The Space-Land-Air-Missile Shield, commonly referred to as SLAMS, is a conjunction of satellites operated by both the United States of America and the European (then Union) Federation. The program was established to almost entirely disable the possibility of nuclear war, following a nuclear incident in Saudi Arabia which crippled world oil supplies.
The Space-Land-Air-Missile Shield (SLAMS) is a joint venture by the European Federation and the United States of America, intended to eliminate the threat of nuclear warfare by creating a comprehensive space-based anti-ballistic missile shield. Established in 2017, it uses a mixture of advanced rocket, laser and targeting systems to achieve a 100 percent interception rate, rendering nuclear warfare impossible. The E.F. and the U.S.A. tested it by launching their nuclear arsenals at each other. The SLAMS successfully intercepted every missile. The final part of the Freedom Star was destroyed by this system after it was hijacked by the Russians. The Freedom Star was seen as a way for the United States of America to circumvent the system and gain a strategic advantage.
The irony of the development of SLAMS is that by rendering nuclear warfare obsolete, it simultaneously made conventional warfare a viable means of settling disputes between the superpowers, as nuclear weapons lost their deterrent factor.
Beginning of the SLAMS Project
The SLAMS project was finalized in 2017, with the signing of the initiation of the program and the establishment of the uplink clusters in major locations to boost signal confidence in the region and maintain a strong connection to the orbiting satellites Earth. Each nation established its own uplink clusters to for the territories it maintains. These satellites and their respective uplinks were said to have the capability to shoot down 99% of all fired nuclear missiles.
The European Federation and United States tested these weapons by firing their nuclear arsenals. The shield was capable of shooting down every single missiles, thus proving that SLAMS was successful in its protection of American and European territories from nuclear ballistic missiles.
In the novelisation Tom Clancy's Endwar: The Missing it is stated that Russia also developed her own "advanced missile defense system" soon after the deployment of the SLAMS, though it is not clear if this was based on the same idea as a laser-satellite defence grid. However a GameSpot article prior to release states that the Russian missile shield was apparently developed in 2020.
Prior to the beginning of the Third World War, the United States of America had planned the final launch of the Freedom Star's modules. This had attracted powerful protest from nations around the world, primarily from the European Federation, who left the divided NATO in protest. This was because the Freedom Star was seen as upsetting the balance of power once it was completed.
Following the implementation of a virus in the EF's missile defence system, the launch of the module was detected as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and was fired upon and destroyed. The entire crew was killed and all equipment lost. Thus began the Third World War.
During the 2021 War, the SLAMS defense system was disabled by Artemis Global Security. Captain David Crenshaw was forced to fly a mission to disable the Command Uplink Node's EMP air defense system so the Ghost Recon team can secure the facility before the US prepared an emergency shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral loaded with new satellite.
Although the general public was told the system was not implemented, the SLAMS system destroyed a warhead on a missile launched toward London.
The Space-Land-Air-Missile Shield (SLAMS) has 4 blind spots that allow certain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to be deployed for DefCon 1.
- Freedom Star: spacecraft are not targeted.
- Kinetic Strike: weapon systems located above the Kármán line (Karman line, 100 kilometres, 62 miles, 330,000 feet) will not be intercepted. The SLAMS targets rockets and missiles being launched from Earth.
- Laser / Tactical High Energy Laser: satellite-based energy weapons are not intercepted.
- Thermobaric Missile Strike: rockets and missiles that do not exceed the Kármán line (Karman line, 100 kilometres, 62 miles, 330,000 feet) of Earth's atmosphere are not targeted.
The official game introduction explains that SLAMS was created in response to nuclear terrorism in Saudi Arabia in 2016, which killed six million people and crippled the world's oil supply. However, different sources give different accounts of this event:
- Tom Clancy's EndWar: Official Game Guide states that it was in fact a nuclear war in the Middle East, rather than the above terrorist incident, that inspired the creation of the SLAMS. It does not specify who exactly was involved in this war, only that it was localised to the Middle East and killed twenty million people.
- The EndWar novelisation by David Michaels, along with Tom Clancy's EndWar: The Missing by Peter Telep and Tom Clancy's EndWar: The Hunted, also by Michaels, also state that it was a nuclear war in the Middle East, though they state that six million people were killed rather than twenty. Furthermore, they specify that the nuclear exchange was between Iran and Saudi Arabia, seemingly after a period of conventional warfare between the two. It is not clear who launched first, although a single line from The Hunted implies it may have been Iran.
- A GameSpot article released a shortly before the game's November 2008 launch which discussed its technology and setting also states that it was a general nuclear war in the Middle East that killed twenty million people, further stating that this nuclear holocaust took only five hours.
- A Destructoid article released in May 2008 supports the original nuclear terrorism plot present in the released game.
The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear, though it is possible that originally it was meant to be a nuclear war, not nuclear terrorism, in the released game, which was then later changed for unknown reasons. A nuclear conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran would logically do far more damage and be far more harmful to world oil supplies than a single terrorist incident, as both share access to the Persian Gulf, the single most important source of oil in the world, whose destruction or contamination by radiation could easily cripple world fuel supplies. A nuclear conflict, presumably featuring ICBMs armed with nuclear warheads, would also be a more logical reason to encourage the creation of the SLAMS rather than nuclear terrorism. This may be why other sources feature the idea of a nuclear exchange in this region.
Cut content, extracted from the game's audio files, confirms that originally the story was going to use nuclear warfare in the Middle East as the origin of the SLAMS system. Cut audio content for both American and European news broadcasters indicates that originally the game's prologue would have news both networks suddenly report nuclear war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, reporting that at least 12 nuclear weapons were used and at least 10 million people were killed, with casualties estimated as being up to 20 million. The broadcasters would observe that this also meant that Middle Eastern oil was now inaccessible for months, if not years. Subsequent news reports would discuss the rising price of oil and the adverse economic effects it caused, as well as dependency upon Russian oil. This would then lead to more reports in which the broadcasters would announce the European-American signing of the SLAMS missile shield treaty and the deployment of a comprehensive ballistic missile shield system, as well as mention of Russia developing her own shield. David Becerra and Nathalie Pérreau would both announce the end of nuclear warfare.
- Tom Clancy's EndWar: Official Game Guide, page 4
- Tom Clancy's End War Interview Part 1: The Story
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFe0OHet72g&t 0:00-1:26
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFe0OHet72g&t 1:29-1:50
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFe0OHet72g&t 2:00-2:38