Arty, nothing wrong with the A-10 at all, it's a fine (probably the finest) ground support aircraft in the world. But (and here seems to be the disconnect you can't grasp) it needs to operate in Allied controlled airspace. It is basically the Stuka of modern air warfare. The Stuka worked great until the Germans sent it over the English Channel. The Brits had air superiority and slaughtered the Stuka's.
And I agree with you one hundred percent! And, I'll stop torturing you with all the analogies of different weapons systems.
The point I was trying to make with ABM technology has much to do with the law of diminishing returns- in any system in nature, or, even with most technology, when you invest time and energy in developing it initially you get a big return- like a capacitor charge diagram if you're familiar with it.
If you're getting into running, or weightlifting, or whatever, at first you notice a marked improvement that gets continuously better for a few months. But then your performance starts to taper off. To get more results, you now must put more and more energy than you did before just to get a small improvement.
Anyway, look at where we are with missile technology. Between the 30's to the 60's, the U.S went from having no practical rockets all the way to putting a man on the moon. And good on ya!
But now, the law of diminishing returns comes into play.... you can only make something work so well or refine a technology so much until it becomes impractical to continue developing it. And not all aspects of missile defense should be abandoned or discontinued, I just think there needs to be a frank discussion of what this system will ever really be able to defend against.
The ABM shield as it stands today, is obsolete because it has yet to be proven against a modern ICBM. Missiles from 30 years ago? That's great. The Russians and Chinese are still developing their ICBM's and to think that that technology will never filter down to anyone else if foolhardy. Nations love to sell their weapons systems abroad as it brings in good money!
And, keep in mind for the ground-based midcourse defense, the success rate of hit to kill is still at about 57%
And, to state that ABM is in it's infancy is debatable. The U.S has been throwing money at it since the 80's. Even during Clinton's time, while the budget was scaled back there was still research and development into it.
And, I agree with you. The interceptors can continually get their software updated to get better and better. No arguments there. My question is, how difficult will it be for the other guys to update the software on their missiles to evade the interceptors?
Methinks it will always be easier and cheaper to build a missile with programming to evade and confuse (and launch a couple of decoys perhaps) than it will be to build and program a missile to shoot down the first one -and- to be able to differentiate between the real deal and a decoy.
But, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all need their wad of cash in these troubling times no?
Meanwhile, just last week NASA stated that a return to the moon isn't realistic with the current budget they were given. Meanwhile, you've spent tens of billions on your missile defense shield, well over a trillion on Iraq....and yes, the total cost will be 3 trillion by the time the troops are home, VA costs, replenishing gear that was worn down or destroyed, plus the ongoing costs of running 4 mega-bases in country and the largest U.S embassy in the middleast which only cost the taxpayer a cool 500 million to build, plus all the defense contractors that have to get paid on a cost-plus basis, and so on. Then of course there's the 250 billion (or more) you'll have payed for the F-35 when it actually goes into service in..... 2015?? And let's not forget the 250 billion you've spent on Afghanistan, which is still a pretty penny.
Meanwhile, you can't even go back to the moon, because NASA don't got the budget for it.
That is my biggest problem. It is my opinion that the U.S is hobbling itself with massive defense expenditures on weapons systems designed for the "next war", weapons systems that are chronically over-budget, under-performing or technically so convoluted their performance in wartime would be questionable.
And, most dangerously, they are weapons systems that are being fraudulently marketed as being able to provide "full spectrum dominance" on the battlefield of tomorrow, which is, again, a Maginot line in space.