Connect with us

Featured

Foreign Policy: “Patriot Missiles Are Made in America and Fail Everywhere”

The evidence is in: the missile defense system that the United States and its allies rely on is a lemon.

Published

on

On March 25, “Houthi” forces in Yemen fired seven missiles at Riyadh. Saudi Arabia confirmed the launches and asserted that it successfully intercepted all seven.

This wasn’t true. It’s not just that falling debris in Riyadh killed at least one person and sent two more to the hospital. There’s no evidence that Saudi Arabia intercepted any missiles at all. And that raises uncomfortable questions not just about the Saudis, but about the United States, which seems to have sold them — and its own public — a lemon of a missile defense system.

Social media images do appear to show that Saudi Patriot batteries firing interceptors. But what these videos show are not successes. One interceptor explodes catastrophically just after launch, while another makes a U-turn in midair and then comes screaming back at Riyadh, where it explodes on the ground.

It is possible, of course, that one of the other interceptors did the job, but I’m doubtful. That is because my colleagues at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and I closely examined two different missile attacks on Saudi Arabia from November and December 2017.

In both cases, we found that it is very unlikely the missiles were shot down, despite officials’ statements to the contrary. Our approach was simple: We mapped where the debris, including the missile airframe and warhead, fell and where the interceptors were located. In both cases, a clear pattern emerged. The missile itself falls in Riyadh, while the warhead separates and flies over the defense and lands near its target. One warhead fell within a few hundred meters of Terminal 5 at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The second warhead, fired a few weeks later, nearly demolished a Honda dealership. In both cases, it was clear to us that, despite official Saudi claims, neither missile was shot down. I am not even sure that Saudi Arabia even tried to intercept the first missile in November.

The point is there is no evidence that Saudi Arabia has intercepted any “Houthi” missiles during the Yemen conflict. And that raises a disquieting thought: Is there any reason to think the Patriot system even works?

 

In fairness, the system deployed in Saudi Arabia — the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 or PAC-2 — is not well designed to intercept the Burkan-2 missiles that the “Houthis” are firing at Riyadh. The Burkan-2 flies around 600 miles and appears to have a warhead that separates from the missile itself.

But I am deeply skeptical that Patriot has ever intercepted a long-range ballistic missile in combat — at the least, I have yet to see convincing unclassified evidence of a successful Patriot intercept. During the 1991 Gulf War, the public was led to believe the that the Patriot had near-perfect performance, intercepting 45 of 47 Scud missiles. The U.S. Army later revised that estimate down to about 50 percent — and even then, it expressed “higher” confidence in only about one-quarter of the cases. A pesky Congressional Research Service employee noted that if the Army had correctly applied its own assessment methodology consistently, the number would be far lower. (Reportedly that number was one — as in one lousy Scud missile downed.)

According to a House Committee on Government Operations investigation, there was not enough evidence to conclude that there had been any intercepts. “There is little evidence to prove that the Patriot hit more than a few Scud missiles launched by Iraq during the Gulf War,” a summary of the investigations concluded dryly, “and there are some doubts about even these engagements.”

This report — which called on the Pentagon to declassify more information about the performance of the Patriot and request an independent evaluation of the program — never saw the light of day. A fierce lobbying campaign by the Army and Raytheon spiked it, save for a summary.

Against that background, you can imagine that I was pretty skeptical of the Pentagon’s claims that the Patriot shot down Iraqi ballistic missiles in 2003 — claims that have generally been accepted uncritically. And when I heard that missile defenses were protecting Riyadh, I wanted to see for myself — and, unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised by what I found.

The original article was written by Jeffrey Lewis and published on the Foreign Policy Magazine.

Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. RandWounc

    June 13, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Loss Viagra Prescription Cialis En Pharmacie Paris Cialis Viagra O Propecia cialis Viagra Vendita Apcalis Tablets Online Propecia Seguridad Social

  2. RandWounc

    June 26, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Comprar Viagra En Madrid viagra Cialis 20 Vendita Vendo Cialis Original Kamagra Pas Cher Rapide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured

Swiss ban planemaker Pilatus from operating in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Published

on

ZURICH  – Switzerland has banned planemaker Pilatus from operating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying on Wednesday the company had breached Swiss rules on giving logistical support to foreign armed forces now engaged in a war in Yemen.

The Swiss foreign ministry said it had gathered “sufficient evidence” that Pilatus failed to declare activities backing foreign militaries, as required by Swiss law, and added it has reported the shortcomings to the nation’s attorney general for further investigation.

The Swiss government has been investigating Pilatus for months. In 2017 the company signed a contract with Saudi Arabia to support a fleet of PC-21 turboprop planes operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, according to the Stans-based firm’s annual report.

The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015, helping plunge the Middle Eastern country into a humanitarian crisis.

“Support services supplied by Pilatus Aircraft to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates… are incompatible with the federal government’s foreign policy objectives,” the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) said in a statement. “The FDFA has therefore called for these services to be discontinued.”

Privately held Pilatus now has 90 days to pull out of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the FDFA said, adding the company could still supply armed forces in Qatar and Jordan.

“Pilatus Aircraft Ltd will review the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ decision and provide a response in due course,” the company said.

Source: Reuters

Continue Reading

Featured

UK suspends new arms export licenses to Saudi-led coalition

Published

on

SANA’A – The British government announced on Tuesday that it will not be granting any new licenses for arms exports to Bahrain as well as all other members of the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen.

The announcement comes after Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled that the process by which arms export licenses had been issued was unlawful.

The court ruling last Thursday followed a legal challenge by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which accused the UK of breaching international humanitarian law.

Riyadh’s coalition, which has been bombing Yemen since March 2015, groups Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Egypt.

The military campaign has killed tens of thousands of people while many more have died as a result of starvation and disease.

The UK has licensed at least £4.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the start of the conflict.

Meanwhile, export licenses to Bahrain exceeded £56.6 million over the last three years, according to CAAT’s data.

Tuesday’s announcement, however, does not mean that all arms exports to these Persian Gulf monarchies are going to be halted.

The UK government explained that “extant licenses – those granted before this judgment – are not immediately affected by the Court Order.”

“Exporters may continue to export under extant licenses,” the government added in a statement.

Continue Reading

Featured

Mohammed Abdul Salam: “Neither Palestinian cause nor capital Jerusalem will be lost”

Published

on

SANA’A – The Palestinian cause will not be lost, as it has become today stronger than before, the official spokesman of Ansarullah Mohammed Abdul Salam said Tuesday, considering what emerged at the Bahrain conference of weak content does not deserve to hold a press encounter rather than a conference.

Commenting on the Bahrain workshop, Abdul Salam said that after the long preparation, overt and covert conspiracies, the Bahrain conference proved that Palestine can not be swallowed by “an adventurous investor,” or jumped by “a gambler politician”.

“Those who follow this ominous deal expose their weakness and betrayal to the cause of the Islamic and Arab nation before the world.”

“A cause as the Palestinian one, a capital as the Jerusalem and a holy land as Al-Aqsa Mosque, will not be lost,” he said.

The spokesman of Ansarullah ridiculed participants at the Manama workshop saying, “They stood up in front of Kuchner who gave them a lecture about the benefits of the deal of the century and after the end of the noise, it is a silly bribe does not deserve a press encounter rather than a conference.”

He stressed that the popular and political movement carried out by the free nation and resistance leaders everywhere in the world has a direct impact on the weakening of this deal and the distortion of all those who attended, sponsored or supported it. It as a betrayal of the most important issue in which most people of the region and the world believe in.

Abdul Salam pointed out that the plots of the enemy will not stop on Palestine and the axis of resistance, stressing that “we will not stop a moment to stand in the face of falsehood by all means.”

He praised the level of awareness of the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nation to face this deal. “The Zionist entity will remain an enemy of the nation and a grabber of part of its territory.”

 

Source: AhlulBayt News Agency

Continue Reading

Top stories