Tag Archives: Ballistic missile

picture of the day: Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds (Image: Raytheon Company)



Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds

On January 17, 1991, the first Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Israel were launched. There were reports of death and injury, and possibly even chemical weapons being used. For a few tense hours, it looked as though Israel would retaliate against Iraq, causing the allied coalition to break up. Six months of preparation and diplomacy might be undone by a few poorly aimed, 1950s-vintage ballistic missiles. Later that evening, U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missiles were launched against the incoming Scuds, and for the first time in history, a ballistic missile was shot down by another missile. The use of Patriot missiles in Israel’s defense helped to keep that country out of the Gulf War, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the American-European-Arab coalition.

Image: Raytheon Company

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this day in the yesteryear: First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)


First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)

Developed by Germany during World War II, the Vergeltungswaffe 2 (V-2) rocket was the world’s first modern ballistic missile and the first known manmade object to enter outer space. Thousands were launched on Allied targets during the last year of the war, causing more than 9,000 deaths. One of the rocket’s first targets was London, which was hit just days after Hitler declared his plans to start V-2 attacks. To what did the British government initially attribute the resulting explosion? More… Discuss

This Day in History (August 3rd): US Senate Ratifies the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (1972)


US Senate Ratifies the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (1972)

The Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 limited the number of defensive antiballistic missile systems allowed to the US and USSR. Effective ABM systems had been sought since the Cold War, when the nuclear arms race raised the specter of complete destruction by unstoppable ballistic missiles. In the West, the treaty was seen as a deterrent to nuclear war, since neither side would be able to fully protect against nuclear attack. Why then did the US withdraw from the treaty in 2002? More… Discuss