Air Weapons: April 6, 2003


U.S. Cruise missiles have been more reliable than expected, only about one percent failed and crashed short of their target. A failure rate of up to five percent was expected. But even with only seven wayward missiles, all caused diplomatic problems because they were flying over Saudi Arabia and Turkey when they went down. Most did not explode when they crashed, and none caused any injuries. But U.S. specialists had to go in and clean up the wreckage. Most of the people in Saudi Arabia and Turkey oppose the war in Iraq, so these crashed cruise missiles caused political problems for the local leaders who allowed the U.S. to send cruise missiles over Saudi Arabian and Turkish territory.


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