Murphy's Law: Trade In Old Missiles For New Ones

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May 22,2008: One U.S. missile manufacturer has been accepting trade-ins of old missiles, to defray the cost of new ones. The U.S. Air Force has, so far, saved $81 million this way. The manufacturer, Raytheon, takes the old Maverick missiles, and rebuilds them to include the latest features, and sells them to foreign customers (for less than a completely new missile would cost.) Everyone benefits, except perhaps whoever is fired at with these missiles.

A major problem with military munitions is that, to be prepared for war, you have to have an enormous stockpile (usually a "30 day supply") to support the opening weeks of a war. In most cases, that stuff never gets used. There are not as many wars going on as the media might indicate. A small amount of these munitions are fired off for training, but most of it must be disposed of. In the past this was not always handled well (the old shells and bombs were dumped in the ocean, or even buried somewhere). Destroying the old stuff by taking shells and bombs apart and neutralizing the explosives, is expensive. Trading high tech munitions in makes economic sense, and will probably become more common.

 


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