How did we get here? – PART II


In Last post, I mentioned about Anti Ballistic Missile Strategy. Now why is it important. Obviously when you know that a missile has been shot at you, you won’t got to sleep or start reading Bhagwad Gita. You have to certainly use counter-measures and one of these are Anti-ballistic Missiles. These are systems used to cater usually to ICBMs which are Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with a range of 5000-15000 Km.

There is one more important thing here which I would like to say is there are two broad categories of missiles in defense – Tactical missiles and strategic missiles. Tactical are used at places where momentary benefits or so called short term benefits are necessary such as Air to Air Missiles(AAM), Surface to Air Missiles(SAM). Strategic are always used to have  a long term strategic benefit such as controversial pre-emptive Air to Surface Missiles used by Israel on Egypt Air force Bases’ Runways acted a war-winning tactic for Israel as they outwashed the might of Arab Nations like Syria, Jordan and Egypt with Arab expedition forces of 10 other Nations which consisted of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia, Sudan, Pakistan, Palestine Liberation Organization in just 6 days. The Most Important Strategic Missile is Surface to Surface Missile (SSM) which can be theater ballistic or Intercontinental Ballistic missile which caters to intercontinental range of 5000+ km. 

Lets talk about Surface to Surface Missile which while in air has a varying speeds of 7-11 km/s and an impact speed of 4-6 km/s. Today such Surface to Surface Missiles have been developed to send decoys to farthest corners from the launch site. So nobody is secure and safe. Be ready to defend or I would say better be ready for offense as it is the best way of defending oneself in this era of warfare.

SSM contains warhead full of fragmentations, shells and charged penetrators which gets exploded via signal to detonators from proximity fuze (proximity fuze is basically responsible to detonate an explosive device when the distance from the target is less than the predetermined distance) which I would explain in my next post.

SSM grew into next-gen weapons when there was capability of sending several warheads in a single ballistic missile which are called MIRV (Multiple Independently targetable re-entry vehicles) Warheads. I shall, in my next post would give you the link to the official declassified documents disclosed by USA on MIRV Warheads. The full disclosure is yet to be done. This had the capability to separate out into 8-10 different warheads so that not only the target region but a big area of around 50  could be affected. Here was the point when every defending nation had to put their thinking caps on because there is no way you can defend yourself at the expense of a large amount of resources to be put into anti-ballistic systems.This infused a sense of insecurity in major nations which were starting to render anti-ballistic technologies in place to look out for an agreement with USA which placed an obligation on it to not use more than 10 warheads in a single ballistic missile. Suddenly, Defense world had become rather many times more expensive than the offensive world. A proper strategy is yet to be revealed so that Anti-Ballistic Missile regime can be brought to same fronts which would again be a issue of great geopolitical impact.

This is the link to original declassified MIRV documents which I found on the website of George Washington University. “MIRV: A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINUTEMAN and MULTIPLE REENTRY VEHICLES” by Daniel Buchonnet, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, February 1976. (   


I found this reply from a “peace-loving” guy on a forum to a query about whether more than 10 warheads could be deployed on a single ballistic missile in today’s age. He definitely belongs to some NGO.



Prateek Chandra Jha.


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