Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Missile Defense Agency Sabotages Strategic Defense System?

Two serious technical flaws have been identified in the ground-launched anti-missile interceptors that the United States would rely on to defend against a nuclear attack by North Korea, including those based in Alaska.

Pentagon officials were informed of the problems as recently as last summer but decided to postpone corrective action. They told federal auditors that acting immediately to fix the defects would interfere with the production of new interceptors and slow a planned expansion of the nation's homeland missile defense system, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

As a result, all 33 interceptors deployed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, Calif., and Fort Greely, Alaska, have one of the defects. Ten of those interceptors -- plus eight being prepared for delivery this year -- have both.

Summing up the effect on missile-defense readiness, the GAO report said that "the fielded interceptors are susceptible to experiencing ... failure modes," resulting in "an interceptor fleet that may not work as intended."
So, rather than stop delivery and fix known problems, the MDA opted to not fix the problems and accept delivery of missile intercepts that have a fair chance of not working. A supplier used the wrong type of solder to make up wiring harnesses in the interceptors. The solder that they used is susceptible to corrosion.

So the interceptors have thrusters that might not aim them properly and then bad wiring that might cause them to miss the incoming missiles. The MDA apparently tried to paper over the problem and hope that nobody would notice. Because what counted to the MDA was meeting their numbers in the number of interceptors deployed, not whether or not the damned things would even work.

Stalin would have had the managers shot.

There should be no surprise that Donald Rumsfeld's partially to blame for this clustefuck, as he exempted the MDA from rules on procurement and testing. At this point, it is worthwhile considering whether Rummy was really an enemy agent.

5 comments:

S O said...

To be fair, area air defence usually fires at least two missiles at any target it engages.
An increase in the rate of technical failure by a few per cent points doesn't make much of a difference then.

Besides, BMD wouldn't work anyway.

Old NFO said...

So we're at the 50-50 90% rule here... sigh

Anonymous said...

It might have been less damaging to our national interest had Rumsfeld been an enemy agent as he would surely have f'd that up in his usual style.

Jill

dinthebeast said...

What Jill said.

-Doug in Oakland

sdean7855 said...

And it's important to note: these defects (or at least the one mentioned) are simple physical defects of construction that threaten the system's very operation irrespective of whether the design is capable of launch, seeking out a target and destroying it. It is as if you built a race car, and going into competition, you *know* there's a 50% chance of a wheel falling of because a key suspension component was built with mild steel instead of the specified alloy.

If the very construction of the system is botched, what are the chances that the design is a turkey as well? All hail and bow before the military-industrial complex. The beast must be fed.