[LINK] Missile Defence

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@austarmetro.com.au
Fri, 28 Feb 2003 10:50:28 +1100

At the risk of going off topic again, has anyone seen any sort of
description of the proposed missile defence shield that the PM thinks we
should investigate?

I would have thought that a simple, back of an envelope calculation would
have easily shown that, in the Australian environment, such a system is
totally unsuitable.

Putting my defence engineer hat on, questions that come to mind are:

For countries that might possibly be a threat, what range are their

Can we protect against mobile missiles - eg ship borne missiles that might
come at us from any direction?

Which cities are threatened?

Assuming that missiles with unlimited range are developed - which cities
would we want to protect? How would the other cities/states (probably most
of SA, WA, TAS and NT) feel about paying for a system that didn't protect

Where would we put radar stations, how many, how would we staff them
(assuming that they were somewhere useful, ie well forward of the
south-eastern cities?

Where would we put missile silos, how many, how would we staff them (see

What is a rough estimate of the cost? - how does it compare with other
forms of defence? Would it have stopped the attack on Bali?

etc etc.

This is actually quite relevant to Link. The way the current government is
going about handling this technology issue shows that they are more
concerned about politics than reality and about staying in power rather
than looking after the interests of the people they are supposed to

If we could find a way of using the internet to ensure the government gets
re-elected, then money would come pouring our way. But then again, would we
want such an outcome? 

A billion here and a billion there, and soon you're talking about
real money. 
-- Everett McKinley Dirksen 

Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia