if Saddam were to pack a payload of biological weapons into a scud missile
and send it screaming at America, it wouldn't be entirely effective.
This is because biological agents don't quite like the huge stresses
and gravitational forces that are applied during flight. It isn't exactly
a smooth ride, hurtling away through the atmosphere at speeds exceeding
mach 2, you know.
heat generated by the acceleration and detonation of such ballistic
missiles makes them a less than ideal method of delivering live bacteriological
agents. Besides, considerable technical expertise is needed to program
the missile to detonate at the optimum speed, height and angle to ensure
maximum dispersion of the agent.
Even if the respective
vectors and trajectories were calculated, it would be extremely difficult
to repeat the theoretical optimum set of results in the field due to
the infinite number of variables such as wind speed, air pressure, flocks
of geese obstructing the missile etc. Perhaps it is easier to just nuke
the enemy. Saves a whole lot of trouble if you ask me. However despite
these setbacks, Iraq has been reported to have retained at least 16
ballistic missiles, in direct violation of U.N directives. Typical.
A much better way
of releasing biological agents would be to attach aerosol dispersal
systems onto the belly of the missile. Something like a really mean
crop sprayer. In fact, in the 1960s, the U.S did come up with a prototype
of such a weapon and Iraq it seems, has improved on the original design
and come up with a more efficient sprayer.
Other such developments
include the use of spray tanks and liquid filled artillery shells. A
demonstration can be seen on the left. Click the "Start" button
to play the animation. More
recently, the Serbian army has been accused of using 122mm artillery
shells (filling approximately 1.8 liters either Sarin or sulfur mustard);
128mm calibre rockets (for multiple rocket launch systems - filling 2
liters of Sarin); and 100kg BAD-100 aerial bomb (filling 20 liters Sarin)
and Sarin-filled 120mm mortar bombs.