a SAM (machine), and it's not in the house, it's on the roof..
You think the government will just hand out sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems like candy?
These armaments will be monitored 24/7 by soldiers.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #13 on: 08/05/2012 07:27:38 »
Quote
Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The way that article reads, it sounds like the British residents of the apartment complex are being TOLD that their property will be used.
Well, in this case it's not a soldier (person), but a SAM (machine), and it's not in the house, it's on the roof..
You think the government will just hand out sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems like candy?
These armaments will be monitored 24/7 by soldiers.

Okay, admitted. They'll probably will not be unsupervised. So in order to compley with this amendment, they should put the soldiers on the rooftop by airlift or huge ladder from the outside of the building. Of course, it's still possible that they chose this particular building because it's state owned, and the tenants are paying rent to the government. In this case, there is no issue since the owner of the building will obviously consent to soldier access :)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #14 on: 08/05/2012 09:04:01 »
That, of course, was from the US Constitution, and was written as a response to 18th century British practices.  Perhaps the countries are different.

Obviously one could also simply get permission from the landowners (and tenants?)  But, it just seemed like that was assumed in the article.

I don't know.  If it was my property, I suppose I would consider the importance of National Security and Olympic Safety.  However, I would not take the idea of militarization of private property lightly.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #15 on: 09/05/2012 09:26:32 »
I don't know.  If it was my property, I suppose I would consider the importance of National Security and Olympic Safety.  However, I would not take the idea of militarization of private property lightly.

If it was my property, I'd charge rent for my roof top ;)
 

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Re: Could we defend ourselves today?
« Reply #15 on: 09/05/2012 09:26:32 »

 

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