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I kid, of course. The only time in American history when a few nukes were ostensibly under the direct control of the USAF, and not the Commander-in-chief and DOE, was shortly after WW2. And that "oversight" was corrected pretty damn quickly.
However, you are missing the entire point of Missile Defense, when you are relating it to a war of attrition. The Iron Dome system only engages incoming missiles that are calculated to hit populated areas and/or high value locations, installations, etc. Due to the stupendous inaccuracy of the Palestinian and Hamas missiles, that leaves a lot of targets which are determined to be non-threats, and fall below the criteria for engagement.
Second, as soon as the terrorists' missiles are fired, their launch position is determined. That makes any enemy missile crew who do not close up shop and run away, soon after they have fired off a rocket or two...a dead missile crew.
Furthermore, the relative VALUE of a missile defense system, and each interceptor is measured against the cost of casualties, lives lost, as well as damage to infrastructure and property. That is why, in the calculus of Ballistic Missile Defense, the cost of the ABM interceptor does not have to match the cost of the target it is engaging...nor do BMD systems presume to even try.
EDIT: Sorry Curt, I inadvertently reiterated points you made in your reply. In my rush to reply to Bernard, I didn't read your post. Just checked back and saw your earlier comments. So, I agree with you :)
While it is absolutely correct that some shipyards were Govt. owned and operated (PSNY still is), the "heart" and "guts" of the subs and ships were supplied by major Companies. Who do you think the prime contractors were for the nuclear reactors on the SSN and SSBN's? During their production at PSNY, Westinghouse designed the reactors: S2W, S3W, S4W, S5W = Westinghouse. The steam turbines were either Westinghouse or GE. The Polaris and Poseidon SLBMs were designed and built by Lockheed Martin. Major subsystems such as electric generators, environmental systems, sonar, torpedoes, etc. were all produced by various mechanical / defense contractors.
So even given the examples of DOD/Navy owned shipyards, in general, the following dictum has and continues to apply:
The Service (e.g. USN, USAF) defines the mission, and technical/performance requirements ==> Industry (contractors) builds and supports it.
Second, you appear to be advocating that the USAF and USN establish their own "Design Bureau's". (**cough** Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau **cough** Sukhoi Design Bureau). Interesting idea...but I will take a big PASS on that. Unless, of course, you wish our military to always be twenty plus years behind, rather than twenty plus years ahead of our adversaries.
However, I completely agree that the current DOD Procurement policies and award-fee "Cost Plus" contracts need to be completely overhauled. We need to return to a fixed cost w/ incentives type of Contract/Award based system. Furthermore, the American public needs to force Congress into passing laws curtailing special interests and lobbyists, as well as imposing Term Limits. Half of the problem lies with dishonest and/or corrupt politicians and the cronyism that occurs when citizens legislators turn into career politicians.
I guess what I am saying is I agree, in principle, that a lot needs to change in the relationship between the DOD and military contractors / Defense corporations. However, curtailing free enterprise, and implementing socialist-type structures is not the answer, and would only stifle innovation, quality, and de-emphasize individual and group motivation for excellence.
The United States National Missile Defense is not intended to defend against "mass attacks from a major nuclear power like China or Russia". It's purpose is to provided limited ballistic missile defense in order to counter (A) Attack by rogue nuclear states--e.g. NK, Iran (B) Nuclear blackmail or terrorism by such rogue nuclear states (C) Accidental or unauthorized launch of a (very) limited number of ICBMs by Russia or China.
"It is the policy of the United States to deploy, as soon as is technologically possible, an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or deliberate) with funding subject to the annual authorization of appropriations and the annual appropriation of funds for National Missile Defense."
— National Missile Defense Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-38 signed by President Clinton)
The USAF awarded the first EELV contracts to Lockheed Martin and Boeing, for their Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles (respectively) back in 1998, BEFORE EITHER of these NEW launch vehicles had ever flown. While some might argue that the Atlas V consisted of a large percentage of proven legacy hardware, carried over from the Atlas 3, it was still an untested, new launch system. The Delta IV had no such "excuse", and was basically a clean F'n sheet of paper. Brand new engine, brand new common booster core, avionics, the whole shebang.
So, guess what...the DOD put a military satellite onto the SECOND launch of the brand new Delta IV...less than 4 months after it's first demonstration launch.
So please don't try to tell us that one set of "statistical reliability calculations" apply to LM and Boeing (now merged under ULA), yet a completely different set must apply to SpaceX...and that SpaceX has to have "40 or so successful launches with no failures under their belt", before they can earn USAF certification. Actually, not even the USAF is claiming that, thankfully.
By the way, the Delta IV didn't even make it to 5 successful consecutive launches. The 4th Delta IV launch was a mission failure. http://www.spacedaily.com/news/rocketscience-05b.html
"Ready, Set, Go! Navy Gives Industry 21 Days For LCS Alternatives".
Here is the direct link:
Looks as though the USN has a crash program underway to solicit RFIs (Request For Information) pertaining to LCS alternatives. The gist of the RFI involves a platform that is more in line with a frigate class, both in offensive and defensive capabilities. One possibility mentioned is the modification and "upgunning" the Coast Guard National Security Cutter (built by HII). While they will be entertaining proposals from HII and other usual suspects, the USN will be exploring existing solutions already in service with our allies. Sounds like the LCS goose may finally be cooked...we can only hope.
All our strategic nukes use solid fuel main motors (e.g. first, second and third stages) --all made in the USA.
The Minuteman III stage one is manufactured by ATK, with upgraded second and third stage motors being furnished under the Propulsion Replacement Program. The fourth stage Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE -- post-boost, warhead bus) uses hypergolic bi-propellant liquid fuel for attitude and maneuvering corrections, and is manufactured by Aerojet.
The Trident D-5 SLBM's first and second stages are manufactured by Thiokol (ATK), and the third stage is by UTC. The Post Boost Controls System (PBCS) is manufactured by Aerojet.