Precision guided weapons

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:04:35 -0800


> Just mentioned  on CNN - add Turkey to the list of countries hit by=20
> cruise missiles.


On the very first night, a cruise missile also splashed down in the =
ocean.
It looks like the failure rate for those things is around 0.1%.  Without
knowing the operational parameters and details of the failures, it is =
hard
to say whether or not this is an acceptable failure rate, but it doesn't
look too bad for a complex weapon system in a battlefield environment.  =
The
failure mode for some of these may be odd because these systems are =
capable
of making real-time autonomous flight path modifications as part of =
their
threat avoidance capability.

I would point out that GPS jammers have a limited effect on most =
precision
guided weapons.  Most US GPS guided weapons also use inertial guidance
systems for this very reason.  Unfortunately, without GPS the bombs =
become
sufficiently inaccurate to make them unsuitable for minimizing civilian
casualties in a city even with the inertial guidance.  With GPS the =
margin
of error is negligible, but without it you might very well hit the =
street in
front of the building instead of the building itself.

-James Rogers
 jamesr@best.com