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The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the greased-lightning dept.

The Military 322

Lasrick writes Mark Gubrud has a fascinating piece arguing for the U.S. to lead the way in calling for a ban on the testing of hypersonic missiles, a technology that the U.S. has been developing for decades. China has also started testing these weapons, which proponents optimistically claim would not be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Russia, India, and a few other countries are also joining in the fray, so a ban on testing would stop an arms race in its tracks. The article discusses the two types of hypersonic technology, and whether that technology has civilian applications.

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tits (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820503)

Are so good

Ban when you are done testing? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820515)

Sounds fair...

Re:Ban when you are done testing? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820697)

Sounds fair...

Not so much.
Hypersonic missiles are the only weapons that could hit an american supercarrier and hence limit the US ability to project force around the world.

Want to ban hypersonic missiles ? Ok. In return let's ban supercarriers. Now this is fair for all parties involved.
Otherwise it's the standard way that the US maintains militray superiority over the rest of us.

Re:Ban when you are done testing? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820907)

Test it on ISIS/ISIL first.

Re:Ban when you are done testing? (1, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47821245)

Sounds fair...

Even worse, all this would do is end Public testing and relegate it to secret testing. Something that's easy for first world countries to do, but would prevent countries like India and Pakistan from keeping their arsenal in any way equivalent to the rest of the worlds.

I actually do believe there wouldn't be use for nukes. Not for any moral reasons, but because I'm fairly certain the big players like the US already have warhead equipped platforms in space. They'd be easier, faster and cheaper than a hypersonic missile, it just makes sense.

Re:Ban when you are done testing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821369)

There is no such thing as a secret hypersonic missile. It's a ballistic missile launch, followed by something screaming through the air at Mach 6+.

And it'd be pointless anyway, since there'd just be research into hypersonic planes.
Then hypersonic drones.
Then hypersonic drones with large cargo bays near the front.

They will just cheat anyway (3, Insightful)

borcharc (56372) | about 2 months ago | (#47820533)

So we can follow the ban and everyone else cheat?

Re:They will just cheat anyway (4, Interesting)

john.r.strohm (586791) | about 2 months ago | (#47820889)

That was PRECISELY what happened when Eisenhower signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union.

Re:They will just cheat anyway (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 months ago | (#47820973)

From TFA, "Such tests are easily observable from space and via radar and signals intelligence gathering (not to mention old-fashioned human spying)." The proposed ban is on testing hypersonic missiles. You can develop them all you want, just cannot test them (testing of which is easily observable). This is not something you can cheat.

Re:They will just cheat anyway (3, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | about 2 months ago | (#47821095)

Jesus: Russia signed a treaty to not invade Ukraine, in exchange for Ukraine's nuclear disarmament. Ukraine disarmed. First nation to do so in the history of nuclear weapons. Then Russia invaded. You want to trust them with another treaty? Suckers!

Re:They will just cheat anyway (0)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47821285)

No, they didn't.

Re:They will just cheat anyway (1)

Calydor (739835) | about 2 months ago | (#47821625)

Who didn't what?

Ukraine didn't sign a treaty with Russia?
Ukraine didn't disarm?
Russia didn't invade?

This just stops hobbyist types. (1)

Grog6 (85859) | about 2 months ago | (#47821133)

Everyone else in the fray is already simulating nuclear weapon designs on supercomputers.

The hydrodynamic calculations are similar enough the military isn't going to share code with the hyperflight guys, so this will just become another black project to be run by the same people. :)

This just gives justification for the research disappearing, and stopping any amateur work.

Re:They will just cheat anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821433)

DUUUH...
Attention all you semi-enlightened ones:
We all know that the Chinks are only good at copying right?
We stop developing....are you with me so far? Do I need to say anymore?

Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 months ago | (#47820545)

You really think China would stop testing because of a treaty?

HA HA HA HA HA HA HO

Re:Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 months ago | (#47820587)

That's Ha Ha Hao.

Re:Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820799)

Test bans didn't stop US from keep developing nuclear weapons. Subcritical testing and supercomputer simulations to develop smaller, cheaper and more efficient and reliable nuclear devices have been and are full steam despite the ban. That is plain cheating even if isn't written in the treaties that are to appease the public.

These bans are only a way used by those already in possesion of these kind of weapons to stop the emergent powers to raise to the top reached by the biggest offenders.

Re:Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47821033)

Testing a hypersonic missile is easily observable. They *could* defy the treaty, but we would definitely know about it.

Re:Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (3, Insightful)

nytes (231372) | about 2 months ago | (#47821205)

And then what? We send them a sternly worded letter threatening to send another sternly worded letter if they do it again?

Re:Ban on testing would give tech only to cheaters (2)

john.r.strohm (586791) | about 2 months ago | (#47821209)

Again, that is PRECISELY what happened when Eisenhower signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union.

stopping who? (2)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 2 months ago | (#47820559)

How often does a ban stop anything in its tracks?

Bans only stop the good guys in their tracks.

Re:stopping who? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47820785)

False.
Bans have worked well many times.

Re:stopping who? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47820887)

False.
Bans have worked well many times.

Yea, like Prohibition.. oh, wait, that was an abject failure... OK, then, drug prohibit... no, wait, that's a failure, too... maybe gun bans? No, no, people still kill each other with other weapons, so those don't work.

I guess what I'm saying here is, [citation needed]

Re:stopping who? (5, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47821053)

Those things have absolutely nothing in common with what we're talking about.

The only similar agreement was the nuclear test ban. When you test a nuclear bomb, it creates an earthquake that everyone can detect. A hypersonic shockwave is easily detectable by satellites.

The deterrent to breaking this treaty is that you would definitely get caught.

Re:stopping who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821193)

Getting caught is not, in and of itself, a deterrent.
It's like if you get caught speeding and then have to pay a zero-dollar fine, because the cop doesn't want to anger you.

Re:stopping who? (2, Informative)

john.r.strohm (586791) | about 2 months ago | (#47821251)

And, yet again, that is PRECISELY what happened when Eisenhower signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union.

We knew IMMEDIATELY when the Soviets abrogated the treaty. They set off a whole slew of very dirty atmospheric test shots.

The treaty DIDN'T stop them from doing the tests.

Fear of detection of their cheating DIDN'T stop them from cheating.

Re:stopping who? (3, Insightful)

mdielmann (514750) | about 2 months ago | (#47821353)

Moreover, testing was at a less critical phase. Nuclear test bans weren't going to get rid of nuclear bombs, or even necessarily improvements in them. It would just slow them down. If they had followed them in the first place.

What has been somewhat more effective is using various means to keep more nations from joining the nuclear club. But that is because getting the details right (the first time) is kind of hard, especially when sabotage is involved. I suspect you'll see a similar trend here, with the big players getting them and then trying to stop the smaller players from getting them.

Re:stopping who? (4, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47821473)

The 1958 treaty fell apart for a variety of reasons, The 1963 version was a success.

Re:stopping who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821453)

" A hypersonic shockwave is easily detectable by satellites."

Show your work.

Re:stopping who? (2)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47821531)

A hypersonic shockwave is easily detectable by satellites.

[Citation Needed]

Re:stopping who? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47821059)

The goal of prohibition was to reduce domestic violence.
It did, it reduced it to almost 0%. It was repealed to make up for the loss in taxes from the great depression, not because it didn't accomplish it's goals.
AS a side benefit, suicides were cut in half. This is all trivial too look up.
Drugs:
Some drug it has worked in limiting, others it hasn't. I never said it worked all the time.

Guns:
Every country that has had a gun ban strongly enforced has had a reduction in homicides. Every. Single. One.

It's fallacious to think that because someone will do something under one circumstance, they will do it no matter what. It's far easier to shoot someone then the stab someone. Both physically and emotionally.

Re:stopping who? (2, Insightful)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | about 2 months ago | (#47821257)

Guns: Every country that has had a gun ban strongly enforced has had a reduction in homicides. Every. Single. One.

But violent crime goes up though, as criminals feel they can commit crimes without a risk of meeting an armed owner for instance.

Re:stopping who? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 months ago | (#47820793)

Never. It is mostly meant to make hippies feel good about things they are not doing.

Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (3, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | about 2 months ago | (#47820563)

So this comes along just as Russia drops the word "Nuclear" to remind everyone that they have them.

Are you naive enough to believe the Russia would bother to show up to negotiate about this?

One also wonders what the people of Ukraine think about such a well timed suggestion.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (3, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | about 2 months ago | (#47820731)

Also what is happening in the Ukraine is a clear message about what happens to countries stupid enough to take Nuclear Disarmament seriously.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47820843)

Do you really think that would \have stopped Russia separatists?
It wouldn't have because they know the Ukraine wouldn't use them, or do you seriously believe the Ukraine would have used nukes on it's own soil?

If Russia threaten the Ukraine with nuclear force, then the US, and others, will step in.

Ukrainian nuclear disarmament is a red herring.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 months ago | (#47821003)

Do you really think that would \have stopped Russia separatists?

Yes, because a huge part of that game was the massive military support from Russia and the previous puppet government sponsored by Russia.

If Russia threaten the Ukraine with nuclear force, then the US, and others, will step in.

And do what? Disapprove with lots of words?

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (2)

jafac (1449) | about 2 months ago | (#47821107)

Russia has already threatened Ukraine with nuclear force. No, I don't think the US will step in.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821175)

Putin: Our words are backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47821315)

The United States isn't going to war with Russia over the Ukraine.

Sometimes it helps to look at things the other way around.

If Florida seceded from the American union, would the Russians give two kopecks?

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#47821365)

If Florida seceded from the American union, would the Russians give two kopecks?

Bad analogy. What's happening in Ukraine is more like the USA supporting Canadian and/or Mexican rebels with an eye to picking up a province or two up north or a state or two down south"....

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 months ago | (#47821157)

Ukraine already has a used nuke on its soil, it's called Chernobyl. Understandably, they don't want another one.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47821069)

In the early 90s, Ukraine didn't *want* the nukes that the Soviet Union had put there. Maintaining a nuclear arsenal requires a bunch of money that they didn't have.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821495)

Also what is happening in the Ukraine is a clear message about what happens to countries stupid enough to take Nuclear Disarmament seriously.

Why, has Ukraine been nuked while I was napping?
No? So what part of the treaty hasn't worked out?

Oh that is what everyone needs, a Ukraine with nuclear weapons + the hot mess they are in.

Everything would just be PEACHY then because nuking something would be an option, right?
With the nukes that were secured in the western part of the country, right?
This is exactly WHY we don't want nukes everywhere.

It's like squaring off with a neighbor in M1A1 tanks because their son keeps screwing your daughter. It's in your own, and the rest of the neighborhood's best interest to disarm, so you can better deal with the angry teenager living under your roof that wants to cut you and steal the tank keys.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (1, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 months ago | (#47820965)

So this comes along just as Russia drops the word "Nuclear" to remind everyone that they have them.

Are you naive enough to believe the Russia would bother to show up to negotiate about this?

One also wonders what the people of Ukraine think about such a well timed suggestion.

Putin can and will rattle his Nuclear saber but he won't use it until the utmost end of need so at the moment those are empty threats. The Ukraine situation could have been solved following the downing of MH17 by making it clear that any move of Russian regulars into the Ukraine and any support for insurgents would be regarded as an act of war. Failing that the thing to do would have been to match Russian support of the Insurgents with direct aid to the Ukrainian military. The most extreme reaction and the most likely one to be understood by Putin is marching 150.000 troops up to the Polish-Romanian and Baltic borders with the Ukraine and Russia, sending Nato naval task forces into the Black Sea and North Atlantic. Follow this up by dispatching somebody to knock on the Kremlin doors to ask if Putin would like to come out and play and I'm pretty sure the answer would be NO. The I and especially the C his beloved BRICS group would sit on their hands in the event of a war knowing as they do that they can only benefit from not getting sucked into a war in Europe and that that benefit would come to a large extent at Russia's expense. Russia would be alone, utterly and completely alone in such a war. Putin is a schoolyard bully and the only thing a bully respects and understands is a naked fist. Obama on the other hand has decided to rule out the employment of American military force which is a bit like entering a Poker game and pledging not to bluff. I'm beginning to wonder if he caught the stupid disease from sitting in the same leather office chair as GWB.

Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821019)

and they have really done that? How stupid are you actually?
There is a whole thread on /. full of senseless drivel on killing Putin and how Putin wants to drop a bomb yet as with all this Ukrainian nonsense there is not a single evidence of anything that Ukrainian bots claim.

Re: Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (1)

Alan Denny (3810063) | about 2 months ago | (#47821401)

Anyone notice no nuke tests in two years? I'm pretty sure they're disarmed. Only thing capable of that is...a sphere!

Incredibally stupid argument (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 months ago | (#47820643)

The argument is at heart "Don't develop these weapons because they will be good at killing people and I personally am not smart enough to come up with a civilan use that doesn't kill people".

It is the kind of idiocy that makes the military industrial complex laugh and call you names.

There are good reasons to ban weapons - but not just because the weapon is good at killing people. To those in the military, effectiveness at killing people is a reason to BUILD the weapon, not ban it.

Chemical are banned not because they kill people, but because they are likely to kill civilians and your own soldiers as much as they kill the enemy. They also people and damage valuable land after you win.

A similar argument applies to biological weapons, land mines and nuclear weapons.

There is NOTHING in this article that would convince a soldier to ban the weapons. Instead, any military person, upon reading it will of course demand that we spend lots of money figuring out how to build hypersonic missiles.

If you dislike war, ban it. But you are probably not naive enough to try that. You would lose the argument because such an attempt has many many flaws. Well guess what - trying to ban weapon research because the weapon is too goo is just as naive.

WORST of all, your naive and foolish attempts make it much harder to ban the weapons we actually CAN ban - land mines, chemical and biological warfare.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (1, Insightful)

DeBattell (460265) | about 2 months ago | (#47820757)

In my opinion, it's foolish to develop any weapon technology you don't want used against you. Historically weapon technology has never been successfully contained. If you can't keep nukes out of North Korea you can't keep any weapon out of anywhere.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820869)

That's stupid. You refusing to develop a weapon doesn't do anything to prevent you neighbor from developing it.

All you accomplish is ensuring when they do you can't answer in kind.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (0)

DeBattell (460265) | about 2 months ago | (#47821169)

It not stupid, it's just a brute fact. You develop it, there's an approximately a 100% chance in the long run someone will steal the idea and use it against you. So do as you please I guess.

The Did Try To Ban War (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820811)

It was called the Kellogg-Briand Pact [battleswarmblog.com] . "The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another."

How well did that work out?

It was signed in 1928. Good thing there have been no wars since then...

Salient Argument provided (5, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | about 2 months ago | (#47820813)

The argument is at heart "Don't develop these weapons because they will be good at killing people and I personally am not smart enough to come up with a civilan use that doesn't kill people".
It is the kind of idiocy that makes the military industrial complex laugh and call you names.

I think the big issue with these weapons is that they *will* become nuclear payload delivery systems, and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop (not that good defense industry $$ won't be spent trying). First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries and their leaders to exert their will over the rest of the world, while not exactly providing much in terms of benefits to larger, more well nuclear established countries.

Banning this kind of testing isn't new - we did have a nuclear test ban for several decades [1]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Salient Argument provided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820877)

The ban only stops testing not development. I'd rather everyone knew which countries were far along in testing hypersonic missiles than suddenly one country shooting off 80 hypersonic missiles of various configurations. Most probably won't make it, but some will may and everyone else will be completely taken off guard.

Re:Salient Argument provided (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47820919)

I think the big issue with these weapons is that they *will* become nuclear payload delivery systems

Which seems kind of idiotic, to me, since one could use kinetic bombardment (Rods from God) instead of nuclear weapons, and avoid all that nasty fallout badness.

Re:Salient Argument provided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821009)

Yeah!
And those kinetic weapons are SO easy to get in place. Secretly or not... You know. Kinetic. The potenial energy has to come from someplace...

Re:Salient Argument provided (2)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47821319)

What if your point *is* to cause fallout badness.

Re:Salient Argument provided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820979)

We've had a lot of game changing technologies that offered to deliver nuclear payloads that were for a time hard if not impossible to stop. That lasts for a bit and then we come up with some way to counteract the threat even if we built it (assuming for a moment that we can actually test against the threat).

Re:Salient Argument provided (2)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47821307)

I'm not convinced of the first-strike capability of hypersonic vehicles. Even at fairly highly hypersonic speeds (M10), the vehicle still takes considerable amounts of time to travel a substantial distance (1000km takes about 5 minutes at M10) - by that time satellite-based detection systems can react and a ground-based counter strike can be initiated (modern ground-based ICBMs can launch in less than 30s, and SLBMs are also an option). At certain distances a good exo-atmospheric missile on a depressed trajectory can strike faster than that. Assuming a 90s boost phase with the final ~10s being used to depress the trajectory arc downwards + a few minutes to travel the 1000-2000km towards the target at easily 4-5km/s. Military solid-fueled missiles have very high thrust-to-weight ratios to shorten the boost phase as much as possible. I think the more problematic aspect is that defending against low-altitude (well, relatively, I mean we're still talking 10-20km in altitude, otherwise the air resistance and shock heating just kills it) hypersonic vehicles in a local theater war scenario can be very difficult - at 10km altitude with the over-the-horizon flight time you only get maybe 30-60s of warning (by my rough calculation at 10km horizon is ~250km away) - depends on radar position and capability, of course.
Your analysis on usability by crazy/unstable countries, I think you're spot on. The big boys have bigger and perhaps more capable toys. It's those crazy wackos who might be tempted (Iran to Israel is only about 1000km, as is NK to Tokyo, so 5 minute strike capability would sound like a sweet deal there).

Re:Salient Argument provided (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 months ago | (#47821343)

and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop

No harder than ICBMs.

First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries

Who aren't known for their adherence to treaty. We are extremely fortunate that development of nuclear weapons in the first place is hard enough that our current crop of crazy/unstable countries hasn't been able to develop them. I think it would be a terrible assumption to assume that anyone who does manage to do that, isn't going to try to develop delivery methods with continued disregard for international treaty as well.

Re:Salient Argument provided (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47821359)

Remember, MAD isn't about the first strike. It's about the unstoppable second strike.
A dozen shitty ass Scuds are a suitable first strike weapon for short-range theaters. You've still dug a glowing grave by employing them with nuclear ordnance.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47821089)

A similar argument applies to biological weapons, land mines and nuclear weapons. (...) WORST of all, your naive and foolish attempts make it much harder to ban the weapons we actually CAN ban - land mines, chemical and biological warfare.

It's funny how that list changed from first to second time you said it. The countries most interested in banning biological and chemical weapons are those most heavily invested in nuclear weapons. Perhaps because nukes are pretty hard to come by while even two bit dictators like Saddam and Assad have chemical weapons. Not to mention land mines, IEDs are pretty indiscriminate if civilians happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but they're a staple of most guerrilla warfare.

My impression is that we're getting further and further away from anything like a clean war where the military on both sides come out in the open, battle it out and leave the civilians be. Even when they're not explicitly targeted it seems human shields are more common than ever and that speculating in collateral damage is actively used as a weapon of war. That's the problem with big guns, they're so good that they "force" the other side to fight you in ways where you can't use them.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (2)

radtea (464814) | about 2 months ago | (#47821219)

The argument is at heart "Don't develop these weapons because they will be good at killing people and I personally am not smart enough to come up with a civilan use that doesn't kill people".

Well, it's from the Bulletin of the Perrenially Dishonest, so what do you expect? A bunch of liars who dishonestly characterize themselves as somehow representing some part of the scientific community is hardly going to consist of smart people, are they?

I've not RTFM'd because I try not to let bulletinshit touch my eyeballs, but hypersonic technology certainly has civilian uses. The aerospike, for example, is an instance of hypersonic propulsion that has possible applications in satellite launching and realizing Willy Ley's old dream of an "antiopodes bomber" (which could as well carry passengers as bombs, of course.)

While I am generally in favour of keeping deadweight loss spending at a minimum, there certainly seems to be ample justification for civilian research in this area.

Re:Incredibally stupid argument (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 2 months ago | (#47821333)

Soldiers don't ban weapons. Civilian politicians of civilized countries do. There are international treaties banning the war-time use of cluster bombs, hollow-point bullets and flame throwers.
All of them are quite effective, and horrible.

But of course! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 months ago | (#47820695)

All missiles have civilian applications: governments can use them to blow up civilians, and malcontent citizens who can get their hands on the can use them to blow up governments.

And other governments are always there to provide missiles to the malcontents.

Re:But of course! (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 2 months ago | (#47821159)

how true - most common customer of such products are civilians who die in conflicts all over this globe.

The ONLY effect of a ban- (2)

Salem Lowe (3800579) | about 2 months ago | (#47820717)

The US would stop building and researching and every other country in the world would continue. But hey, a BAN on evil horrible weapons makes good soundbites for low information voters...

Re:The ONLY effect of a ban- (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47820861)

Answer this question?
Why are the banning them.
Then address that.

Re:The ONLY effect of a ban- (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820949)

1.Develop the weapon
2.Check that it works and can continue developing it without more testing
3.Ban testing. For the children.
4.???
5.Profit!

Re:The ONLY effect of a ban- (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821265)

I can only really think of any reason why America would be concerned about this.

Hypersonic guided missiles are one of the few credible threats against the american carrier fleet that does not currently have a viable countermeasure. America's carrier fleet is its primary method of projecting its military power. There is no other reason to be against the development of such weapons really as there is no particular increased risk of civilian collateral damage or anything like the potential misery caused by chemical, biological, or nuclear development. You might argue the potential for sonic booms causing aural damage to civilians but when you already have jets that go hypersonic that concern kinda falls apart.

Re:The ONLY effect of a ban- (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47820937)

The US would stop openly building and researching...

FTFY.

Stupid (1)

horm (2802801) | about 2 months ago | (#47820737)

These missiles will turn out to be our only defense against the alien invaders.

Civilian application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820829)

If we can increase the size of these bad boys we would be able to go from San Francisco to London for Lunch (It would be late evening in London though) and be back in time for that 2 PM pointless meeting with the PHB.

You think that Putin would keep his word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820841)

If so, you are one stupid gullible motherfucker.

Never make it too easy to break the rules (3, Interesting)

youngatheart (1922394) | about 2 months ago | (#47820849)

One rule I try to remember is to never make a rule that can't be enforced. With nuclear bombs, there is seismic and radioactive evidence, so you can know if somebody is breaking the treaty. I doubt that such a thing exists for hypersonic missiles.

Re:Never make it too easy to break the rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821405)

One rule I try to remember is to never make a rule that can't be enforced. With nuclear bombs, there is seismic and radioactive evidence, so you can know if somebody is breaking the treaty. I doubt that such a thing exists for hypersonic missiles.

Except for the massive radar, sonic, and infrared signature that can easily be detected from thousands of miles away, there is no evidence at all!

Re:Never make it too easy to break the rules (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47821419)

I think you'd be surprised at the noise something slamming through atmosphere at greater than mach 5 makes.

Re:Never make it too easy to break the rules (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47821423)

The technology to track missile launches approaching 6000 km/h is ubiquitous.

You couldn't get away with a secret launch, but the research could continue undetected.

Ummm, NASA and SpaceX would die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820851)

There would be no recket programs if this came to be, so it won't. Moving on. (Psst. All rockets and most fighter jets are hypersonic, i.e., >MACH 1)

Re:Ummm, NASA and SpaceX would die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821397)

supersonic and hypersonic are not the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

Still not wrong about most fighter jets and rockets now though.

Re:Ummm, NASA and SpaceX would die (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47821413)

Pssst, you're thinking of supersonic.
Very few enter the hypersonic regime... Re-entering spacecraft, a few no-fucking-around missiles... that's about it.

The problem is clearly the speed... (2)

Gliscameria (2759171) | about 2 months ago | (#47820911)

Nuclear weapons are mainly not used right now because they are so damn slow. When you want to nuke someone on the otherside of the planet, you want them blown up right friggen now. Then some douche tells you, "Sir, the best we can do is 8 hours." and you're all "WHY THE FUCK DO WE HAVE THESE THINGS TO BEGIN WITH???' Clearly if we make nukes fast enough everyone will use them. Seriously though, with laser missile defense systems nowadays are hypersonic missiles really that big of a deal? I mean the systems that use lasers to burn up the missiles, not the laser guided ones where you still have to shoot at a bullet flying at you.

Re:The problem is clearly the speed... (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47821389)

I almost earned a serious whooooooosh. Well done.

Re:The problem is clearly the speed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821581)

laser defense systems. LOL. seriously, they barely work on conventional rockets and missiles. When something is traveling faster than 6000 km/h your laser doesn't have time to do anything. Remember, the Earth curves, and you can't shoot through it.

Bans work? (2)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47820947)

Seems to me that all this would do is stop the *open* development of these weapons. Even if everyone agrees not to make them, they will all still be making them.

civilian applications? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#47820971)

Who cares if it ever filters down to civilian use ( and it will anyway )? I am getting sick and tired of all the "PC" pansys out there, who have no clue what it takes to stay safe and secure. the ONLY reason you are even here complaining is due to the military. And that military *requires* technology.

Its as bad as the 60s, 'lets throw flowers at tanks' nonsense. If you cant repel attackers and destroy enemies, you are eradicated instead. If you dont keep advancing military tech, you fall behind and lose.

Develop, test then deploy the damned things, as many as we need. Now.

Mod me down if you must, but you know its the truth.

Let's uninvent the spear while we're at it (4, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 months ago | (#47820999)

Because nothing works like wagging your finger and pretending something doesn't exist.

Um, no (3, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 2 months ago | (#47821077)

A "ban", eh?

Good actors would comply, bad actors would not. Then bad actors would have them, good actors wouldn't.

And that's ... better? How?

The Amish Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821109)

Here's the plan. Get the planet to permanently halt a specific scientific and technological development. Brilliant.
So, if the human race never - ever develops the technology, we are all safe. Come on, who is stupid enough to buy this?

Re:The Amish Solution? (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47821617)

Here's the plan. Get the planet to permanently halt a specific scientific and technological development. Brilliant.
So, if the human race never - ever develops the technology, we are all safe. Come on, who is stupid enough to buy this?

The Amish?

Mark Gubrud : Chinese agent Film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821119)

The subject says it all.

Alex

No, the utopian argument isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821259)

"hypersonic technology will never carry nuclear weapons". Instead it is "hypersonic technology will make war so terrible that people will cease waging war."

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821273)

Just ban everything / stop everything in its tracks which might make your own home soil vulnerable, so you can go own terrorizing the world. Now that's a great plan!

Don't ban them, let everyone have them (1)

ASDFnz (472824) | about 2 months ago | (#47821347)

I am a firm believer in the balance of power.

The MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) has kept us safe for the past 60+ years through some really rough times. It seems to be our best bet to continue keeping us safe.

Re:Don't ban them, let everyone have them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47821551)

Correlation != causation. "Safe"? Not as I understand the term.

definition is important (1)

confused one (671304) | about 2 months ago | (#47821439)

I'm wondering how they'll define hypersonic missile. All space launch vehicles are, in some versions of the definition, a hypersonic missile. All re-entry vehicles are, again, hypersonic missiles (some are hypersonic ballistic missiles).

We already have hypersonic missles... (2)

kbrannen (581293) | about 2 months ago | (#47821445)

We already have hypersonic missles -- really! Most of the air-to-air missles shot from 1 plane to another are hypersonic and we've had these for decades. This is public knowledge.

What the article is try to get banned is "long-range hypersonic missles", or if you prefer, the old ICBMs going a lot faster. If you could make a very small nuke and stick it in one of the existing missle cases; you could have a pretty awesome weapon if short distances are all you need (say in the 80-100 mile range from what I've read, definitely far enough the pilot wouldn't have to worry about getting caught in it). It'd be pretty easy to hit any coastal city from international air space that way.

Re:We already have hypersonic missles... (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47821607)

We already have hypersonic missles -- really! Most of the air-to-air missles shot from 1 plane to another are hypersonic and we've had these for decades. This is public knowledge. .

Can you please stop confusing Supersonic with Hypersonic?

The *vast* majority of air-air missiles travel at less than Mach 5.

I'm not seeing it. (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 months ago | (#47821597)

I don't see any good reason to ban hypersonic cruise missiles. It's not enough to ban them on the grounds that they are deadly and serve no civilian purpose: war is about killing people. Previously, weapons have been banned in war on the grounds that they kill in an unusually horrific way, or aim to kill "innocent" targets, or kill indiscriminately, Hypersonic cruise missiles are none of these things.

Hypersonic cruise missiles are an undistinguished weapon of war. There's no argument for banning them that doesn't also apply to war in general. I think we's all love to ban war, but 10,000 years of history suggests that's not gonna happen.

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