Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bahrain prepares against Patriot attacks

Defense Industry Daily announced that Bahrain receives the AN/TPS-59(V)3B ballistic missile defense radar system. The sale was initiated in May 2004 when a US$43.6 million contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin. The system is designed to operate with Patriot or Hawk missile batteries.

On a not too serious note: Bahrain is in dire need of such a missile defense radar. Hopefully the system will not only operate with Patriot batteries but also protect the Kingdom from those missiles: earlier this week a Patriot missile was accidentally fired from a US military base in Qatar. Luckily no one was hurt during this incident; the missile only ploughed some nearby farmland. With its range of over 80 km Bahrain is well in the range of the Patriot missiles deployed in Qatar. But not all hope is lost: Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman acknowledged that “[t]hose things are not supposed to accidentally discharge" and that "[i]t was not supposed to happen". Hooray! So neither Bahrain nor Qatar were exposed to a deliberate attack. The old Russian proverb, which is attributed to Lenin, applies also here: доверяй, но поверяй (trust, but verify).

The Patriot missile that was accidentally launched. (c) Al Jazeera

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