Robert Fisk: "I Traced Al-Qaeda Missile Casings In Syria Back To Their Original Sellers"

Finally, a journalist for a mainstream UK media outlet is methodically tracking weapons shipment serial numbers and English-language paperwork recovered from al-Qaeda groups in Syria, and he's literally showing up at arms factories and questioning arms dealers, including officials at the Saudi Embassy in London, asking: why are your weapons in the hands of terrorists? 

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a bombshell report entitled, I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to. In it Fisk recalls a bit of detective sleuthing he's lately been engaged in after stumbling upon a batch of missile casings and shipment paperwork last year hidden in what he describes as "the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo" with the words "Hughes Aircraft Co/Guided Missile Surface Attack" emblazoned on the side of the spent tubes.  

Of course, the Syrian government recaptured the area from Islamist insurgents including al-Nusra terrorists and their allies in December 2016, and has made rapid gains throughout the country's east and south since; and Fisk has been trekking around the country to see what he can find. 

Image source: Washington Business Journal

His "detective story" as he calls it actually seems to solicit the help of the public, and begins as follows

Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year. At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn (£18bn). Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. Raytheon’s Middle East offices can be found in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Kuwait.

There were dozens of other used-up identical missile casings in the same underground room in the ruins of eastern Aleppo, with sequential codings; in other words, these anti-armour missiles – known in the trade as Tows, “Tube-launched, optically tracked and wire-guided missiles”...

A prior spent missile tube in Syria with "Hughes Aircraft Company" listed as manufacturer which surfaced in 2014 (not part of the same batch of weapons analyzed in Fisk's report). Notice the attempt to scratch off the serial numbers. Via Armament Research Services

The past year especially has seen an uptick in such systematic attempts to trace foreign-supplied weapons on the Syrian battlefield, most of them recovered from internationally designated terrorists groups (even ISIS), back to their origination points. We've previously detailed a number of these reports, for example: Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights as well as Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months — the latter based on extensive arms tracking and field forensics research produced by Conflict Armament Research (CAR).

Robert Fisk, however, represents the rare instance of a prominent journalist on a lone mission to trace weapons serial numbers recovered from the foreign-backed Syrian insurgency back to their origins in the United States (worrisome for US intelligence and military leaders, as The Guardian has called him "one of the most famous journalists in the world" for his being unrelenting in his investigations). 

Fisk continues by relating the moment he confronted a former Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) executive about finding their product in the hands of terrorists:

Some time ago, in the United States, I met an old Hughes Aircraft executive who laughed when I told him my story of finding his missiles in eastern Aleppo. When the company was sold, Hughes had been split up into eight components, he said. But assuredly, this batch of rockets had left from a US government base. Amateur sleuths may have already tracked down the first set of numbers above. The “01” in the stock number is a Nato coding for the US, and the BGM-71E is a Raytheon Systems Company product. There are videos of Islamist fighters using the BGM-71E-1B variety in Idlib province two years before I found the casings of other anti-tank missiles in neighbouring Aleppo. As for the code: DAA A01 C-0292, I am still trying to trace this number.

Fisk writes further that even if he doesn't ultimately come up with the American base from which the missiles originated, as well as specific factory they were made, he knows one thing for sure, that both Hughes/Raytheon and the US government have erected a paper trail system designed to shield them from violating anti-terror laws

Robert Fisk recently drew controversy after writing that he failed to find evidence of a government chemical weapons attack on Douma as the first journalist to enter the site and interview eyewitnesses. 

He explains of this legal cover, "This missile will have been manufactured and sold by Hughes/Raytheon absolutely legally to a Nato, pro-Nato or “friendly” (i.e. pro-American) power (government, defence ministry, you name it), and there will exist for it an End User Certificate (EUC), a document of impeccable provenance which will be signed by the buyers – in this case by the chaps who purchased the Tow missiles in very large numbers – stating that they are the final recipients of the weapons."

And yet there's no actual way of knowing that the official "recipients" identified as the "end user" are in fact the end users, as Fisk's investigation proves (for the fact that he found the missile batch in a former Nusra/ISIS/al-Qaeda stronghold).

How many of these advanced Raytheon-made weapons does al-Qaeda still have in its possession? Does anyone in Washington or London even care? 

He points out that "there is neither an obligation nor an investigative mechanism on the part of the arms manufacturers to ensure that their infinitely expensive products are not handed over by 'the buyers' to Isis, al-Nusra/al-Qaeda – which was clearly the case in Aleppo – or some other anti-Assad Islamist group in Syria branded by the US State Department itself as a 'terrorist organisation'". So much for US anti-terror material support laws huh?

Naturally, Fisk follows up with an appropriately sarcastic quip:

Of course, the weapons might have been sent (illegally under the terms of the unenforceable EUC) to a nice, cuddly, “moderate” militia like the now largely non-existent “Free Syrian Army”, many of whose weapons – generously donated by the west – have fallen into the hands of the “Bad Guys”; i.e. the folk who want to overthrow the Syrian regime (which would please the west) but who would like to set up an Islamist cult-dictatorship in its place (which would not please the west). 

Indeed it confirms what former MI6 spy and British diplomat Alastair Crooke once stated  that the CIA knowingly established the basis of a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of sorts  to which ISIS had immediate and easy access. Crooke noted that the weapons program was set up with "plausible deniability" in mind, which would allow its American intelligence sponsors to be shielded from any potential future legal prosecution or public embarrassment.

Crooke noted in a 2015 BBC interview that, “The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida, let alone to ISIS…, but the system they’ve constructed leads precisely to that end.”

Fisk confirms this analysis when he concludesThus al-Nusra can be the recipients of missiles from our “friends” in the region – here, please forget the EUCs – or from those mythical “moderates” who in turn hand them over to Isis/al-Nusra, etc, for cash, favours, fear or fratricidal war and surrender

And then he shreds both the weapons companies and Western governments that make it all happen, noting that though a certain weariness, banality and self-imposed ignorant laziness has generally set in when it comes to major media investigating these things, this continues to be a huge, scandalous story of epic dimensions that ought to demand exposing all involved.

Fisk rages: 

Why don’t Nato track all these weapons as they leave Europe and America? Why don’t they expose the real end-users of these deadly shipments? The arms manufacturers I spoke to in the Balkans attested that Nato and the US are fully aware of the buyers of all their machine guns and mortars.

Why can’t the details of those glorious end user certificates be made public – as open and free for us to view as are the frightful weapons which the manufacturers are happy to boast in their catalogues.

Though dutifully ignored in the American mainstream press (and thus we feel it our duty to continue the coverage), Fisk is in the midst of a multi-part investigative series for his the Independent (UK) — recently tracking foreign supplied arms to the doorsteps of US-partnered suppliers in the Balkans, as well as the Saudi embassy in London, where he presented shipping and manufacturer's paperwork proving that various medium weaponry went straight from European factories to terrorist group in Syria via the Saudis (including munitions factory workers' eyewitness accounts of Saudi officials inspecting the facility). 

The Independent has published over a dozen items of paperwork recovered from al-Nusra (Syrian al-Qaeda) positions in Aleppo. 

Predictably, Saudi officials denied the evidence, saying the Kingdom did not give “practical or other support to any terrorist organisation [including Nusrah and Isis] in Syria or any other country” and described the allegations raised by The Independent as “vague and unfounded”.

Fisk responds in his latest column:

These papers were not “vague” – nor was the memory of the Bosnian arms controller who said they went with the mortars to Saudi Arabia and whose shipment papers I found in Syria. Indeed, Ifet Krnjic, the man whose signature I found in eastern Aleppo, has as much right to have his word respected as that of the Saudi authorities. So what did Saudi Arabia’s military personnel – who were surely shown the documents – make of them? What does “unfounded” mean? Were the Saudis claiming by the use of this word that the documents were forgeries?

And Fisk answers his own question in concluding, "I bet they’re not," explaining, "For I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East – certainly not in the case of Damascus, where the west has just given up its attempt to unseat Assad."

* * *

We might also recall, lest it disappear down the collective public memory hole forever, that all the way back in 2013 when as all analysts agree the Obama White House came very close to launching an Iraq-style war of regime change against Damascus... guess who was a foremost media "expert" aggressively lobbying for regime change?

At that time Stephen Hadley, then a Raytheon director (since 2009) and former National Security Advisor to George W. Bush, made multiple appearances on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, and Bloomberg News during the height of the national debate over whether the US should go to war in Syria. In all of these appearances, as well as in an influential Washington Post op-ed piece, he argued for a U.S. missile strike on Damascus as a matter of national security.

In each case, Hadley was presented as an objective national security expert – it was only his role as former national security advisor that was revealed.

However, the meticulously researched Public Accountability Initiative media study of pro-war pundits that had undisclosed ties to the defense industry exposed him as not at all a "neutral expert" in this summary statement about Hadley’smultiple network TV appearances:

In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.

Sadly as the study confirmed across multiple networks, such an example as Hadley is still pretty much par for the course in terms of major "experts" who "independently" lobby for war on news talk panels. 

Raytheon, the manufacturer of the BGM-71 TOW (Hughes was bought out by Raytheon in 1997), has been heavily invested in the course of the Syrian conflict from the beginning the TOW missile system being the weapon of choice the CIA handed out to "rebels" for years as part of operation 'Timber Sycamore', and its Tomahawk cruise missile being what was used when President Trump ordered a massive single-night strike on Damascus in April of 2017 (about 59 were launched at an estimated over $1 million a pop). 


Free This Giant Meteor Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:29 Permalink

I have always maintained we shipped arms and funded al-nusra, a huge mistake! We need to quit the meddling in other's affairs pronto! Even my bully analogy does not apply here! These muslims are all about 72 virgins and a world caliphate. They have been murdering each other for centuries - it's shia vs sunni - a power struggle, that the west will NEVER solve! Israel is complicit as well, I get it. Let them ALL kill each other till there is no one left in the whole muddle east, makes no difference to me!

ISIS is not American or Israeli created, this is where posters here go off the rails.

@Meteor, that sure is the case, isn't it, good intentions are the road paved to hell!

Y'all can down arrow me all you want, it won't change the facts of what is going on, if you don't agree with me, so be it.

EDIT - I think we can agree the murder of innocents is wrong, and the meddling, which is all treachery and deceit, must end. I am for getting out of the muddle east. We are just coming from different angles. What happens if we DO get out and the killing continues? See, no one posting here on this site really knows the inner workings of what is going on over there. Some posters are outright muzzies, and will not see my argument at all, I hope others do. I am done on this topic.

In reply to by Giant Meteor

powow Free This Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:29 Permalink


But who PAID the seller?

And most importantly, who WAGGED the payer?


It's ALL for Apartheid Israhell.



“It does not take a genius to figure out that the United States...

has no vital interests at stake in places like Syria, Libya and Iraq.

Who is driving the process and benefiting? Israel is clearly the intended

beneficiary..." – Philip Giraldi, Former CIA officer. 



In reply to by Free This

macholatte JRobby Sun, 07/29/2018 - 12:53 Permalink


Crooke noted in a 2015 BBC interview that, “The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida, let alone to ISIS…, but the system they’ve constructed leads precisely to that end.”


All roads lead to Obama.

Me thinks that if the MSM is ignoring this, then it points to Hitlary & Obama. If Trump had anything to do with it, the MSM would be all over it like stink on shit.




another arms dealer movie based on fact…-


In reply to by JRobby

macholatte DingleBarryObummer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:07 Permalink



At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon,

This is a self inflicted contradiction in the article.
If Hughes was bought by Raytheon in 1997, why would the missiles still have the Hughes label on them?   Does Raytheon maintain the Hughes identity many years later in 2015?

Alternately, if Raytheon phased out the Hughes label, then the weapons with the Hughes label are very old? What is the shelf life of such weapons? Does new technology replace "old weapons" regardless of shelf life?  If that’s the case, then the weapons might have been discarded and replaced by new ones (with the Raytheon label). 

So then the logical question is to find out who is responsible for getting rid of old/obsolete weapons.  Are they supposed to be destroyed?  Who is supposed to verify that they are destroyed and not sold to terrorists?

Maybe some of the military guys here can shed some light.


In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

PrivetHedge Free This Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

no one knows diddle, this rabbit hole goes too deep for mere posters on this site to know the real truth.

It's actually a very short, well sign posted rabbit hole back to Israel and their doomed Yinon plan.

Do you really think that no one has noticed the systematic attack of all countries in the Yinon zone and the rabid cheering from Israel as the goy blood flows?


In reply to by Free This

FireBrander Eyes Opened Sun, 07/29/2018 - 17:21 Permalink

What "I am doing" is:

1. Pointing out that Fisk "figured it out" about 8 years late...

2. While Obama was President,  Fisk couldn't put the pieces together and the USA was just spreading "Freedom and Democracy".

3. Trump takes over and now USA/Trump is the source of Evil. 

4. Fisk is a member of the enemy of the people. How many people died while Fisk and Friends bit thier tounges covering for Obama's war crimes?

5. I'm not going to praise him for covering for Obama's crimes and now covering his own ass by pointing out what has been obvious for at least 5 years.

6. How many more years before Fisk figures out  that Obama and Hillary planned, oversaw and personally directed all of this?

In reply to by Eyes Opened

FireBrander Ace006 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 22:10 Permalink

Don't know him from a hole in the ground. 

He's presenting this like it's breaking news. At least 3 years ago, I read a piece that beautifully laid it all out; tied it all together. .Obama, Hillary, Saudis, Israel, ISIS vs. Russia, Iran, and Syria. 

To defeat Assad, ISIS needed political, logistical and Financial support...and the USA provided all 3 primarily through NATO member Turkey.

ISIS sold oil to Turkey. 

Kerry ran to the UN multiple times for a "cease fire" everytime Russia was about to crush ISIS.

How in the world could ISIS fight both the USA and Assad for all these years? They weren't fighting the USA, they were fighting for the USA'S goal of "regime change".

In reply to by Ace006

veritas semper… FireBrander Sun, 07/29/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

After the SAA found so many US made weapons in the territories  liberated from terrorists  , including heavy ones, there is nothing more to say.

And US has a so called policy of not selling weapons without buyers being vetted ( theoretically).

Only in Daraa the Syrians found an incredible amount of weapons.

The last ISIS terrorist attack in Suweyda, when 240 civilians were killed was done by suicide ISIS fighters coming from Al Tanf area , where US has a base.

They had maps with satellite images of the Syrians outposts and were able to avoid them.

The ONLY country having this capability and able to give them this is US.

SAA captured two ISIS members, so they know exactly US  and Israel are behind this.

To revenge  the loss of Daraa, where the war started.

In reply to by FireBrander

Herd Redirecti… veritas semper… Sun, 07/29/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Hughes worked with the CIA often.  I would contend one of the first major joint operations they had was the Apollo Program (Hughes Aircraft was the contractor on the Surveyor Program), but the research on that is still in progress.

There is no doubt that Hughes Aircraft continues to work with the CIA (and Mossad and MI5, who are all working for the same organized crime/bankster cartels).

Why do you think he went and bought all those casinos?

In reply to by veritas semper…

beemasters Herd Redirecti… Sun, 07/29/2018 - 19:46 Permalink

"'Hughes Aircraft Co', founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn (£18bn). Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank."

Had they traced the moving of terrorist funds, they will find out the big western banks are also behind it all. The source, of course, would be more anonymous than any Bitcoin user ever could be.

In reply to by Herd Redirecti…

Tarzan man of Wool Mon, 07/30/2018 - 07:15 Permalink

Yes he is, a real journalist, who the press ignores.

Actually following clues, seeking truth where ever it leads, is a deadly game, in a world built on deceit.

Let this be a lesson for all, that ALL warmongers, even those who want to go to war with the "BAD" guys, are EVIL FUCKS, even the warmongers here on ZH! 

You know who you are, and your days are numbered, as your enemy, THE TRUTH is on the rise, coming to get you, you will be exposed, all of you fucking pawns of the State!

In reply to by man of Wool

sarz FireBrander Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:16 Permalink

Fisk writes in such a pretentiously convoluted style that one sometimes gathers he has lost his own thread. It's a way of pretending to say something when you're really not. Since the year or so after 9/11, by which time anyone who was putting his mind to it had figured out it was a Judaic-led inside job, seeing Fisk in public still pretending to be more dense than he could believably be, I concluded that he was with British intelligence. All his recent supposed breaks come long after others have broken the story. That includes his reportage on the fake gas attack at Douma, covered extensively by RT. FIsk has used his tissue of convoluted non-statement and innuendo to tie Osama bin Laden to 9/11. 

In reply to by FireBrander

Socratic Dog Free This Mon, 07/30/2018 - 00:25 Permalink

"Who the fuck are you anyway?"

So Free, a member of several months and a most annoying poster, who in his own words is here to educate us all, is demanding to know who the fuck Chumba is.  I'll tell you who Chumba is, Free.  He's a respected member of 9 years standing, one of the originals, with a long and chequered history of insightful posts.  That's who he is.

In reply to by Free This

Normally Aspirated Free This Mon, 07/30/2018 - 02:16 Permalink

Just because you know squat doesn't mean everyone else is as ignorant as you admit you are.

Here's Lesson 1. Do a search and study the work, reports and death of Serena Shim.

Once you read her story you may just realise that many  of us have known whats been going on in Syria, Ukraine as well as Yemen for a few years.

Lesson 2. Watch a Doco called "The Weight of Chains" which will educate you on what really happened in Yugoslavia.

If you study hard you may eventually start coming across as someone who does not appear arrogant, ignorant and downright wrong.

In reply to by Free This

Cryptopithicus Homme chumbawamba Sun, 07/29/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

Fisk is another pretentious Brit who knows who should be more equal than who, exactly how many people should live on Earth, the path to world peace, how much CO2 should be in the atmosphere, how guns are filled with evil spirits, yada, yada, yada...

He likes to virtue-signal about the time he went to a weapons plant in Georgia and attempted to guilt-trip the employees there about how their missile blew up some innocent hajis in Palestine.

In reply to by chumbawamba

are we there yet PrivetHedge Sun, 07/29/2018 - 15:02 Permalink

It is almost magic how we can convert worthless low IQ brown crazies into good profit for MIC. And have the arabs want ever more of the same. It is part of these profits that fund the Rothchildes Kalegari plan to flood Europe with worthless Middle East and african refugees to destroy western culture. The west, Middle East, North Africa, Europe are all puppets in this process. The UN should be renamed the UP for united puppets. We are not in charge.

In reply to by PrivetHedge

Lore macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 16:58 Permalink

Acquisition does not mean dissolution.  Acquisition just means acquisition.  God knows, companies can have different-named subsidiaries.  It's one reason why you have to dig deep to find out who at the Top really owns / has controlling interest in things like the mainstream mediaplex.  The psychopaths are very skilled at burying such information, especially where covering their own ass is concerned. 

This journalist is to be commended for some exceptional work.  That said, he's risking his own ass, because the individuals behind this sort of thing are completely unscrupulous and evil.  (Probably, that's one of the reasons why it's taking so long to blow open the Clinton Foundation.)

John Perkins - Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"US intelligence agencies -- including the NSA -- would identify prospective economic hit men (EHM), who could then be hired by international corporations. These EHM would never be paid by the government; instead, they would draw their salaries from the private sector. As a result, their dirty work, if exposed, would be chalked up to corporate greed rather than to government policy. In addition, the corporations that hired them, although paid by the government agencies and their multinational banking counterparts (with taxpayer money), would be insulated from congressional oversight and public scrutiny, shielded by a growing body of legal initiatives, including trademark, international trade, and Freedom of Information laws."

Monarch: The New Phoenix Program

"There are basically three types of private organizations that the CIA uses. A CIA proprietary is a business designed to provide a service wanted by the CIA.  It is secretly and wholly owned by the CIA, while disguised to appear in public as a private business. According to a Foreign Service officer, "the proprietaries tend to take on a life of their own, and several have grown too big and too independent to be either controlled from or dissolved by headquarters." A second kind of operation is a "front," an organization whose business is a sham and is kept in place to provide cover for other activities.  An example of CIA fronts the Wilson and Shackley companies, which had no real function other than cover. A third kind of organization is an independent organization closely allied to the CIA by shared ideology and mutual goals, usually staffed by ex-CIA personnel, for example, the Interarms Company, the world's largest private arms dealer, which is run by career CIA officer Samuel Cummings."

In reply to by macholatte

Omen IV macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 17:54 Permalink

The subsidiary has been maintained to insulate the liability in the event the activity is discovered - Assad obviously has a lawsuit for $1 Trillion easy - the Bankruptcy will not limit the liability given Directors at the Parent decisions - upon discovery there will be inevitably direct shipments to show up as well

nothing about obsolete in that equation



In reply to by macholatte

Small Business macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 19:22 Permalink

Some key dots not connected in this sensational article:
+the picture of the missile casing shows a contract number, with a "98" in it. That means the missile was built for a contract let in 1998, as early as late 1997 and as late sometime in 1999. During that period the novation process would be going on, to change contract responsibility to Raytheon, but the contract requirements would stipulate use of a label with HAC (those who worked there often used this acronym).
+Based on the contract date, this tube has been knocking around the world for nearly 20 years. Given the continuous improvements made, the missiles contained are not the "front-line" variants. There have been three distinct model upgrades since the BGM-71E. That doesn't mean this particular missile is junk, but it is old.
+The TOW has been the standard anti-tank missile for the US since the 1960's, seeing combat in Vietnam on ground and aerial platforms. It is listed as a Raytheon product because Raytheon still builds it (duh). 
+The "spent casing" is the transport packing in which the missile is transferred until loaded and fired.
+TOW is also the standard missile for many countries, including those in the Middle East which are not Soviet client states.

Given the above, there is virtually no way to tell how the missile ended up in Aleppo. The missile was built in the US. Who handed to whom is not proven in this article. See also the Wikipedia entry for the TOW and note how many countries in the Middle East use some variant. Given the build timing, I am confident it didn't come from Iran.

In reply to by macholatte

Small Business macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 19:28 Permalink

PS:  i object to Fisk's characterization of Howard Hughes as "infamous".  Peculiar, nutty, driven, sure.  The man was a very talented pilot and engineer.  The injuries he suffered in the crash of an aircraft his company deigned right after the war severely changed the man.  

HAC did a lot of amazing things in its history.  "Infamous" is a bullshit way to describe either the man or the company.

In reply to by macholatte

Offthebeach macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

So, you are, whoever.  And you take a TOW out of it's shipping container.  A hard, fiberglass tube.  You got Russian/Syrian aircraft looking for you.  HIND helecopters.  Forward artillery spotters.  Other enemy.  Snipers.  Other missle.  You load the TOW.  Fire it.  Everybody and their brother can, could see its ignition plume, even its vapor trail.  Very bad thing to do, but its a job.  Now, here's the kicker.  Do you get out of Dodge as fast as you can, or do you pick up, clean up, police up the tube? 

There is a reason the US Army mounted TOWs on jeeps. It was to get the hell away before you get counter/suppression fired against. ( SOP was to have a series of sites figured beforehand, even leaving missles there, and then fire and scoot to the next site ).

Also anyways.  Its a war zone.  Shit gets lost, captured, sold, bought, made into hookas...


In reply to by macholatte

daemon macholatte Sun, 07/29/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

" If Hughes was bought by Raytheon in 1997, why would the missiles still have the Hughes label on them?   Does Raytheon maintain the Hughes identity many years later in 2015? "


The fact that Hughes Aircraft Company was bought by Raytheon doesn't mean that you won't find "Hughes Aircraft Company" logo on their products.

You can check this article:

In it you will see 2 logos clearly mentioning the name "Hughes".  The first was in 1985 when it was bought by GM, and the second was between 1997 and 2000 when it was bought by Raytheon.

So, don't draw conclusions too fast simply because of names. 

In reply to by macholatte