Widow of Navy pilot sues over missile error

Raytheon accused of negligence after friendly-fire incident


The widow of a Navy pilot whose fighter jet was struck by a Patriot missile during the 2003 invasion of Iraq has sued Raytheon Co., charging that the maker of the air defense system was negligent.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Boston, claims the Patriot was prone to malfunctions that misidentified U.S. planes as enemy missiles that “occurred with alarming frequency and were well-known to Raytheon before the incident.”

Here’s a Patriot pic from DVIC:

Operation / Series: FOAL EAGLE `94 U.S. Army Patriot missiles are silhouetted against the setting sun near Kunsan Air Base during the training exercise. Exact Date Shot Unknown

In the early days of MO, I noted the incident at F/A-18 FROM KITTY HAWK DOWN and noted that that the PAC-3 Patriots had totally skipped their operational testing phase in YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME

In Still being looked at (March 2005) I noted a report by the Defense Science Board Task Force on Patriot System Performance. Also, the British Tornado which was shot down by a Patriot missile was later determined to have a non-functioning IFF unit.

Despite all these legitimate questions and concerns about the Patriot missile, I have trouble believing that there is any real basis for this lawsuit against Raytheon.


UPDATE: Comment: “Our legal system has done such a good job with everything else it has touched, like divorce for instance.


  1. Pay us more for screwing up than for building good hardware for a good price and then sue us when we try to maximize profit. Talk about mixed messages! Our legal system has done such a good job with everything else it has touched, like divorce for instance. Maybe they can suck what little innovation is left out of the defense industry. It would be like getting blood out of a turnip, granted, but I’m sure they’ll give it a try. After all, what’s important here is not that the nation be safe from terrorists. What we really want to do is ensure those parasite lawyers make as much money as possible.