Hundreds of patriot missiles found defective : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Hundreds of missiles found defective Patriot missiles protect U.S. troops in S. Korea, Persian Gulf NBC NEWS WASHINGTON, March 22  Hundreds of Patriot missiles that protect U.S. troops in South Korea and the Persian Gulf were found defective and rapidly replaced within the past two weeks. The officials insist the problem is not systemic, but related apparently to age and length of deployment.

PENTAGON AND MILITARY officials tell NBC News that electronic components in the Patriot warheads and guidance systems were found to be failing in missiles that are hot  those missiles deployed on launchers and ready to fire at a moments notice. Put simply, vital electronic components are wearing out faster than expected, they said. Despite vigorous testing, Army officials could not determine why the components were failing, so they eventually ordered all the older missiles that have been deployed the longest exchanged with fresher missiles in the arsenal. The officials insist the problem is not systemic, but related apparently to age and length of deployment. The failing components have not been detected in the same Patriot missiles used by Israel, which has led officials to speculate that it is because the Israelis do not keep the Patriots on a constant high level of alert and readiness. The Patriots protecting U.S. forces in South Korea, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in contrast, are kept in a constant state of readiness. Hundreds of these missiles have now been replaced. Pentagon officials insist U.S. troops were never left unprotected, but the information was withheld for several months until the last of the potentially defective missiles were replaced on Tuesday. NBCs Jim Miklaszewski and Tammy Kupperman contributed to this report.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 22, 2000


The Kosovo exercise was supposed to take care of the stale inventory problem. Orders for new missles was easier to take than any testing and remediation liability.

-- Tom Beckner (, March 23, 2000.

Report: U.S. missiles replaced in Mideast, South Korea March 23, 2000 Web posted at: 7:34 AM EST (1234 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of Patriot missiles in the Mideast and South Korea had to be quickly replaced by the Army after tests found potential flaws in the weapons system, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

"A significant number of failures were found" during testing and the decision was made to replace all "suspect missiles," said Lt. Gen. Paul Kern, a top acquisition officer for the Army.

The number of withdrawn missiles remains classified, but the missiles were pulled over the past 10 days from approximately 11 batteries protecting U.S. forces in South Korea, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the newspaper reported.

A typical battery has about 64 missiles, and unidentified officials told the Journal that the number pulled was certainly in the hundreds.

The part of the system that appears most vulnerable is a radio frequency downlink that allows the missile to communicate with radar guiding its flight, the Journal reported.

U.S. allies, which also rely on the Patriot system, have been informed of the problem. The issue is of particular concern to Israel, which, like the United States, tends to keep more of its Patriot launchers on full alert, the Journal said.

Kern said engineers were working on the problem, but he did not know how long it would take to find a solution. Dave Shea, a spokesman for Raytheon Co., the missile manufacturer, said the company is working with the Army to identify and resolve the problem.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 23, 2000.

Wonder if Raytheon gets missle components from China , Tiwan or any other Asian nation where sabatoge/quality control is a factor ? Eagle

-- Hal Walker (, March 23, 2000.

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