Two Russian Tu-95H Bear long range strategic bombers were intercepted by U.S. F-15 fighters as the interlopers made a circumnavigation of Guam.
The island of Guam is a U.S. territory that is of key strategic importance in the Pacific region. The bombers were reportedly armed with live nuclear cruise missiles, possibly Kh-55's which can deliver a 200-kiloton fireball on a target up to 1800 miles away. Each bomber can carry six of these weapons.
The incursion comes amid heightened tensions in the Pacific between China and Japan, with Russia signaling that it stands with the red Chinese. On February 7, Russian Su-27 fighters violated the sovereignty of Japan's airspace with an incursion that was intercepted over the northern Hokkaido province. Japan is a close U.S. ally.
The timing of this latest event was clearly meant to be a message directly to the American President. The flight is also unprecedented, in that Russian bombers have never been known to operate that far south and so far away from their bases.
U.S. military officials were relatively tight-lipped about the incident, citing security concerns, but a few more details are available at the following link.
The question now becomes, how does the U.S. respond to these threats? Diplomatic protests, tit-for-tat incursions of our own? Or does the U.S. escalate, and send a very clear message that we can and will destroy our enemies? That last option certainly sounds like a better option if we could get away with it, but how does one send such a message without actually escalating events to the point where they get out of hand and a war suddenly unfolds? How does one send a very bold message that will instill fear, without the opponent needing to respond in order to save face?
What if there were a way we could actually attack Russia, with a weapon as powerful as a nuclear bomb, but without doing any serious damage but rather as a demonstration of our capabilities? A show of force, but one that the Russians would never dare accuse America of. Unless of course, they wanted to sound like lunatics, wanted to send their people into a state of utter panic, and basically were willing to start WWIII over it.
What if we could attack Russia with a weapon that would cause a blast 20 times larger than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the close of WWII?
Sounds pretty crazy of course, but it would have to, to make the plan actually work. It would have to sound crazy enough for the rest of the world to not even think about it, while at the same time sending a very clear message to those few in Russian leadership who would know better. Who know of secret things and who can read between the lines. They would also be the ones who could examine the debris for tell-tale signs of a deliberate strike, as opposed to an amazingly coincidental falling star.
So coincidental in fact that Cuba, Russia's notorious and key ally in the western hemisphere, also happened to get hit with a powerful meteorite as well, within hours of the Russian event.
But this is still just crazy talk right? We couldn't nuke a country without everyone knowing about it. Someone would see a missile get launched, and it's totally illegal to put nuclear missiles on satellites in space. Not to mention that there would be fallout and all sorts of telltale signs of a nuclear detonation. Unless of course the weapon wasn't nuclear, but still just as powerful. Does any sort of weapon like that actually exist?
It's quite possible actually.
The basic theory is called kinetic bombardment. The US Navy has already been successfully experimenting with various contractors to develop a ship-mounted kinetic energy railgun. Rather than delivering an explosive munition to a target, kinetic energy weapons simply deliver a hunk of inert solid material on a target with such extreme velocity that the impact energy is equal to or greater than that of an explosive device.
Military Video Captures Destructive Power of Navy’s Newest Railgun
The Navy weapons are technically considered to be a siege weapon, or a hyper-tech advancement of weapons like the catapult or trebuchet. To be a true kinetic bombardment weapon, it must be staged on an orbital platform, a satellite. Such a weapon would not violate the treaty which forbids nuclear weapons in space, but could actually be more deadly, less complex, and less costly. It is also something that the US military has been taking an interest in as early as the 1950's.
Check out this sub-entry from Wikipedia on Project Thor:
Project ThorProject Thor is an idea for a weapons system that launches kinetic projectiles from Earth orbit to damage targets on the ground. Jerry Pournelle originated the concept while working in operations research at Boeing in the 1950s before becoming a science-fiction writer.
The most described system is "an orbiting tungsten telephone pole with small fins and a computer in the back for guidance". The weapon can be down-scaled, an orbiting "crowbar" rather than a pole. The system described in the 2003 United States Air Force (USAF) report was that of 20-foot-long (6.1 m), 1-foot-diameter (0.30 m) tungsten rods, that are satellite controlled, and have global strike capability, with impact speeds of Mach 10.
The time between deorbiting and impact would only be a few minutes, and depending on the orbits and positions in the orbits, the system would have a world-wide range. There is no requirement to deploy missiles, aircraft or other vehicles. Although the SALT II (1979) prohibited the deployment of orbital weapons of mass destruction, it did not prohibit the deployment of conventional weapons. The system is prohibited by neither the Outer Space Treaty nor the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
The idea is that the weapon would inflict damage because it moves at orbital velocities, at least 9 kilometers per second. Smaller weapons can deliver measured amounts of energy as small as a 225 kg conventional bomb. Some systems are quoted as having the yield of a small tactical nuclear bomb. These designs are envisioned as a bunker buster.
In the case of the system mentioned in the 2003 USAF report above, a 6.1m x 0.3m tungsten cylinder impacting at Mach 10 has a kinetic energy equivalent to approximately 11.5 tons of TNT (or 7.2 tons of dynamite). The mass of such a cylinder is itself over 8 tons, so it is clear that the practical applications of such a system are limited to those situations where its other characteristics provide a decisive advantage - a conventional bomb/warhead of similar weight to the tungsten rod, delivered by conventional means, provides similar destructive capability and is a far more practical method.
The highly elongated shape and high density are to enhance sectional density and therefore minimize kinetic energy loss due to air friction and maximize penetration of hard or buried targets. The larger device is expected to be quite good at penetrating deeply buried bunkers and other command and control targets. The smaller "crowbar" size might be employed for anti-armor, anti-aircraft, anti-satellite and possibly anti-personnel use.
The weapon would be very hard to defend against. It has a very high closing velocity and a small radar cross-section. Launch is difficult to detect. Any infra-red launch signature occurs in orbit, at no fixed position. The infra-red launch signature also has a small magnitude compared to a ballistic missile launch. One drawback of the system is that the weapon's sensors would almost certainly be blind during atmospheric reentry due to the plasma sheath that would develop ahead of it, so a mobile target could be difficult to hit if it performed any unexpected maneuvering. The system would also have to cope with atmospheric heating from re-entry, which could melt the weapon.
While the larger version might be individually launched, the smaller versions would be launched from "pods" or "carriers" that contained several missiles.
The phrase "Rods from God" is also used to describe the same concept. A USAF report called them "hypervelocity rod bundles".
Now check out this Wiki entry on the Prompt Global Strike system. Some key points have been highlighted:
Prompt Global Strike (PGS) is a United States military effort to develop a system that can deliver a precision conventional weapon strike anywhere in the world within one hour, in a similar manner to a nuclear ICBM. In April 2010, Marine Corps General James Cartwright explained the system's rationale, stating that "Today, unless you want to go nuclear, [the conventional military response time is] measured in days, maybe weeks". A PGS system could also be useful during a nuclear conflict, potentially replacing nuclear weapons against 30 percent of targets.
The PGS system will be designed to complement existing American rapid-response forces, such as Forward Deployed Forces, Air Expeditionary Groups (which can deploy within 48 hours) and carrier battle groups (which can respond within 96 hours). Possible delivery systems include:
In 2010, the United States Air Force prototyped a PGS system based on a modified Minuteman III ICBM. In March 2011, Air Force Major General David Scott stated that the service had no plans to use a sea- or land-based ICBM system for Prompt Global Strike, as they would be expensive to develop and potentially "dangerous." Instead, efforts would focus on a hypersonic glider. However, the following day, Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said that an ICBM-based PGS system was still an option.
- a rocket similar to existing ICBMs, launched from land or via submarine
- an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile, such as the Boeing X-51 or Advanced Hypersonic Weapon
- a kinetic weapon launched from an orbiting space platform
The administration of George W. Bush considered developing such a weapon in the 2000s, but rejected the idea because of fears that an ICBM-launched weapon would trigger the Russian nuclear-launch warning system, potentially provoking a nuclear war. However, the Obama administration continued development of the system later in the decade.
A potential enemy cannot be certain that a launched ICBM contains only a conventional warhead, not a nuclear one. It is thus currently unclear what design features or precautions could convince China and Russia, two countries with launch-detection systems and nuclear ICBMs, to ignore their early-warning systems. Current ideas include a low-trajectory missile design, or allowing Russian and Chinese inspection of PGS missile sites.
On 11 April 2010, United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates indicated that the United States already had a Prompt Global Strike capability. This coincided with the New START disarmament treaty signed on 8 April 2010, which set new, lower limits on ballistic missiles and their warheads. The treaty does not distinguish between conventional and nuclear versions of weapons, meaning any ballistic PGS missiles and warheads would count toward the new limit. However, the U.S. State Department has stated that this does not constrain plans for PGS deployment, since current plans do not come near the limits. Nonetheless, in December 2010, Russian military experts indicated that the forthcoming S-500 missile defense system would include anti-hypersonic defenses.
So as bizarre as the it sounded at first, we now see that the technology is actually there for such a strike on Russia (and Cuba) as the one just theorized. It is not science-fiction at all, but may have been the first real word application of such a radically advanced weapon platform.
Obviously the United States is never going to admit to launching a non-lethal but destructive show-of-force attack on another country. So that leaves it up to Russia to examine the debris and make the determination. Then of course, they will have clearly gotten the message in no uncertain terms, but it would not be in their interests either to accuse the United States of such an attack.
Therefore, this little conspiracy theory is something that will probably be never proven in my lifetime, but something interesting to consider just the same. And maybe in a hundred years from now, when a bunch of documents come to light and the world is a very different place, some historian will read this what I have written here today and say "Gee, that Captain Six really had his thinking cap on."
Or maybe I'm just off my nut, lol.
Here is a video of the meteorite strike in Russia. Note the strange "twin" tail coming off of it as it descended. Doesn't really seem to fit with what one would expect from a space rock tumbling into the atmosphere. On the other hand, this twin plume could be a sign of this "rods of the gods" weapon.
'That's no meteor, it's an American weapon test': Russian politician's bizarre claim about 10 ton space rock as Cuba claims it was also hit earlier in the week
Video appears to show object striking "meteor" causing it to explode. Some conspiracy buffs are saying that it was a UFO/aliens intervening to help mankind. I'm not really buying that, but I certainly would not rule out that perhaps the Russians intercepted the inbound traffic with a railgun of their own. Or perhaps it was part of the US plan to shoot down their own weapon as part of the demonstration and in order to make the threat that much more acute? Hard to say, but the video certainly does show a collision between two objects. Check it out.
...The local newspaper Znak reported the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. Quoting a source in the military, it wrote a missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers.
Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses...