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Reply #8: This is why we have Stealth Bombers [View All]

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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-29-06 01:37 AM
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8. This is why we have Stealth Bombers
And long-range cruise missiles... and long-range armed unmanned aerial vehicles.

A B-2 can sneak up on any target anywhere in the world, drop a dozen 2,000-pound GPS-guided bombs, then fly back to base. A Tomahawk has a 350-mile cruising range, a 1,000-pund warhead, and can be dropped by bombers or launched by ships and submarines. The Predator drone has a 450-mile range and can carry two Hellfire missiles.

I'm pretty sure one of those things can hit terrorists as needed.

The problem is that on the face of things it actually is a reasonable idea. Not a great idea, not soemthing you try first. The Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile has a range of 7,000 miles, can carry up to 6,170 pounds of payload, and has a circular error probability of about 300 feed.

Unfortunately, they also cost $30+ million each. How many will be fired at these targets of opportunity? Three? Four?

Circular error probability means that half of the missiles fired will hit within 300 feet of the target and half beyond 300 feet. Three tons of military-grade explosive a hundred yards away would be marginally effective against a soft target, assuming they are able to cram that much exposive into the same space as the nukes. The might not be able to; uranium and lead and plutonium is much heavier than explosives.


First off, the world has to take our word on the fact that the missile is not nuclear-armed. Second, the launch gives away the launch position of the sub launching it. Third, by the time we warned all of these countries and launched, I'll be that some officials in these governments would make sure the targets began moving before the missiles hit. It can take up to 40 minutes for the missile to travel that far, plenty of time to get a few hundred yards away. And the terrorists have both good intelligence and sympathetic governments.
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