Topic: Military history/Weaponry
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the "Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target" which is a backronym for PATRIOT. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system, and replaced the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army's medium tactical air defense system. In addition to these roles, Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army's anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot's primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.
Patriot uses an advanced aerial interceptor missile and high-performance radar systems. Patriot was developed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, which had previously developed the Safeguard ABM system and its component Spartan and hypersonic speed Sprint missiles. The symbol for Patriot is a drawing of a Revolutionary War-era Minuteman.
Patriot systems have been sold to the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Egypt, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Republic of China (Taiwan), Greece, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Romania. South Korea purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany after North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles to the Sea of Japan and proceeded with underground nuclear testing in 2006. Jordan also purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany. Poland hosts training rotations of a battery of U.S. Patriot launchers. This started in the town of Morąg in May 2010 but was later moved further from the Russian border to Toruń and Ustka due to Russian objections. On December 4, 2012, NATO authorized the deployment of Patriot missile launchers in Turkey to protect the country from missiles fired in the civil war in neighboring Syria. Patriot was one of the first tactical systems in the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) to employ lethal autonomy in combat.
The Patriot system gained notoriety during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 with the claimed engagement of over 40 Iraqi Scud missiles, but those claims became a source of controversy. The system was successfully used against Iraqi missiles in 2003 Iraq War, and has been also used by Saudi and Emirati forces in the Yemen conflict against Houthi missile attacks. The Patriot system achieved its first undisputed shootdowns of enemy aircraft in the service of the Israeli Air Defense Command. Israeli MIM-104D batteries shot down two Hamas UAVs during Operation Protective Edge on August 31, 2014 and later, on September 23, 2014, an Israeli Patriot battery shot down a Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 which had penetrated Israeli airspace, achieving the first shootdown of a manned enemy aircraft in the world for the system.
- "Failed intercept at Dhahran caused by a software error in handling of timestamps" | 2018-02-28 | 205 Upvotes 86 Comments
- "Patriot missile software failure, 28 soldiers died. Fix: reboot the system" | 2010-09-06 | 110 Upvotes 74 Comments
The Vela incident, also known as the South Atlantic Flash, was an unidentified double flash of light detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on 22 September 1979 near the Prince Edward Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The cause of the flash remains officially unknown, and some information about the event remains classified. While it has been suggested that the signal could have been caused by a meteoroid hitting the satellite, the previous 41 double flashes detected by the Vela satellites were caused by nuclear weapons tests. Today, most independent researchers believe that the 1979 flash was caused by a nuclear explosion — perhaps an undeclared nuclear test carried out by South Africa and Israel.
Bat bombs were an experimental World War II weapon developed by the United States. The bomb consisted of a bomb-shaped casing with over a thousand compartments, each containing a hibernating Mexican free-tailed bat with a small, timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats, which would then disperse and roost in eaves and attics in a 20–40-mile radius (32–64 km). The incendiaries, which were set on timers, would then ignite and start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper constructions of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target.
Mysorean rockets were an Indian military weapon, the first iron-cased rockets successfully deployed for military use. The Mysorean army, under Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, used the rockets effectively against the British East India Company during the 1780s and 1790s. Their conflicts with the company exposed the British to this technology, which was then used to advance European rocketry with the development of the Congreve rocket in 1805.
- "Mysorean Rockets" | 2021-11-02 | 196 Upvotes 103 Comments
The Vespa 150 TAP was an anti-tank scooter made in the 1950s from a Vespa scooter for use with French paratroops (troupes aéroportées, TAP). Introduced in 1956 and updated in 1959, the scooter was produced by Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Automobiles (ACMA), the licensed assembler of Vespas in France at the time. Modifications from the civilian Vespa included a reinforced frame and a 75 mm (3.0 in) recoilless rifle mounted to the scooter.
The 150 TAPs mounted a M20 75 mm recoilless rifle, a U.S.-made light anti-armour weapon. It was very light in comparison to a standard 75 mm (3.0 in) cannon but was still able to penetrate 100 mm (3.9 in) of armour with its HEAT warhead. The recoil was counteracted by venting propellant gases out the rear of the weapon which eliminated the need for a mechanical recoil system or heavy mount.
The scooters would be parachute-dropped in pairs, accompanied by a two-man team. The gun was carried on one scooter, while the ammunition was loaded on the other. Due to the lack of any kind of aiming devices the recoilless rifle was never designed to be fired from the scooter; the gun was mounted on a M1917 Browning machine gun tripod, which was also carried by the scooter, before being fired. However, in an emergency it could be fired while in the frame, and while the scooter was moving.
The "Bazooka Vespa" was relatively cheap: Vespas cost roughly US$500 at the time, and the M20s were plentiful. 600 of them were produced, between 1956 and 1959. It had a cart, and also came with two cans of fuel.
The scooter themselves were original civilian produced VB1T models, 150 cc capacity engine. The engine was two stroke, top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph), enough speed to ram any vehicles if needed in an emergency, or move the user from the drop site to the area where the paratrooper was needed.
- "Anti Tank Vespa" | 2023-11-20 | 186 Upvotes 74 Comments
The demon core was a spherical 6.2-kilogram (14 lb) subcritical mass of plutonium 89 millimetres (3.5 in) in diameter, that was involved in two criticality accidents, on August 21, 1945 and May 21, 1946. The core was intended for use in a third nuclear weapon, but remained in use for testing after Japan's surrender. It was designed with a small safety margin to ensure a successful explosion of the bomb. The device briefly went supercritical when it was accidentally placed in supercritical configurations during two separate experiments intended to guarantee the core was indeed close to the critical point. The incidents happened at the Los Alamos Laboratory in 1945 and 1946, both resulting in the acute radiation poisoning and subsequent deaths of scientists: Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin. After these incidents the spherical plutonium core was referred to as the "demon core".
The ADE 651 is a fake bomb detector produced by the British company Advanced Tactical Security & Communications Ltd (ATSC). Its manufacturer claimed it could detect bombs, guns, ammunition, and more from kilometers away. However, it was a scam, and the device was little more than a dowsing rod. The device was sold for up to US$60,000 each, despite costing almost nothing to produce. It was widely used in the Middle East, and may have led to numerous deadly bombings in Iraq due to its inability to detect explosives. Its inventor, James McCormick, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013 for fraud.
- "The ADE 651 is a fake bomb detector, sold for up to US$60k each" | 2021-09-08 | 127 Upvotes 85 Comments
This page contains a list of military tactics.
The meaning of the phrase is context sensitive, and has varied over time, like the difference between "strategy" and "tactics".
- "List of military tactics" | 2019-08-23 | 123 Upvotes 81 Comments
A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed to bounce to a target across water in a calculated manner to avoid obstacles such as torpedo nets, and to allow both the bomb's speed on arrival at the target and the timing of its detonation to be pre-determined, in a similar fashion to a regular naval depth charge. The inventor of the first such bomb was the British engineer Barnes Wallis, whose "Upkeep" bouncing bomb was used in the RAF's Operation Chastise of May 1943 to bounce into German dams and explode underwater, with effect similar to the underground detonation of the Grand Slam and Tallboy earthquake bombs, both of which he also invented.
- "Bouncing bomb" | 2016-11-15 | 91 Upvotes 67 Comments
Starfish Prime was a July 9, 1962, high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States, a joint effort of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Defense Atomic Support Agency. It was launched from Johnston Atoll and was the largest nuclear test conducted in outer space and one of five conducted by the US in space.
A Thor rocket carrying a W49 thermonuclear warhead (designed by Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) and a Mk. 2 reentry vehicle was launched from Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, about 900 miles (1,450 km) west-southwest of Hawaii. The explosion took place at an altitude of 250 miles (400 km), above a point 19 miles (31 km) southwest of Johnston Atoll. It produced a yield equivalent to 1.4 megatonnes of TNT. The explosion was about 10° above the horizon as seen from Hawaii, at 11 PM Hawaii time.