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Posted: 12/6/2001 11:47:41 PM EDT
[url]http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,320425-412,00.shtml[url] CBS News | Smart Bombs Made Dumb? | Thu, 06 Dec 2001 23:50:06 EST Eagle-Picher says there is no evidence to support the allegations, and that their batteries work just as they should. Vince Gonzales' Eye on America investigation into smart bombs that miss their targets. Smart Bombs Made Dumb? Did Faulty Batteries Cause Failure Of Precision Guidied Weapons? JOPLIN, Mo., Dec. 6, 2001 (CBS) In Afghanistan, American aircraft have dropped more so-called smart bombs than in any other war, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales. But dozens of these missiles and guided bombs have missed their target, some hitting civilians, allied troops, even our own soldiers. Sometimes faulty coordinates or bad weather are to blame, but in other cases the weapons' guidance systems fail, as happened twice one October weekend. "Preliminary indications are that the weapons guidance system malfunctioned," said Victoria Clarke, assistant Secretary of Defense. A 1,000-pound smart bomb went off target and hit a senior citizens' center near Herat. In Kabul, 500-pound guided bombs went astray and slammed into a residential area, reportedly killing 25 civilians. "People's lives depend on those weapons working and chances are, they're not going to work," said Rick Peoples. Peoples used to work at Eagle-Picher Technologies in Joplin, Mo. The plant makes sophisticated batteries that power the guidance systems inside virtually all of America's precision guided weapons. "It's very possible that these failures, and it's very likely these failures are happening because of the batteries," Peoples said. Due to production and testing problems at the plant, Peoples said, some were duds. Others exploded. Many developed cracks and should have been discarded, costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. But employees tell us after-hours - with government inspectors gone - that they were ordered to seal the cracks with an unapproved material called loctite. "And Eagle Picher did this not on hundreds, not on thousands, but on millions of batteries that they sold," Peoples said. The airtight batteries are supposed to survive inside stored missiles for years, but loctite can degrade, letting air in and rendering the batteries useless. Eagle-Picher officials declined our requests for an on-camera interview, but the company said there is no evidence to support the allegations, and that their batteries work just as they should. Former chief of staff of the Air Force, Gen. Ronald Fogleman, said this potential problem needs to be checked out. "Any end-to-end investigation I think will require them to go back and look at the internal components of the guidance system to make sure there is no history of failure," Fogelman said. Peoples, a former Marine, has filed a whistle-blower suit against Eagle-Picher. The alleged cover-up, Peoples said, "has jeopardized our national defense to the point where it is criminal fraud and someone should pay." On Friday on the Evening News, another former Eagle-Picher employee tells how the company allegedly covered up defective batteries and rigged tests, possibly endangering U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. © MMI, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:46:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 10:52:06 AM EDT
I'm gonna run this thing back to the top for the folks that missed it.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 11:01:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2001 11:00:31 AM EDT by Norm_G]
I would take this kind of crap with several grains of salt. I've worked in several businesses that manufacture weapon/aircraft/space products for Uncle Sugar. He's always got a contingent of inspectors that live there inspecting, witnessing tests and checking paperwork. If this sort of thing happened, many people would go to jail rapidly.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 11:19:22 AM EDT
What Norm said.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 11:20:35 AM EDT
[b]A 1,000-pound smart bomb went off target and hit a senior citizens' center near Herat. In Kabul, 500-pound guided bombs went astray and slammed into a residential area, reportedly killing 25 civilians.[/b] hmm acverage life expectancy in afgansitan is about forty-five, so senior citizens are about forty....
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 11:54:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:12:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:22:37 PM EDT
What would the Energizer-Bunny say about all this? [:D]
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:28:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Paul: I'm with you on this one but might suggest that they're installing the batteries backwards as our "smart bombs" only seem to be killing civilians [whacko]
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These are Afghans, you are allowed to switch sides at any time, break your surrender promises, and let yesterday's enemy steal away into the countryside to come back and fight again. These requirements were not in the MIL-SPEC for our smart bombs [whacko] [whacko]
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