Warplanes: October 17, 2002


The military is scrambling to send new weapons and systems to the coming war with Iraq, even if they are not fully tested. The F-18E Super Hornet is deploying with three such systems (the ATFLIR targeting system, a classified device, and the Sharp recon pod) after weighing the risks. Navy submarines will have a new sonar system upgrade that isn't fully tested, but they aren't likely to get into any major naval battles anyway. The Joint Stand-Off Weapon is being deployed without completing its tests, but the Pentagon is satisfied that it will work and that it can stop using it if problems appear. In the immortal words of Captain James T Kirk, "test it in combat".--Stephen V Cole


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