A French Arms Double Cross?

A French Arms Double Cross?

If Saddam Hussein tries to use the high-tech weapons he bought from France, he may have complaints about their effectiveness. Some French arms manufacturers, apparently worried that Saddam was not the most trustworthy client, programmed secret passwords into the computer-guidance systems of the fighter and bomber aircraft they sent to him, according to reports surfacing in Paris. Only the suppliers know the passwords, and unless they are keyed in, Iraqi guided missiles will not be able to reach their targets. Moreover, a Defense Ministry spokesman in Paris confirms that his country's warships carry transmitters that can jam French-built Iraqi radar systems...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!