I don't want to hijack the thread to babble about ABM too much (plus I have something of a history of pro-ABM partisanship..) but I thought you might like to know more about those tests.Flagg wrote:Sorry, I wasn't clear enough: Back in the early '00s, the contractors selected to build and test the ABM systems would basically put on a show for visiting Generals and other DoD staff by essentially "telling" the sensors what the exact trajectory of the incoming missile to be shot down was to vastly increase the likelihood of a "successful test". Basically putting on a show that was "Rigged for their pleasure".
Not all of the components were ready (in particular, the high-resolution radars to give early tracking information) but they wanted to test the guidance system on the "kill vehicle" itself. They strapped a GPS transponder onto the simulated missile's booster to give basic information on "where to point the interceptor", which stopped working as soon as the simulated missile staged and released its payload. The ABM's kill vehicle itself then had to independently target and engage at that point without external aides. I don't know if I'd call it "rigged" as "incomplete testing". Later testing was "all-up" without the need of such beacons.