Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Need GOOD Missile Defense Today

Most of the time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) runs around worrying about backpack-wielding Islamic radicals, a la the Boston Marathon bombing. Naturally, these terrorists strike fear into the hearts of Americans. But ultimately these isolated attacks have little lasting impact on our national economy.

In reality, the single largest threat to America is a missile attack by a rogue country. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon detonated near our shores by North Korea – or a nuclear missile launched from northern Iran toward an American base in Europe – would have grave consequences, similar to what we experienced after the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.

That’s why America’s real national defense is tied to its ever-expanding technological superiority in missile defense. We have Ronald Reagan to thank – he made missile defense a priority, and his vision is now paying off.

Today, increasing threats and world-class technology have put U.S. defense contractors in the spotlight like never before.

The Deadliest Defensive Weapon We Have

Take the SM-3 (SM is short for Standard Missile), a purely defensive weapon used to demolish short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The SM-3 hits inbound enemy missiles, literally blasting them out of the sky. The whole idea is known as “hitting a bullet with a bullet.” The effect is tantamount to a collision between 10-ton trucks traveling at 600 MPH.

The SM-3 is the Holy Grail in our fight against rogue missiles. It’s already part of the Japanese defense against the threat of North Korea. In Europe, the U.S. plans to counter Iran using ground-based SM-3 interceptors in Romania and Poland. The new, ground-based version could be deployed as early as 2018.

The proud manufacturer of the SM-3 is Raytheon (RTN), a premier U.S. defense and technology firm.
Of the most recent missile tests, Raytheon’s President of Missile Systems said, “Confidence in the SM-3 IB’s defensive capability continues to grow with each flight test.  When this weapon deploys in 2015, the U.S. and our allies will have a tremendously reliable, capable defensive asset on their side.”

The Race Is On

The SM-3 is just one example of the race to build missile defense systems. And trust me – it’s a race. You see, North Korea is allegedly developing an EMP weapon, according to recent reports from South Korea’s spy agency. The target is none other than Western society.

The outcome of such an attack would be gruesome. An EMP wouldn’t just take out computers and radios. 

In today’s complex society, it would shut down the electrical grid, inhibiting our ability to pump potable water and killing our ability to move food from farm to market. Some estimates suggest that a well-executed EMP attack over the Midwest could lead to starvation of up to half of America’s population.

The only real defense against an EMP attack is stopping the delivery system, which would most likely come from a ballistic missile. And as this threat from rogue nations grows, it not only affects the United States, but also impacts our friends and interests around the globe.

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