While I'm not sure of the relevance of all parts of this article, I was intrigued by the concept behind it. A missile that need not hit the target but that needs to explode in the air for the maximum damage.
Iran Plans For A World Without America
Posted 08/04/2011 06:28 PM ET
Iran Plans to Create A World Without America - RESEND - Grendel Report
Defense: Tehran's navy deploys ships to the Atlantic capable of launching long-range missiles. This is not a joke. This is a dress rehearsal for the day an EMP attack ends our way of life.
'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?" Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked at "The World Without Zionism" Tehran conference in 2005. "But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved." He added that Iran had a "war preparation plan" for, as he put it, "the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization."
Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is not a subject familiar to most Americans. But it's quite familiar to the Iranian military.
It's been practicing for the day when an Iranian missile tipped with a nuclear warhead lifts off from a vessel parked in international waters off our shores, the warhead detonating high above the American heartland, sending electromagnetic waves rippling across the American landscape, frying every electronic circuit within range.
In a July 18 statement, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said the Iranian navy plans on deploying warships in the Atlantic Ocean as part of a program to ply international waters.
Two days later, another Iranian rear admiral, Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi, revealed for the first time that his navy has equipped a number of its logistic vessels and units with long-range missiles.
The squadron will be equipped with the Nur missile, which is based on China's long-range Silkworm C-802 anti-ship cruise missile and has a 125-mile range and 365-pound warhead.
It is not these ships and their missiles that threaten us, but what comes later as they use these forays to gain experience operating far from Iranian shores.
A simple Scud missile, with a nuclear warhead, could be fired from an inconspicuous freighter in international waters off our coast and detonated high over the U.S.
It would wreak devastation on America's technological, electrical and transportation infrastructure. Masked as a terrorist attack, Iran would have plausible deniability of any responsibility.
Iran has practiced launching and detonating Scuds in midflight, launched from ships in the Caspian Sea. It's also tested high-altitude explosions of its Shahab-3 ballistic missile, a test consistent with an EMP attack.
The warhead need not be of a staggeringly high yield — nor must the missile have an intercontinental range.
"One nightmare scenario posed," according to Peter Vincent Pry, an expert on EMP who sits on a congressional panel looking into the threat of such a weapon, "was a ship-launched EMP attack against the U.S. by Iran, as this would eliminate the need for Iran to develop an ICBM to deliver a nuclear warhead against the U.S. and could be executed clandestinely, taking the U.S. by surprise."
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., calls it the one way we could lose the war on terror.
As he notes, a single nuclear warhead, detonated at the right altitude, would interact with the Earth's atmosphere, producing an electromagnetic pulse radiating down to the surface at the speed of light.
Nobody would be harmed or killed immediately by the blast. But life in the world's largest economy and only superpower would come to a screeching halt as a nation dependent on cutting-edge technology instantly regresses in time by almost a century.
As it is, our shrinking Navy doesn't have enough Aegis-equipped warships to defend Japan and Hawaii against North Korea. How is it also going to protect the Atlantic coast and Europe against this threat, which may now come from a derelict Iranian freighter?
If defense were a priority, we might. Of course, we could always deal with the threat at its source.
Meanwhile, the doomsday clock is ticking.
While we all have seen recent missile test of the USA and also oneof India being destroyed in mid air because it veered off prescribed parameters, I assumed destroying a missile in mid-air is standard procedure. Looks like it's a capability not everyone has.
BEsides, how effective can a missile shield be against a missile that needs to explode in mid air?