Heads Up!

Tomahawk tests go awry

The launch was textbook perfect. The 21-ft.-long unarmed Tomahawk cruise missile arched gracefully away a week ago Sunday from the destroyer U.S.S. Merrill, stationed off the California coast near San Clemente Island. It sped toward its target in Tonopah, Nev., 375 miles away but, to the chagrin of the Navy, never made it. The air-breathing projectile began behaving erratically above sparsely populated regions of Southern California and crashed harmlessly into Los Padres National Forest.

It is likely to be weeks before experts of the manufacturer, General Dynamics Corp., determine the cause of the accident. Speculation among technicians centered on...

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