Can Nuclear Bombs Be Shot Down? An Expert's Perspective

As you read earlier, causing a nuclear bomb to detonate requires precise orchestration of events, without which the chain reaction does not start and the bomb does not detonate.

General Obering

himself agrees that the system he is sending will not have “operational capacity” until it can handle multiple missiles. But a “rudimentary capacity”, in the Pentagon language, is the first step towards an operating system. Obering says the rudimentary existing system could now bring down a nuclear bomb if it comes alone. An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a surface-to-air missile designed to counter ballistic missiles (missile defense).

Ballistic missiles are used to launch nuclear, chemical, biological, or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight path. The term anti-ballistic missile is a generic term that describes a system designed to intercept and destroy any type of ballistic threat; however, it is commonly used for systems specifically designed to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). A recent study sponsored by the American Physical Society concluded that the GMD cannot be trusted to counter even a limited nuclear attack. The study focused specifically on North Korean ICBMs and determined that the U. S.

It is unlikely that the defense systems in place will be reliable enough to ensure that the mission will be a success in the next 15 years.


refers to the idea that the possession of nuclear weapons protects a nation from attack, through the threat of overwhelming reprisals. This concept is widely recognized for helping to prevent the war between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, Russia's invasion of Ukraine sheds a stark light on its disadvantages. The most obvious thing is that Putin is using nuclear deterrence not to protect Russia, but rather to get away with it in Ukraine.

Russia's nuclear weapons deter the West from intervening with conventional military forces to defend Ukraine. Despite scattered calls in the U. for the creation of a “no-fly zone” over part or all of Ukraine, the Biden administration has wisely resisted. In practice, this would mean shooting down Russian planes.

It could lead to World War III. On the other side of the ledger, NATO nuclear weapons presumably deter Russia from expanding the war to NATO countries, such as Poland, Romania, or the Baltic states. Therefore, the nuclear balance of terror probably deters a broader European war, but it leaves Ukraine to continue fighting with limited support and perhaps eventually be swallowed up. In short, NATO states don't seem very reassured by their vaunted nuclear deterrence. They remain concerned about the (remote) possibility of a conventional Russian attack beyond Ukraine. The United States has formidable missile defenses designed to shoot down enemy nuclear warheads.

The programs have been fantastically expensive because, as it turns out, intercepting objects in space is very, very difficult. The military has four main means of shooting down incoming missiles. But even together, they can't promise to stop everything. The sky was calm over Oahu, Hawaii, on a terrifying Saturday morning last January. There, on the beach, you would have seen a child dancing and playing in the sand, not realizing what more than a million people believed would soon re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and head towards him.

But what could Hawaii or the U. military do it that morning in January had the missile been real?The U. military has four systems for shooting down ballistic missiles, most of them focused on the second and third phases. It's an expensive approach, to be sure; and in 17 years of testing, all four systems have achieved their goals — approximately four out of five attempts.

But military planners know that when missiles actually fly, a single failed interception could have unspeakable catastrophic consequences. And therefore, the whole system is getting more expensive. If that missile bound for Hawaii had been real, the launch would have activated dozens of monitors linked to the four anti-missile systems of the United States, including an array of satellites orbiting around the world emitting real-time speed and trajectory data. But with an 81 percent success rate across all systems combined, the truth is that we simply don't know if this multi-million dollar network would have worked. The thousands of military personnel in front of monitoring systems from Japan to the United Kingdom would presumably know this very well. The Aegis System has not tested impulse interceptions better. Rather, tests conducted so far have focused on interceptions closer to terminal phase when entire network of ballistic missile defense sensors around world would have processed comparatively more data (more on this here).

But in more recent news for islanders MDA pushing install two billion dollar missile defense radars on north coast Oahu. New radars would be similar Cobra Dane system already exists western tip Alaska Eareckson air station however using Aegis system for terminal interception closer Hawaii represents our second approach missile defense ground based half course defense system has not yet intercepted target. Sad news bleak scenario quite plausible Greely occupies prime real estate spaces between U. S mainland China Russia North Korea Vandenberg other hand will have do with four silos Alaska real estate little better placed job course considerably cheaper than California coast. In addition GBMD system has not been tested decoys or more than one target at time that leaves one last chance act United States has six THAAD batteries including three Pacific region fortunately families our Hawaii setting Aloha State one them Guam since 2001 South Korea since 2001 other two vicinity North Korea. We may have passed beginning nuclear age but we have not moved beyond shadow.

Bradford Tutwiler
Bradford Tutwiler

Devoted internet fanatic. General twitter aficionado. Total tv buff. General travel lover. Hardcore pop culture evangelist. Award-winning food nerd.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required