Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just a little misfire in Qatar

By Libby

This ought to instill a great deal of confidence in Bush's proposed installation of defensive arrays in key locations in Europe that had Putin so exercised this past summer. Nothing to be concerned about. Seems we accidentally launched a U.S. Patriot missile in Qatar last night.

Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the missile self-destructed after the launch and its debris was found three to four miles from the launch site. The incident occurred during training exercises and the military is still trying to determine whether the launch was due to human failure or some sort of mechanical problem, Ham said.

Fortunately, "No one was injured and no damage was reported." Unfortunately, this isn't the first time there has been problems with the Patriot.

The Patriot batteries have been hampered by technical problems in the past. At the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003, the Patriot system twice misidentified and shot down coalition aircraft.

In another incident in the first weeks of the war, an U.S. Air Force pilot flying an F-16 fighter jet received a signal that he was being targeted by radar that he later learned was an American Patriot battery. Believing the enemy had a bead on him, the pilot fired one of his own missiles and destroyed the battery.
Brings new meaning to the term "friendly fire." Just imagine if that happened at the proposed defensive locations and the missile just happened to be pointed at Russia, or Iran. I mean, surely they would assume it's just another accident.

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