Following the boost phase
of the flight, a single RL10B-2 engine ignited to provide 24,750 pounds of thrust to power the upper stage into orbit.
What we need is a space-based interceptor (SBI] system that can look down on a missile in the "boost phase
," as it's being launched, and knock it out of the sky.
The plans appear to be serious, as the recent US Missile Defense Review (MDR) has already presented a concept of a space-based interceptor capable of destroying missiles in the boost phase
, as well as unveiled plans to deploy additional ground-based interceptor missiles in Alaska.
This was the sixth development flight trial with an objective to prove the repeatability of boost phase
, cruise phase using way-point navigation at very low altitudes, DRDO said in a release.
BMD systems are designed to intercept these missiles during one of three phases of flight: the boost phase
shortly after launch, the longer midcourse phase as the missile travels along its trajectory through space, or the terminal phase of less than a minute when the missile's warhead reenters the atmosphere and accelerates toward its target.
Physics says the best opportunity comes during "boost phase
," as the rocket is leaving the launch pad.
During the early morning period, the batteries enter a so-called, "boost phase
," where they are recharged following the previous night's energy drain.
The first involves stepped-up cyberattacks and other sabotage that would interfere with missile launches before they occur - what the Pentagon calls "left of launch." The second is a new approach to blowing up the missiles in the "boost phase
," when they are slow-moving, highly visible targets.
The missile crossed Japan at a sub-orbital altitude, and the Japanese authorities knew that it would as soon as the boost phase
To optimize the probability of success, defenses would have to be located in regions where they would be able to intercept the missile just after it lifted off from the ground (during the boost phase
), and this defense would have to be kept on a hair trigger--meaning that launch authority would have to be delegated.
Though still on the drawing board, space weapons will someday be able to target intercontinental ballistic missiles during their initial boost phase
, when the large plume of their engines makes them easiest to detect and their slow upward ascent makes them most vulnerable.