Readers React

U.S. wants more missiles with known defects

To the editor: Even when it is known that existing ground-launched anti-missile interceptors have serious defects rendering them highly unreliable, it is apparently more important for the Defense Department to meet politically expedient deadlines than to get the job done correctly. And that includes building even more defective missiles. ("Serious flaws revealed in U.S. anti-missile nuclear defense against North Korea," May 30)

Our strategy seems to be that the enemy's military and political apparatus is more messed up than ours. Very reassuring.

Gerald C. Davison, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The solder corrosion of wiring harnesses in the anti-missile interceptors built by Boeing Co. is mind-boggling. Supposedly, the humidity inside the silos where the missiles are stored causes solder joints to corrode and this results in system failures.

Having served in the Navy and then worked for 35 years in the defense industry, I know from experience that the solder-joint corrosion problem was solved decades ago. In the 1940s and '50s, the radar, sonar, fire control and radio transmitter and receiver systems never failed due to solder-joint corrosion, even in the highly corrosive sea air. In the defense industry, we built and deployed hundreds of satellites with no solder-joint problems.

As for primary contractor Boeing, where were its source inspections, incoming inspections, sample environmental testing, life tests and other quality control measures? Heads need to roll.

Jerry Mazenko, Garden Grove

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To the editor: I am disgusted, but not surprised, at the decision to continue the production of the anti-missile system that had two major technical problems.

The only way to prevent this kind of stupidity is to terminate all the officers in the Defense Department and the civilians who influenced this decision. Only certain punishment for bad decision-making by government personnel will ensure that our tax dollars are wisely spent.

Jim Halloran, Redondo Beach

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