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Shooting Down a “Star” Program 437 : The US Nuclear ASAT System and Present-Day Copycat Killers

By Clayton K. S. Chun, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

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Book Id: WPLBN0002170398
Format Type: Default
File Size: 522.65 kb
Reproduction Date: 10/15/2012

Title: Shooting Down a “Star” Program 437 : The US Nuclear ASAT System and Present-Day Copycat Killers  
Author: Clayton K. S. Chun, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc., Airpower
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Technology
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Air University Press
Member Page: Air University Press

Description
Shooting Down a Star: Program 437, the US Nuclear ASAT System and Present-Day Copycat Killers, by Lt Col Clayton K.S. Chun, is a case study of an early US antisatellite (ASAT) weapon system. In this study, Colonel Chun shows how the US Air Force developed a rudimentary ASA system from obsolete Thor intermediate ballistic missiles, an existing space tracking system, and nuclear warheads.

Table of Contents
PROGRAM 437: THE BEGINNINGS . . . . . . . . 1 ASAT WEAPONS: AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ASAT DEVELOPMENT: THE AIR FORCE LEADS THE WAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 WHY ASAT WEAPONS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 NIKE-ZEUS BECOMES A RIVAL. . . . . . . . . . . 8 OPERATIONAL CONCEPT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAM 437 . . . . . . . . 10 LIMITING FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Funding Shortfalls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Location, Location, Location. . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Nuclear Specter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 PROGRAM 437 UNMASKED . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 A NEW MISSION FOR THE 10TH ADS . . . . . . 23 A THIRD LIFE FOR PROGRAM 437 . . . . . . . 27 THE DEMISE OF PROGRAM 437 . . . . . . . . . .29 SPACE: A CRITICAL DIMENSION . . . . . . . . .32 VULNERABILITY OF SPACE-BASED ASSETS . . 35 POTENTIAL THREATS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 NORTH KOREA: KEY EXPORTER OF TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 The DPRK’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities. . . .38 North Korea: A Nuclear Sphinx . . . . . . . . . . 46 INDIA: A GROWING BALLISTIC MISSILE POWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 India’s Ballistic Missiles: An Overview. . . . . .48 India’s Nuclear Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 IRAN: A MISSILE EXPORTER’S PARADISE . . .52 Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities: An Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Iran Moves Closer to Nuclear Power . . . . . .53 CHINA’S REACH FOR THE STARS . . . . . . . . 55 PRC Ballistic Missiles: An Overview . . . . . . .56 Chinese Nuclear Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 SPACE LAUNCH INFRASTRUCTURE . . . . . . . .58 INTERNATIONAL ASAT CAPABILITIES: HOW REAL THE THREAT? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

 

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