Friday, July 07, 2006

At Least It's Very Expensive

When it came to detecting and tracking the NK missile launch, our brand-spanking new missile defense system had a little help. Arkin (07.06.06):
"The notification [of the North Korean launch] came from the well-worn, Cold War-era, early-warning system. Seconds after the rocket engines ignited on their launch pads, infrared cameras aboard Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites detected the heat and transmitted an alert back to U.S. command centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the type of missile determined and the trajectory was calculated." Should the U.S. Use Its Intelligence To Pressure North Korea?
"Activity at the launch sites had primed those U.S. infrared satellites for more than a month, intelligence sources say. Spy satellites and U-2s detected movement, NSA intercepted signals; North Korea even reportedly issued a standard public 'notice to mariners' announcing a forthcoming military exercise and missile test." DSP satellites? They've "been the spaceborne segment of NORAD's Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment System since 1970." U2's have been flying since 1955 or so. And the NKs may even have issued a public "notice to mariners"? Other than that, though....


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