# radar flash from a missile

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#### SophieD

##### Senior Member
The scene takes place at the MI5 general HQ.
An agent watches a screen : a flash of red.
He says : it's the RADAR FLASH FROM A MISSILE. It's a surface to air missile. We've got 53 seconds before the battery fully charges and they can fire.
I'm not sure I understand this sentence. Does it mean that the radar of the MI5 has detected a missile ? Or does it mean something else ?

• #### maxiogee

##### Banned
Yes, it means that the radar has detected a missile. The battery of guns will have a preparation time of 53 seconds before it can fire. So if the missile is set to hit its target within 52 seconds then there is nothing that can be done to stop it. (I don't know how far a missile can travel in 52 seconds.)

#### Hakro

##### Senior Member
maxiogee said:
Yes, it means that the radar has detected a missile. The battery of guns will have a preparation time of 53 seconds before it can fire. So if the missile is set to hit its target within 52 seconds then there is nothing that can be done to stop it. (I don't know how far a missile can travel in 52 seconds.)
I suppose that the detection is called 'flash' because it's seen on the radar screen only for a short time in every turn of the radar antenna.

There are of course different kinds of missiles, but the speed of a surface to air missile can be for example 1250 m/s (3,5 mach), so in 52 seconds the missile travels 65 kms.

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
An agent watches a screen : a flash of red.
He says : it's the RADAR FLASH FROM A MISSILE. It's a surface to air missile. We've got 53 seconds before the battery fully charges and they can fire.

Here's an alternative explanation.
I don't know where "they" are, or what kind of battery we are talking about.

The radar flash could be from a radar-guided surface-to-air missile that has now detected "us".
"They", who control the missile, will fire it at "us" as soon as the battery is fully charged - in 53 seconds.

Why "they", whoever they are, don't keep their battery charged is a mystery to me.

#### SophieD

##### Senior Member
"they" refer to some terrorists planning to shoot down a plane with their missile. The MI5 agents who are on the field (following the terrorists) have 53 seconds to intervene. The battery is the battery of the missile (of the electronics). So, in 53 seconds, the terrorists will be able to fire their missile. Hope this explanation helps to understand the first sentence.
What I wanted to know (maybe a silly question) was : is the word "radar" refering to the radar of the MI5 ? (or to the radar of the missile, I don't know whether this option makes any sense at all !)
Thanks to all for your help.
Have a nice day

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
Your further explanation confirms my "alternative" proposal is correct.
The radar flash came from the missile itself - it is using radar to search for a target - and was detected by the MI5 system.
This sounds very like a Playstation game

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