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2007-04-05 Home Front: WoT
Meet the Boeing "MOP": Massive Ordnance Penetrator
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Posted by Dar 2007-04-05 15:22|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6497 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 I see no reason why we don't put several bunker buster satellite into orbit. Even a handful of medium, 3-ton satellites, with some stealth characteristics, would annihilate virtually any bunker built. They would just sit there until activated, use retros to descend to a low orbit, then assume GPS guidance to their targets.

Then, when we planned to deploy them, claim we are using some new kind of aircraft dropped bunker buster. As long as a C-130 is anywhere in the vicinity, we have "plausible deniability" that we used a space-based weapon.

They probably wouldn't even be in the Pentagon's budget, instead snuck in to a black budget like the NSAs.
Posted by Anonymoose 2007-04-05 17:10||   2007-04-05 17:10|| Front Page Top

#2 Damn, #1 'moose - don't let the cat out of the bag!

That operation's supposed to be top secret.

Good thing the enemy never reads Rantburg, or you'd be in a WORLD of trouble.
Posted by Barbara Skolaut">Barbara Skolaut  2007-04-05 17:18||]">[]  2007-04-05 17:18|| Front Page Top

#3 All that's left is to schedule a real time test of this new puppy in Iran.
Posted by Zenster">Zenster  2007-04-05 17:37||   2007-04-05 17:37|| Front Page Top

#4 Excellent. These mixed with the new "GPS III" satellites will do wonders on enemy bunkers.
Posted by DarthVader">DarthVader  2007-04-05 17:37||   2007-04-05 17:37|| Front Page Top

#5 In Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress they threw big rocks at the Earth from the moon.

30,000 lbs from high enough in the atmosphere can wreck havoc even without the explosives.
Posted by DoDo 2007-04-05 17:38||   2007-04-05 17:38|| Front Page Top

#6 When you care enough to send the very best...

(Well, somone had to say it)


Posted by FOTSGreg">FOTSGreg  2007-04-05 17:54||]">[]  2007-04-05 17:54|| Front Page Top

#7 In Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress they threw big rocks at the Earth from the moon.

Don't leave out the best part of the story. You know, how earth's government did not believe the lunar threat was real and allowed crowds to gather at the publicized impact coordinates along with concession stands and carnival barkers, only to have everyone vaporized when the first steel-jacketed linac launched boulder arrived.

Well, by golly, then they had to go to war!
Posted by Zenster">Zenster  2007-04-05 18:05||   2007-04-05 18:05|| Front Page Top

#8 "I see no reason why we don't put several bunker buster satellite into orbit."

I don't think they'd even have to contain explosive charges; kinetic energy alone would make for spectacular effect.

I've done some noodling-- fanciful, no doubt-- on a system I call THUDS (Tungsten High-orbit Unboosted Demolition System): 10,000 lb. tungsten impactors in sub-synchronous orbit along with their attached de-orbiting/maneuvering rockets. On command, the rocket provides the delta-V (roughly 3,000 mph) needed to stop the orbiting THUD in its tracks and begin its fall, and then guides it onto a trajectory that will end up in a nearly-vertical impact on the target. A minute or so before impact the de-orbiting/maneuvering package separates, leaving the impactor on a ballistic trajectory; it then maneuvers itself onto a separate course for whatever "supplemental" work can be found for it.

Tungsten is extremely dense; 10,000 pounds of tungsten is a mass only about the size of a 30-gal. garbage can. Weighing as much as a small dump truck, its impact velocity would be somewhere around 25,000 feet per second, ten times that of a rifle bullet. I don't know how much damage such a thing would produce, but I've no doubt it would be spectacular.

No warning (except for a brief, brilliant streak of light as it knifes through the lower ten miles of atmosphere). No explosives. No radiation. Non-toxic. And it makes a DEEP hole where it hits.

What more could a guy want...

Posted by Dave D.">Dave D.  2007-04-05 18:15||   2007-04-05 18:15|| Front Page Top

#9 #8 Kinetic bombardment.

Apparently Jerry Pournelle first proposed the idea in 1964.
Posted by gromgoru 2007-04-05 18:32||   2007-04-05 18:32|| Front Page Top

#10 IIRC it costs about $10,000 per pound to low earth orbit. Assumming the same rate to Geo-Sync (if that's even needed) we are looking at 10,000 lbs X $10,000 per pound = $100,000,000 per shot for your 10,000lbs tungston kinentic weapon. If the math is right I think that's too expensive by a long shot - even if there is a way to scale the cost back 100X it's still a million per shot.
Posted by jds 2007-04-05 18:48||   2007-04-05 18:48|| Front Page Top

#11 Should work on the Kaaba.
Posted by Icerigger">Icerigger  2007-04-05 19:00||   2007-04-05 19:00|| Front Page Top

#12 Sure it would be expensive; but I wasn't thinking of it as a general-purpose bombardment system-- only for deeply-buried targets where the only alternative would be a nuke.
Posted by Dave D.">Dave D.  2007-04-05 19:05||   2007-04-05 19:05|| Front Page Top

#13 how much ar jadams by ahot
Posted by sinse 2007-04-05 20:14||   2007-04-05 20:14|| Front Page Top

#14 Tungsten is extremely dense; 10,000 pounds of tungsten is a mass only about the size of a 30-gal. garbage can.

SIDEBAR: The word "tungsten" derives from Swedish, tung sten, meaning: "heavy stone". Miners noticed that carts filled with tungsten rich ore were much heavier than usual.
Posted by Zenster">Zenster  2007-04-05 21:13||   2007-04-05 21:13|| Front Page Top

#15 Good to see #8 & 9 got into the Rods from God discussion. Once perfected, and deployed in mass, Nuclear non-proliferation and bi-lateral disarmament becomes an interesting negotiating stance.
Posted by Grusomp Hapsburg6256 2007-04-05 21:19||   2007-04-05 21:19|| Front Page Top

#16 Tungsten is way too expensive and valuable--some advanced ceramics would probably do near as well.

Back in WWII, German R&D was asked to design the "perfect cannon", and they blueprinted a tungsten alloy gun that would have been the finest artillery piece ever invented--except it would have used the entire known tungsten supply of the world at the time.

It gave their C&GS a good laugh, though.
Posted by Anonymoose 2007-04-05 21:26||   2007-04-05 21:26|| Front Page Top

#17 "Tungsten is way too expensive and valuable--some advanced ceramics would probably do near as well."

Huh? Tungsten is used in light bulbs. We use it in large quantities to make the seismic masses in our accelerometers. Last I saw, the stuff was running around $16/pound, peanuts compared to the cost of getting it-- or any substitute-- into orbit.

Posted by Dave D.">Dave D.  2007-04-05 21:39||   2007-04-05 21:39|| Front Page Top

#18 DaveD, at high orbital re-entry velocities even tungsten starts to enter a fluid like state from all the friction its exposed to (approximately 7000K if it comes in at 8 km/s). This causes the outer casing to ablate and possibly deform resulting in a loss of aerodynamics. Thats all not counting the issue of the inertia plus gravity (namely the orbital package de-orbiting has a horizontal velocity and a downward one was well meaning it needs to be launched at an angle to the earth).

All of that is not even counting the cost of the package. You at best with 1-3 ton package will get out of it somewhere between 5 and 15 tons of TNT equivalent energy release. All for between 50 and 150 million bucks to put it up there in the first place. It'd be cheaper and more effective to buy 500 MOPs or 100+ Tomahawks for that price.

Now on the other hand if you had said 20lb packages, and a satellite holding about 300-500 of em and they were made out of depleted uranium with outer ceramic coatings (or even ceramic tips) you'd have a much deadlier total package. Imagine all 300 of those coming down on a target at mach 30+, each one of those rods is going to have the impact of 100 lbs of high explosive or so.

Death from Above would gain a whole new meaning.
Posted by Valentine 2007-04-05 22:00||   2007-04-05 22:00|| Front Page Top

#19 Go out into the asteroid belt, find a nice, dense piece of rock 400-500 feet in diameter, attach a few pieces of metal to it, and guide it in for a "hard" landing - pun intended. A meteorite about that size hit Arizona a few thousand years ago, and left a hole a mile in diameter and 600 feet deep. Nothing within 40 miles survived the impact. There are a LOT of rocks in the asteroid belt. NASA needs to be working night and day on getting us to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond. Whoever controls space controls the world.
Posted by Old Patriot">Old Patriot  2007-04-05 22:50||]">[]  2007-04-05 22:50|| Front Page Top

#20 1/2 mv^2 is the equation you need for Rods from God.

Mach 6 = 2000m/s roughly.

so... 1/2 * Mass(Kg) * 4000000 m^2/s^2 = 2000000 (Kg.m/s^2).m = 2M N.m = 2x10^6 Joules- given a 1 KG mass.

So for every kilogram of mass you supply at that velocity, you get 2 MJ (Megajoules) of kinetic energy. 1 KT of nuclear/chemical energy explosion is roughly 4x10^12 Joules. (Terajoules)

So for a 10000kg mass, you're talking (10^4 * 2 * 10^ 6)/(4 * 10^12) = .5 * 10^-2 KT

In other words: half of 1/100 KT of TNT. Take the Kilo off to work with Tons, you get: half of 1000/100 = half of 10 Tons of TNT = 5 tons of TNT = 5000Kg of TNT equivalent explosive force.

Roughly 10K pounds of HE equivalent.

A little bit more than one of these MOPs.

So looking back at the math, 10000Kg of mass on target at Mach 6 buys us 5000kg of HE equivalent.

For every 200 Kg we put up there we get 100kg of explosive energy back. Roughly the same as a 500 lb bomb (remember the 500lb bomb includes casing weight, etc - actual explosive force is provided by 300 or so pounds of HE if I remember correctly).

Not all that great a return.

However if we had dozens of those up there, they'd make life very uncomfortable for targets - not large enough to attract attention until its far too late.

One other solution is to add more velocity - notice the V is squared.
Posted by OldSpook 2007-04-05 23:00||   2007-04-05 23:00|| Front Page Top

#21 Hmm.

30Kg mass. 15Kg equivalent of HE. Figure a grenade at 1kg has a 5m burst 3m kill radius. Figure the inverse square of law follows. Still gives you a 10m kill radius at a minimum, and GPS will get you that close. 500 of those up there...

Quite a nasty day for the dictator at the parade ground.

Add in the shock wave in the wake of the hypersonic round...

That might be usable - and probably nearly untraceable if you run it in hot enough to heat the payload to vapor on impact.

It would leave the proverbial "pink cloud" - like hitting a prairie dog with a 7.62 NATO
Posted by OldSpook 2007-04-05 23:07||   2007-04-05 23:07|| Front Page Top

#22 OK accepting 8Km/s as the upper end...

32x10^6 J/Kg(mass)
------------ = 8 x 10^-6 KT(energy)/Kg(mass)
4x10^12 J/KT(Energy)

Given that 1KT(energy) = 10^3 T(energy)
Given that 1T(energy) = 10^3 Kg(energy)

= 8x10^-6 KT(e)/Kg = 8 Kg(energy)/Kg(mass)

At that point we are taking a lot more economical.

30Kg of mass brings in 240 Kg of energy release.

And THAT is nothing to sneeze at.

The 10000 Kg mass jumps up to 300000Kg of energy, which is 300 T = .3KT of energy release - a decent mini-nuke that few things could resist.

Posted by OldSpook 2007-04-05 23:18||   2007-04-05 23:18|| Front Page Top

#23 One last thign to consider = power - that is energy over time. With the velocity this thing has it will quickly transfer its energy due to that velocity - that means a hell of a lot of energy in a very very short time.

All the more if its a thin ceramic casing prone to splinter on impact, with the core mass being nearly liquid from the heat.
Posted by OldSpook 2007-04-05 23:21||   2007-04-05 23:21|| Front Page Top

#24 Coming in at 1,000,000km/hr from a very large linac on the moon using moon derived material would it have time to ablate?

And with moon derived material the only cost per shot is the nuke reactor powering the linac.

Posted by 3dc 2007-04-05 23:34||   2007-04-05 23:34|| Front Page Top

#25 replace linac with railgun or magrail as appropriate
Posted by 3dc 2007-04-05 23:36||   2007-04-05 23:36|| Front Page Top

#26 Thats doable - but need low albedo rocks to avoid them being seen. Coat em with charcoal dust at launch? As for ablating - just use bigger more uniform rocks.
Posted by OldSpook 2007-04-05 23:55||   2007-04-05 23:55|| Front Page Top

23:55 OldSpook
23:55 JosephMendiola
23:45 OldSpook
23:37 JosephMendiola
23:36 3dc
23:34 3dc
23:30 JosephMendiola
23:21 OldSpook
23:18 Cromert
23:18 OldSpook
23:13 WTF
23:07 OldSpook
23:00 OldSpook
22:54 Barbara Skolaut
22:52 Mark Espinola
22:50 Old Patriot
22:39 3dc
22:38 3dc
22:37 newc
22:37 DMFD
22:24 Frank G
22:18 Frank G
22:00 Valentine
21:57 The Ghost of Hideki Tojo

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