Pentagon Spokesman's Briefing
DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Q: And on the JSOWs, what's being done to determine why more than half
of them --
Quigley: Well, Charlie, we've not acknowledged what sorts of
precision-guided ordnance were used in last Friday's strike on the
targets just north of the southern no-fly zone, but I will say that a
variety of types of ordnance were used to take on the types of targets
that we chose to engage in the strike. You typically do that. You'll
tailor your choice of weapons for the type of target that you're
shooting at. Some targets are more appropriately engaged with a
unitary warhead - in other words, a single warhead. Some are more
appropriately engaged with an area munition, if they're spread out
over a large area or just the weaponeering is such that it says you
should choose that instead of a unitary point weapon.
And you've got to start at the overriding purpose of why we did the
strike on Friday. This was to disrupt and degrade the capability of
the integrated air defense system in the southern no-fly zone from
engaging coalition aircraft while they are patrolling that no-fly
zone. We feel the strikes had a good effectiveness in carrying out
that overall objective. Did each weapon perform perfectly during the
strike? No. It did not. But we feel that, on balance, the strike had
And let me just throw up one measure of effectiveness. Of the various
radars that were struck on Friday as part of that overall strike, we
have seen only two of them be turned back on subsequent to the strike
on Friday. Now, is that because we damaged them as part of the strike,
or because they're reluctant to bring them up, to know that we would
engage them again? We don't know that for sure, but I'm not so sure
that it matters, at the end of the day. If my goal is to protect the
coalition air crews from being shot at as they patrol the no-fly zone,
then whether or not we have destroyed a system or they simply don't
use it, my objective has been accomplished.
Q: I'll go back to my original question. What is being done, if
anything, to find out why these $300,000-plus bombs, the preponderance
of them, missed their targets on Friday?
Quigley: Well, then I'll go back to my original answer. We have not
acknowledged what types of ordnance were used in the strike, other
than to say that they were long-range, precision-guided ordnance.
Q: Is anything being done to determine --
Quigley: We always do that. If we fire one weapon, if we fire 50
weapons, you try your hardest to ascertain their performance each and
every time. If there's something that didn't perform according to
Hoyle, we try to find out what it was and fix it for next time.
If you choose - let me just throw out one example - if you choose to
use an area munition, by definition you're covering a wide area and
you have some latitude whether or not you hit your precise aim point
by the very nature of the beast, and you are capable of oftentimes
doing significant damage to your target and still being off on some of
your aim points. We fired these weapons at a range of dozens of miles
from the targets. And on balance, we feel that we had good
effectiveness from the raid. It wasn't perfect, but we are on balance
overall satisfied with it.
Q: Just following up on your point, though, the fact that you're using
area munitions and that you could have had an impact, do you have any
evidence that in these other radar sites, aside from the two that have
come back up and are operating again, that these strikes did any
significant damage in these cases where some of the weapons did not
hit their aim point?
Quigley: Our assessment of battle damage is not yet complete. It may
take days or even weeks for that to be complete. It comes in via a
variety of means, Jamie. And we never quite close the door on some
tidbit of information that would become available to us somewhere
downstream that would add to our knowledge of how the weapons
performed. When we get that, we factor that into the overall equation.
And we're not sure that - exactly why we have only seen two of those
radars come back up. But if they're not being used, whether by damage
or concern for them becoming damaged, I've accomplished my objective
of disrupting and degrading his capability to engage coalition
aircraft in the southern no-fly zone.
Q: Craig, surely you're not arguing that if the United States missed
more than half of the radar that it went after, the mere fact that
they aren't turning them back on is an adequate accuracy rate or an
adequate result from this kind of a raid. You want to put bombs on
Quigley: You bet.
Q: - and destroy the target --
Q: - not just keep their head down.
Q: Is that not so?
Quigley: Absolutely. True. And that's why we'll take every bit of
available data we have from the - the feedback from our own air
crews, as well as other means of determining damage assessment, try to
ascertain to the best we can exactly where the weapons did hit, and
try to figure out for those that did not hit their intended aim point,
how did this happen? Mechanical failure? Software failure? Weather?
What was it that caused this particular weapon or weapons to not
perform as we expect them to? So that's the process that goes into
place, John, each and every time.
Q: Oh. Can you explain what the JSOW is? Is it one of your newest --
this is just hypothetical, just curious - (laughter) - is it one of
your newer weapons? What makes it special?
Quigley: JSOW is an area munition. I think it entered service in early
1999. It was used in Kosovo some, although it was pretty new to the
inventory at that point, John, and I don't think it was used in large
numbers. But there was some use of it in Kosovo.
It is a standoff weapon, uses a combination of GPS [global positioning
system] and inertial navigation to pilot itself to the target. It is a
fire-and-forget weapon, with the coordinates that you program into the
guidance system before launch. You can carry a variety of types of
weapons with this, and it is designed to take on a large area sort of
Q: It sounds like it's one of the more promising weapons in your
inventory. Is that right?
Quigley: We definitely think so.
Q: And one that - one would think the United States would rely on
this type of weapon increasingly in the future.
Quigley: Probably so. Given the trends of warfare, as you look down
the road into the future, yes.
Q: So if one of these really promising weapons didn't work very well,
that would be a source of concern to you.
Quigley: Oh, you can find any number of instances throughout history
where weapons that have performed remarkably well over a long period
of time have had instances of failure, for a variety of reasons.
That's why I say that each and every time we try our darnedest to
ascertain the weapons that did not work according to their
specifications - why? Was it an anomaly, or was - is there something
in the process, in the software, in the hardware, or something that is
just not right and needs to be corrected throughout the inventory of
these weapons? Or was it an anomaly? You try real hard to figure that
out as best you can and then take the corrective actions from there.
Quigley: Linda, go ahead.
Q: Two questions. Along those lines, the first one - I know you don't
have the BDA [battle damage assessment] complete yet, but you have
said twice now that you know it wasn't perfect. Can you elaborate on
that? What wasn't perfect? Those were fired, they missed their target
-- what part of that equation was not perfect?
Quigley: We know that every weapon used in the raid did not perform
100 percent. Rarely is that the case.
Q: Just to return for a moment John's line of questioning. Without
saying how you feel about the performance of the JSOW weapon on this
past mission, can you say as of today, as of this moment, are you
satisfied with the performance of this weapon?
Quigley: You would not bring a weapon into inventory that did not
perform well during its testing phase. That's the period of time that
you try to really test it under a variety of conditions and work out
any bumps. Sometimes individual anomalies or systemic anomalies do
develop after a weapon has been entered into inventory, and if that's
the case, then we take the corrective action.
Q: Right, but can you say - can you characterize how you feel about
the performance of this weapon, as of right now?
Quigley: I don't have enough of a comprehensive track record over its
two years of being in inventory to give you an intelligent answer on
that, Tom. I'm sorry.
Q: Craig, Iraq has claimed today that it has defused one of the bombs
-- or weapons used in Friday's attack that did not explode, and claims
that there are other unexploded ordnance that will have to be defused
as well. Are you aware or can you confirm if any of the weapons
expended in Friday's attack failed to detonate?
Quigley: No. I don't have any way of ascertaining that to be the fact.
Q: Do you have any reason to believe that the Iraqi report might be
correct that maybe a weapon or two did not explode?
Quigley: Occasionally there appears to be a germ of truth amongst the
reports that the Iraqis variously put out. I don't know if that's the
case in this particular instance. I just have no way of ascertaining
that, Jamie, for sure.
Q: Do the bombs that the JSOW disperses, do they have a dud rate that
might explain unexploded ordnance?
Quigley: I don't know if they do or not.
Q: Craig, you said these bombs were launched from dozens of miles
away. Well, isn't it true that JSOWs, that's the whole purpose of
JSOWs? I mean, wasn't that at the heart of the whole strike? Isn't the
whole purpose of JSOWs so that you don't have to have a plane hovering
nearby to guide a bomb in, as it was in the Gulf War, by radar, but
you use satellites?
Quigley: We have a variety of munitions in our inventory whose purpose
Q: Not bombs, though. You have - not bombs.
Quigley: Well, I wouldn't call JSOW a bomb.
Q: Well, it's a glide bomb.
Quigley: It carries submunitions. When I think of a bomb - I'm sorry,
maybe I'm all wet on this - I think of a single object that hits its
target, more of a unitary sort of a warhead. So I'm not sure that's an
QI'm trying to figure out how to word this. It sounds as though the
Defense Department does not want to acknowledge that you had a
significant problem or anomaly with one of your weapon systems in this
raid. Would that be giving away the store to the enemy, to acknowledge
that the bombs that the U.S. dropped flat out didn't work the way they
were supposed to? Would that be a big secret?
Quigley: Well, I'm not sure - given the imperfection of our battle
damage assessment as of today - I'm not sure that we can say with
certainty how much effect a given weapon that was used did or didn't
have. I mentioned the example of only two radars being brought back
up. But I'll be the first to acknowledge that we're not sure why that
is. Did we damage them, even though the aimpoint may have been missed?
Again, understanding that this is an area weapon and I have a very big
spread by design, so I could have done damage to my target without
having hit my aimpoint precisely. I want to hit my aimpoint, because
I've done my weaponeering analysis to optimize the damage that I will
do by choosing an aimpoint on purpose. So let me be very clear, that's
the desired point of impact of the weapon.
But with an area munition, I have tolerance there for being off a
little, and I can still do some damage. It probably is not as
optimized as the weaponeering analysis would have told me it should be
if I hit my intended aimpoint, but it may not be zero either. And
given our imperfect knowledge today of the battle damage that was
incurred, I'm not sure that we can give a good answer to the question.
If we see that a system does not perform as we expect it to, for
whatever reason, we try very hard to find out why and fix it.
Q: Can you characterize the footprint of a JSOW anomaly, and what area
do the bomblets cover?
Quigley: I don't have that with me. I'm sure we do have that
somewhere, but I don't have that with me. I'm sorry.