Tag Archives: Weapon

Rick Santorum would not stand idle while Iran develops nuclear weapons

Map of the Middle East
Map of the Middle East

From Fox News.

Excerpt:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Saturday the U.S. was wrong to condemn the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist this week.

The Obama administration’s public posture on the death Wednesday of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan does not reflect the hard line Santorum supports in keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the former Pennsylvania senator said while campaigning in conservative upstate South Carolina.

“Our country condemned it. My feeling is we should have kept our mouth shut,” Santorum told about 200 people packed into a popular breakfast diner in Greenville.

Santorum is vying to emerge as conservatives’ alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary. Romney leads in public and private polls of likely voters, although former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is within striking distance, with a week to go before balloting begins.

However, Santorum has risen here since his breakthrough near-tie with Romney in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. He has a robust state organization and is making aggressive inroads with evangelical conservatives, like many of those who were at the Country Ham House Saturday morning.

And while Santorum stresses values issues, he has also argued for a tough stand on Iran’s nuclear capability. Responding to a question in Greenville, he said he supports missile strikes to stop its nuclear program, if Iran refuses to submit to inspections.

“If these are people who are developing a weapon to be used to either destroy the state of Israel or to spread terror — a reign of terror — around the world, we shouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines and letting it happen,” he said. “They cannot have a nuclear weapon, because you, in Greenville, will not be safe.”

That’s what I’ve been saying for months. There are things we could be doing to show them that having nuclear weapons and interfering in Syria and Iraq are not good ideas for them. Covert operations, arming student groups, pro-West broadcasts, little “accidents” at Iranian training camps in Venezuela. Nice country you got there, guv’nor. Would be a shame if anything were to ‘appen to it.

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What is an EMP attack and what does it mean to our national security?

From the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

[Tuesday] night at The Republican National Security Debate, hosted on CNN by The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, an electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) was mentioned as one of the most important national security issues that is not discussed often. This is true. Despite the gravity of the threat, the United States remains unprotected from the effects of an EMP.

An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by a rapid acceleration of charged particles. The EMP would disrupt all electronic devices within its zone of impact. It would burn circuits and immobilize electronic components and systems. It addition, the EMP would flow through electricity transmission lines and would damage distribution centers and power lines.

Detonating a singular nuclear weapon at a high altitude can create an EMP large enough to envelop the entire continental United States. The nuclear weapon could be delivered by a long-range ballistic missile from Iran, China, Russia, or North Korea. Even a short-range nuclear-tipped missile launched off of the U.S. shore could cause a devastating EMP effect.

[…]The effects of an EMP on today’s society would be even more devastating. According to Heritage’s James Carafano, “communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be nonexistent. Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine.”

There are some simple steps that can be taken to prevent against the crippling effects of an EMP attack. First, the U.S. needs to build and adequately fund a robust missile defense system composed of Aegis ballistic missile capable ships, and Aegis Ashore, the land-based ballistic missile component. Second, both the public and private sectors should harden vital infrastructure to make it more resilient and resistant to the EMP—to hedge against an attack or prepare for a solar flare. Third, the U.S. should develop a national plan to respond to EMP emergencies. This would involve educating federal, state, and local officials along with the public about the risks and response options.

In case you missed the debate, you can watch the whole thing here: (and you should – it was awesome)

For the record, the consensus in the Republican debate was that there were “under-the-radar” threats, in addition to threats from Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, China, etc. These were: 1) Cyber attacks like the recent attacks that originated in China, 2) EMP attacks such as I described above and 3) terrorist attacks coordinated with actors in Latin America and South America that exploit our porous southern border.

U.S. Navy sets world record with new electromagnetic rail gun

Rail Gun
Rail Gun

The U.S. Navy has invented a new electromagnetic rail-gun weapon that is so advanced that it has set a world record. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

A theoretical dream for decades, the railgun is unlike any other weapon used in warfare. And it’s quite real too, as the U.S. Navy has proven in a record-setting test today in Dahlgren, VA.

Rather than relying on a explosion to fire a projectile, the technology uses an electomagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound. The conductive projectile zips along a set of electrically charged parallel rails and out of the barrel at speeds up to Mach 7.

[…]An electromagnetic railgun offers a velocity previously unattainable in a conventional weapon, speeds that are incredibly powerful on their own. In fact, since the projectile doesn’t have any explosives itself, it relies upon that kinetic energy to do damage. And at 11 a.m. today, the Navy produced a 33-megajoule firing — more than three times the previous record set by the Navy in 2008.

“It bursts radially, but it’s hard to quantify,” said Roger Ellis, electromagnetic railgun program manager with the Office of Naval Research. To convey a sense of just how much damage, Ellis told FoxNews.com that the big guns on the deck of a warship are measured by their muzzle energy in megajoules. A single megajoule is roughly equivalent to a 1-ton car traveling at 100 mph. Multiple that by 33 and you get a picture of what would happen when such a weapon hits a target.

Ellis says the Navy has invested about $211 million in the program since 2005, since the railgun provides many significant advantages over convention weapons. For one thing, a railgun offers 2 to 3 times the velocity of a conventional big gun, so that it can hit its target within 6 minutes. By contrast, a guided cruise missile travels at subsonic speeds, meaning that the intended target could be gone by the time it reaches its destination.

Furthermore, current U.S. Navy guns can only reach targets about 13 miles away. The railgun being tested today could reach an enemy 100 miles away. And with current GPS guidance systems it could do so with pinpoint accuracy. The Navy hopes to eventually extend the range beyond 200 miles.

“We’re also eliminating explosives from the ship, which brings significant safety benefits and logistical benefits,” Ellis said. In other words, there is less danger of an unintended explosion onboard, particularly should such a vessel come under attack.

[…]There’s also a cost and logistical benefit associated with railguns. For example, a single Tomahawk cruise missile costs roughly $600,000. A non-explosive guided railgun projectile could cost much less. And a ship could carry many more, reducing the logistical problems of delivering more weapons to a ship in battle. For these reasons, Admiral Carr sees the railgun as even changing the strategic and tactical assumptions of warfare in the future.

You may remember those big battleships that use to sail around 60 years ago during World War Two. Those are long gone now because even a 16-inch gun can only hit a target 20 miles away. But guided cruise missiles, like the Tomahawk cruise missile, came along and suddenly ranges of 200 miles became possible. That’s why you never see big guns on ships any more, and battleships are no longer built. The problem with SSMs though is that you can shoot them down with other missiles, like AEGIS-class vessels using RIM-161 missiles to intercept them. Can you intercept these rail gun slugs? I don’t know. If not, then that is a game changer.

I still think that this new weapon is not better than a nice carrier battle group with a couple squadrons of F-18 Hornets armed with Harpoon or Maverick ASMs. But it might be CHEAPER than a carrier battle group. And that is interesting. Maybe the Navy could mass produce these things so that they could be used in places where an expensive carrier battle group is not needed – against countries that do not have carriers or bombers of their own.

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