Saturday, March 16, 2013

On North Korea's Polar Trajectory 'Satellite Launch'

Is North Korea working on a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System? Iran's partner in nuclear and missile crimes could be developing missiles capable of striking the US from over the South Pole, updating technology developed during the 1960s by the North's Cold War ally, the Soviet Union. 

PARADE: Soviet R-36 missiles built to attack North America from over the South Pole. 

There could be more … much more … to North Korea's so-called satellite launch than a phony cover story, especially given the North's subsequent admission that its long-range missile--and nuclear--tests are aimed at the United States.

The December 12 launch used a polar orbital trajectory for its successful, 3-stage missile test.

Consider this report and the information set forth below.

The Soviet Union in the 1960s developed missiles for the purpose of attacking the United States from the south--that is to say, from over the South Pole. According to Wikipedia, the

Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) was a Soviet ICBM program in the 1960s that after launch would go into a low Earth orbit and would then de-orbit for an attack. It had no range limit and the orbital flight path would not reveal the target location. This would allow a path to North America over the South Pole, hitting targets from the south, which is the opposite direction from which NORAD early warning systems are oriented. 
The Outer Space Treaty banned nuclear weapons in Earth orbit. However, it did not ban systems that were capable of placing weapons in orbit, and the Soviet Union avoided violating the treaty by conducting tests of its FOBS system without live warheads. 
The Soviets developed three missiles to employ FOBS, with only one entering service: The orbital missile 8K69 (also known as R-36orb) was initially deployed in 1968, with the first regiment put on alert in 1969…. 
The U.S. Defense Support Program early warning satellites, first launched in 1970, enabled the US to detect [italics added for emphasis] a FOBS launch.

Detection is one thing; defense, another. There is no known defense against an FOBS-launched ICBM from over the South Pole.

Wikipedia has this to say about the 8K69:

The 8К69 fractional-orbit missile ("FOBS") began on April 16, 1962. Such a missile provides some advantages over a conventional ICBM. The range is limited only by the parameters of the orbit that the re-entry vehicle has been placed into, and the re-entry vehicle may come from either direction, compelling the enemy to build considerably more expensive anti-missile systems. Due to the possibility of placing the warhead in orbit and keeping it there for some time, it is possible to reduce the time required to strike to just a few minutes. It is also much more difficult to predict where the warhead will land, since while the re-entry vehicle is on orbit, it is a very small object with few distinguishing marks and is hard to detect; moreover, since the warhead can be commanded to land anywhere along the orbit's ground track, even detecting the warhead on orbit does not allow accurate prediction of its intended target. 
The structure and design of the fractional-orbit bombardment system were similar to a conventional P-36 ICBM system. A two-stage rocket was equipped by the liquid rocket engines using storable propellants. The silo launcher and command point were hardened against a nuclear explosion. The basic difference from a conventional ICBM consists of the design of the re-entry vehicle, which is fitted with a single 2.4Mt warhead, de-orbit engine and control block. The control system uses independent inertial navigation and radar-based altimeter which measures orbit parameters twice—in the beginning of an orbital path and just before de-orbiting engine firing. 
Flight testing consisted of 15 successful launches and four failures. During test launch #17, the warhead was retrieved with a parachute. Flight tests of a rocket have been completed by May 20, 1968 and on November 19 of the same year it entered service. The first (and the only) regiment with 18 launchers was deployed on August 25, 1969. 
The R-36orbs (8К69) were retired from service in January 1983 as a part of SALT II treaty (they were considered "space-based" nuclear weapons). 
The Tsyklon series of civilian space launchers is based on the R-36orb (8К69) design. 

Soviets FOBS Testing Followed Cuban Missile Crisis

More FOBS history from the Federation of American Scientists:

In the early 1960s, the Soviets needed a way to overcome the West's geographic advantages (forward bases in Turkey, Europe, and Asia from which shorter range missiles and bombers could attack the USSR). The Soviet attempt to place missiles in Cuba would have been a partial remedy. When the Cuban venture did not go as planned, they moved to other technological possibilities. The Soviets demonstrated the technology necessary to orbit a space vehicle and then land it in a specific place with the Vostok launches. It was thus logical to assume they could place nuclear weapons in orbit and return them to Earth at any time and place. Khrushchev made this suggestion in 1961, but on 15 March 1962, as part of the rhetoric proceeding the Cuban crisis, he made yet another, more ominous suggestion.
"We can launch missiles not only over the North Pole, but in the opposite direction, too. . . Global rockets can fly from the oceans or other directions where warning facilities    cannot be installed. Given global missiles, the warning system in general has lost its importance. Global missiles cannot be spotted in time to prepare any measures against them."
This statement was the first hint of a new concept called the fractional orbit bombardment system (FOBS).... 
After the failure of their first two tests in 1966, the Soviets tested their FOBS with nine launches between 25 January and 28 October 1967. All missions followed the same distinct flight profile--launching in the late afternoon into an elliptical, near-polar low-Earth orbit and deorbiting over the Soviet landmass before one complete orbit. This profile allowed the Soviets to monitor the deorbit, reentry, and impact. US planners viewed FOBS as a pathfinder system intended to precede a conventional ICBM attack. The FOBS would circumvent the existing US ballistic missile early warning radars and hit SAC airfields before the bombers could take off. FOBS could destroy ABM radars, disrupt US retaliatory capability, destroy command posts, the White House, and the command and control network. But, due to its limited accuracy and payload, FOBS was ineffective against hardened targets.

FOBS and EMP: Satellite Could be Orbiting Doomsday Warhead

The president of EMPact America, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, connects the FOBS and EMP threats as follows:

During the Cold War, the USSR experimented with a secret weapon, the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS), that used an ICBM like a Space Launch Vehicle to put a nuclear warhead into orbit, like a satellite.  Instead of using the ICBM to lob the warhead on a more accurate arcing ballistic trajectory, flying along the shortest range to target, like an artillery shell, the FOBS lofted the warhead into a "fractional" or partial orbit, sacrificing accuracy for limitless range.       
FOBS could reach any nation or threaten any target anywhere on Earth. 
A Super-EMP warhead does not weigh much, and could probably be delivered by North Korea's Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, successfully tested in December 2012, against any nation on Earth.  Thus, North Korea already possesses an ICBM and poses a mortal nuclear threat to the United States, and to all nations on Earth--right now.    
North Korea, during the successful test of its ICBM on December 12, 2012, orbited a satellite weighing 100 kilograms (about 200 pounds).  One design of a Super-EMP warhead would be a modified neutron bomb, more accurately an Enhanced Radiation Warhead (ERW) because it produces not only many neutrons but also many gamma rays.  As noted earlier, gamma rays cause the EMP effect.  One U.S. ERW warhead (the W-82) deployed in NATO during the Cold War weighed, including its heavy casing, less than 50 kilograms.  Since the EMP attack entails detonating the warhead at high-altitude, above the atmosphere, the warhead does not even need a heavy re-entry vehicle and heat shield.

Click here for a comment on the sea-based ballistic missile threat from North Korea and Iran.  For all we know, the two proliferation partners might have already deployed cargo ships capable of firing ballistic missiles high above the U.S. homeland or into U.S. coastal cities. Such vessels could be lurking even now, in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, or in the Gulf of Mexico.