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Perhaps it should first be said that this is a difficult project to write in the context of this assignment. Cruise missiles are not a natural resource, and the production of them is not transparent enough to adequately track the entire product life cycle from cradle to grave without further investment of time and research.
Another point to be made is that while the use of natural resources for producing these weapons is significant, it‟s quite small in comparison to industries like the automotive or commercial aerospace industries. Accordingly, I place less emphasis on the exploitation of these materials and the communities affected by production and extraction, and instead focus on variables more relevant to the topic and the approach to this study…
This presentation is divided into five sections:
Product: The Tomahawk Cruise Missile Industry:
Corporate profile of Raytheon
Institutions: The US Armed Forces and missile testing Resistance: The struggles against the Defense Industry and US Military weapon testing, storage, and use End of the Line: What happens after the explosions
In the study of the guided missile industry in the US, I found that there was little information about contaminants in the production facilities and the areas that surround them. While I do not wish to completely dismiss the exceptions (there were many), upon closer inspection, I found that the actions of these corporations and their #1 customers (the Pentagon) outside of the US were far more appalling (see Vieques, Puerto Rico). Consequently, I devote more attention to the problems of missile testing and disposal using Maehyang-ri as a case study. This provides an excellent example some of the non-conflict related repurcussions of missiles and other incendiary devices.
This section attempts to explain the workings of cruise missiles using the Tomahawk cruise missile as an example/case study
The Tomahawk cruise missile: 1. Ingredients 2. Specifications 3. Function
Bill of Materials
While the materials that make up cruise missiles are classified, it can be safely assumed that there is a good deal of aluminum, plastic, and steel alloys involved in the production of the frame. Additionally, there are lightweight and heat resistant ceramic compounds, as well as structural plastic (some „corrugated‟, and some structural foam). The engine is largely composed of aluminum and steel alloys, as well as the fuel tank. In the tomahawk missile, the fuel supply is a solid fuel compound, which undoubtedly contains nitrogen, some powdered metal, crystalline oxidizer, and a polymer (plastic) binding agent. The launch tube is made of a special resin (plastic) that is monofilament wound for stability and endurance (but not re-use!) In this section, I go into details of the missile‟s materials and their sources.
makes up most of the outer hull, and much of the structure for the frame. Aluminum is the third most commonly used metal in industry, after iron and steel. It is used here (and typically for aeronautical purposes) because it‟s lightweight, and in some cases stronger than steel. Aluminum occurs naturally, but for industrial purposes, it is extracted from bauxite ore. There are numerous bauxite deposits worldwide, mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions, but also in Europe and the southeastern United States. Bauxite is generally extracted by open cast mining from strata, typically some 4-6 yards thick under a shallow covering of topsoil and vegetation. Aluminum is extracted from bauxite ore in a process that requires incredible amounts of electricity, which is the key reason for its higher cost relative to steel. Recent examples of indigenous peoples being upset/displaced by bauxite mining operations can be seen in the cases of Alcoa Mining company in Indonesia (under Suharto) and in the acts of civil disobedience in response to Hydro Aluminum‟s operations in India.
is used in reinforcement, the fuel tank and in smaller hardware (In the Tomahawk, some of these may be substituted for titanium). Its advantages are low cost, a wide range of attainable mechanical properties, and a high modulus of elasticity (ductility). Steel is primarily iron and carbon, and is processed and alloyed with other metals to achieve different properties. Iron ore is mined worldwide, and the US, not surprisingly, is the biggest importer. To become steel, iron is melted in a blast furnace to remove impurities, then goes through a series of cooling, reheating and/or “cold working” processes to achieve the desired properties. Steel is typically alloyed with Nickel and/or Chromium, though it is often processed with other metals as well. Industrial iron mining practices strip the land, leak toxins into the earth/water supply, and displace people. Steel mills release ash and other emissions in the air, as well as decreasing the quality of life of those who work and live in and around them.
Polymers, or plastics, are (largely) a product of the petrochemical industry. There are two basic types of plastic: thermoset, and thermoplastic. Thermosets are formed by cross-linking of molecules, and cannot be reused. Thermoplastics are held together by Van der Walls forces, resulting in a molecular structure can be reformed with heat. Both of them, in most cases, are derived from oil—and both are present the Tomahawk missile. Oil is drilled in regions around the world, though the primary sources are currently in the Middle East. Once again, the US is the largest importer of this resource. The impacts of the extraction/usage of this resource have been stated elsewhere, but it is enough to say that the terms that govern its access and usage are troublesome, to say the least. Oddly enough, the Tomahawk plays a substantive role in the maintenance of this access, but more on this later. The use and extraction of oil has led to war, climate change, ecological upheaval, and political corruption. The affects it has had on indigenous (and non-indigenous) populations is incalculable. Additionally, the impact of plastic on landfills, and the toxicity of plastic production in terms of emissions is substantial.
The ceramic compounds used in the Tomahawk can be classified as “advanced” or engineered ceramics. Typical advanced ceramic compounds are alumina (in this form a suspected neurotoxicant), zirconia and silicon carbide. Ceramics in general have been in use since the Neolithic Age (about 10,000 years ago), and can generally be defined as hard, brittle compounds that have a high melting temperature and are chemically inert. They are typically formed from silica, alumina, and magnesia. The ceramic compounds in the Tomahawk are likely in use in the electronics (as semiconductor and resistor material, as well as insulation) and in engine components (as an insulator to control heat from the solid fuel combustion). The minerals that make up these compounds are generally available without mining, and are some of the more abundant in the world, nevertheless, they are still problematic in that they often include toxic compounding agents
The fuel source of the Tomahawk is a solid propellant. Without going into excessive detail, a solid fuel propellant intended for use in a turbofan engine is made up of nitrogen, some powdered metal, crystalline oxidizer, and a polymer binding agent. The specific formula for the Tomahawk is classified, but it should contain at least the ingredients listed above. Chances are, there is also an explosive to increase thrust. …and then there‟s the payload (the bomb), the possible inclusion of depleted uranium (DU), and the guidance system (both on the missile itself and on the ground). I will cover the first two in the section on usage. The guidance system will be discussed briefly in explaining how the device works.
The preceding slides show cutaway views of the Tomahawk to illustrate the sophisticated technology at work in the makeup of this device. The Tomahawk is difficult to detect because of its small profile on radar, lowaltitude flight and turbofan engine, which gives off little heat that can be picked up by infrared detectors. Additional features that set the Tomahawk apart from other missiles in it‟s class are the guidance system, the propulsion system, and the distance it is able to travel. Military officials say that the next generation missile can be retargeted during flight and will even be able to circle above a battlefield waiting for orders to attack.
(top) This image illustrates a launch by sea from a battleship. Note that the wings have not yet extruded from the sides. This missile will be able to travel up to 1000 miles to it‟s destination.
(below) Another Tomahawk being launched from a submarine.
How it works
The cruise missile has been described as a revolutionary new weapon, but in concept and use, the idea has been around for a while. The first cruise missile was the German V-1, or the “buzz bomb”, used in World War II. After the war, the U.S. and Soviet Union began steady proliferation of guided missiles, though none approached any real measure of accuracy until the mid-1970s. It was during this period that work first began on the SLCM (Sea Launch Cruise Missile) Tomahawk Program. Cruise missiles are named for the small turbofan engines—similar to those found on commercial airliners—which they use to “cruise” to their targets. During launch, a solid propellant rocket fires the Tomahawk to sufficient altitude. The turbofan engine then takes over for the cruise portion of flight. Cruise missiles are very effective because they are difficult to detect. They have a small cross-section, and fly at very low altitudes. Infrared detection is difficult because turbofan engines emit little heat. The sealaunched missiles are 18.25 feet long. It weighs 2,650 lbs and has a range of 690 miles. The Tomahawk missile, like all cruise missiles, is essentially a drone—a remote controlled airplane that explodes on contact. Like a military fighter, it uses a jet engine, and comes complete with wings and a tail. Cruise missiles form the spearhead of the US arsenal. There are currently two types of cruise missile in service: the air-launched AGM-86 and the Tomahawk BGM-109 ship or submarine-launched version. They can both be fitted with “conventional” payloads or with nuclear warheads.
A guided missile makes contact with a target at a testing range in Nevada.
The Shock and Awe, it was called—multiple explosions in Baghdad earlier today. Some of it coming from the sea and into the air. Three hundred sea launch cruise missiles, some subs and destroyers, part of the strike package. They rained down from the skies over Iraq, striking numerous government buildings and installations. Also taking part, the B-52s. They made that long trip from Fairfield, England. Somewhere along the way, they dropped their air launch cruise missiles making their way to the targets…
March 21, 2003, MSNBC
Tomahawk Block III specs
Manufacturer: Raytheon Systems
Engine: Turbofan and solid rocket booster
Length: 20 feet, 6 inches
Diameter: 20.4 inches Wingspan: 8 feet, 9 inches Weight: 3,000 pounds with booster Cost per unit: $600,000* Range: 1,000 miles Speed: 550 mph
* Unit cost is relative to the features, the payload, and the guidance capability. Range is between $600,000 and $1 million USD (Washington Post, ABC News, FAS)
“We do not entertain requests for academic research assistance.”
Response from the Raytheon Corporation to an email inquiry about academic research assistance
Raytheon is an international, high technology company which operates in four businesses: commercial and defense electronics, engineering and construction, aviation, and major appliances.
Founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 1922 as the American Appliance Company, the company adopted the Raytheon name in 1925. Early expertise was in the field of radio tubes. During World War II, Raytheon was the leading producer of radar tubes and complete radar systems. Following the war, Raytheon became a pioneer in the field of missile guidance. Raytheon also innovated guidance missile systems to intercept aircraft and ballistic missiles. In 1964, Raytheon embarked on a major diversification program to broaden its business base by adding commercial operations.
Top Ten Defense Contractors Fiscal Year 2002:
Lockheed Martin Corp. $17.0 billion Boeing Co. $16.6 billion Northrop Grumman Corp. $8.7 billion Raytheon Co. $7.0 billion General Dynamics Corp. $7.0 billion United Technologies Corp. $3.6 billion Science Applications International Corp. $2.1 billion TRW Inc. $2.0 billion Health Net, Inc. $1.7 billion L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. $1.7 billion
Taken from the Pentagon‟s annual report of defense contractors http://www.fas.org/asmp/profiles/top10fy02.html
Raytheon Pentagon contracts and rank among other top defense contracts from 2001-1997 (in billions):
year award rank
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
$5.6 $6.3 $6.4 $5.7 $2.9
(4th) (4th) (3rd) (3rd) (5th)
Taken from the Pentagon‟s annual report of defense contractors http://www.fas.org/asmp/profiles/top10fy02.html
The Raytheon Company has a full time lobbying staff of nineteen people and has employed at least five outside lobbying firms, budgeting at least $1.6 million annually for lobbying. It also belongs to several aerospace industry lobby groups that put heavily emphasize missile defense. There are several members of the board with direct links to the US government, and to NATO (a major client of the US arms industry). Raytheon also hires former politicians to advance their causes. For example they hired former house appropriations committee chair Bob Livingston to make the case for the National Missile Defense System in Washington D.C.
Daniel P. Burnham, Chairman and CEO of Raytheon, also serves as chair of the President‟s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and happens to be a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Committee on Trade (DPACT). Prior to Robin L. Beard becoming Executive Vice President Business Development, Chief Executive Officer, Raytheon International, Inc., he served two terms (1984-1987, 1992-1995) as Assistant Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He chaired a number of high-level bodies, most notably the Conference of National Armaments Directors, which is the supreme NATO body responsible for all defense equipment matters. For his NATO efforts he received the U.S. Department of Defense's highest award for distinguished service from the defense secretary William Perry. He also serves on the US Egypt President‟s Council as one of its 15 U.S. members who provide the US and Egypt with business community views, concerns and council in ways to expand bilateral trade and investment ties.
Other directors include former CIA director John M. Deutch, former NATO supreme commander John R. Galvin, and former New Hampshire Senator Warren B. Rudman.
Sources: Corporate Watch: date viewed: 05/02/03, Raytheon Website: date viewed: 05/02/03
Discrimination against employees
In 1987 California‟s fair employment and housing commission found Raytheon‟s Goleta, CA plant guilty of illegal discrimination for firing an employee who had AIDS. Although a doctor told Raytheon the employee could return to work without posing a risk to other employees, corporation managers feared that coworkers would „catch‟ the AIDS virus. The commission ordered the corporation to rehire the employee and pay him $6,000 in back wages. The commission‟s ruling came too late, however, since by this time the employee was dead.
Source: Corporate Watch: date viewed: 05/02/03
Despite evidence that incineration is the worst option for destroying the U.S.'s obsolete chemical weapons stockpile at the Umatilla Army Depot, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) gave $1.3 to the army and Raytheon to construct five chemical weapons incinerators. Despite strong protests, on February 7, 1997, the EQC made its final decision to accept the United States Army's application to build a chemical weapons incineration facility near Hermiston, Oregon. Some examples of the chemicals to be incinerated include nerve gas and mustard agent; bioaccumulative organochlorines such as dioxins, furans, chloromethane, vinyl chloride, and PCBs; metals such as lead, mercury, copper and nickel; and toxins such as arsenic. These represent only a fraction of the thousands of chemicals and metals that will potentially be emitted throughout the Columbia River watershed.
source: Raytheon Watch, date viewed: 04/20/03
Breaking The Law
In May 1999 Reuters reported that Raytheon would pay $3 million to AGES group and purchase $13 million worth of AGES aircraft parts to settle allegations that a security firm hired by Raytheon eavesdropped on and stole documents from AGES.
To discourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons the US imposed economic sanctions against Pakistan for its 1998 nuclear testing. Raytheon attempted to complete a prohibited sale of satellite communications equipment by channeling the sale through its Canadian subsidiary. In Oct 1994 Raytheon co. paid the US government $4 million to settle a claim that the company inflated a defense contract for anti-missile radar. In Oct 1993 Raytheon paid $3.7 million to settle allegations that it misled the defense department by overstating the labor costs involved in manufacturing Patriot missiles. In March 1990 Raytheon pleaded guilty in a US district court in Virginia to one felony count of illegally obtaining secret Air Force budget and planning documents. They were fined $10,000 for „conveyance without authority‟ and $900,000 in civil penalties and damages. In Oct 1987 the justice department signed onto a $36 million suit, which alleged that Raytheon submitted false claims for work done on missiles. The government eventually closed the case citing lack of evidence.
Source: Raytheon Watch, date viewed: 04/20/03
…Every weekday for the past 50 years, from eight o’clock in the morning to eleven o’clock at night, U.S. fighter planes in Korea have dropped 400 to 700 bombs on the Koon-ni range less than one mile from local villages. The targets for the bombs are islands in the beautiful Aia bay where the people derive their livelihoods by fishing. As the A10 and F-16 U.S. fighter aircrafts swoop over the countryside, they drop depleted uranium (DU) shells. The DU shells add radioactive contamination to the other toxic wastes and oil that have been accumulating near these villages for the last half century. Lockheed-Martin now owns the Koon-ni range. This kind of privatization of the military comes as no surprise because 50 years of dropping bombs and spraying bullets has been very lucrative for arms manufacturers.
Source: Karen Talbot “U.S. Bombing Range in South Korea: "Hell On Earth!”. New York Times, 6/18/00 p.6
On May 8, 2000, a U.S. Air Force A-10 warthog bomber dropped six 500 pound bombs on the village of Maehyang-ri in South Korea. Villagers there claim that seven people were injured and some 170 houses damaged by the bombs. Military officials say the A-10 was experiencing engine trouble and dropped the bombs as an emergency measure to reduce its weight.
The village where this bombing took place is near the Koon-ni Range where the U.S. has performed military exercises since 1955. And it is not the first time this has happened. Villagers say the 5,000-acre range is the cause of numerous deaths and injuries. They say at least nine people have died in accidents linked to the range, including a pregnant woman killed when a practice bomb hit her in 1967 and four children killed the following year when they tinkered with an unexploded bomb. In 1994, they say, roofs caved in and walls cracked in 100 houses when range workers accidentally detonated bombs. Additionally, they say they suffer from constant exhaust fumes, tremors and extreme noise caused by strafing and bombing exercises since the 1950s.
…Halfway across the world in a coastal South Korean farming village named Maehyang-ri, about 50 miles south of Seoul, similar practices have been happening for the past 50 years. U.S. fighter planes drop 400 to 700 bombs each day at targets less than a mile out to sea. At the Koon-ri range, now owned by private defense company Lockheed-Martin, bombs are dropped from morning until 11:00 at night. Just like Vieques, the people of Maehyang-ri complain of high rates of infant mortality and other illnesses. Yoomi Jeong, deputy secretary of the Korea Truth Commission (KTC), an international organization working on U.S. militarization issues in Korea, said that residents of this village have a much higher suicide rate than the rest of Korea, because of the dismal situation. Villagers claim that over 10 people have died in accidents linked to the range. Last May, a plane dropped six 500-pound bombs to lighten its load after losing an engine near the range, causing damage to some 500 homes and injuries to several people. The Koon-ri range has been excluded from plans to close and consolidate bases in South Korea starting from next year, stirring up a great deal of protest.
A large-scale protest was organized outside of the United States Embassy last week, during Secretary of State Colin Powell‟s two-day visit to Seoul. This followed a rally at LockheedMartin‟s headquarters, where some 30 protestors scuffled with police, shouting, “Yankee Go Home!”
Source: August 3 - August 9, 2001 Asianweek, Neela Banerjee
For the good part of 50 years most Koreans knew nothing about Maehyang-ri, but protests have been growing. Hundreds of thousands of students, farmers and workers have joined together to stand up for the villagers. Currently, the range is still open for US testing, but in 2001 the range was banned for everything but light bombs. While this is far from a complete victory, the sounds of constant shell fire from aircrafts and heavy artillery have lessened somewhat, and activists and villagers have won an important struggle.
The recent victory of activists in Vieques, Puerto Rico (the US military abandoned the bombing range earlier this month) is another encouraging sign, however it raises the question of what happens after the bombing is over. The land is now littered with the remains of Depleted Uranium rounds, chemical residue from explosives and propellants, and a large amount of oil and other chemicals soaked into the earth.
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