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Do US Bombs and Missiles Have a ‘Use By’ Date?

I’m just wondering. Do things like Tomahawks and MOAB’s have expiration dates?

I mean, just how long can these things sit in storage before they spoil? Before the charge is inert?

Or worse, can they “go off” like milk? (Pun intended.)

Do they smell funny after a few years?

Has a Torpedo-man on a submarine ever called his buddy over and asked him to smell the ordnance? What does a bad bomb smell like? Sulfur?

Everything expires doesn’t it?

I would assume that IED’s and roadside bombs never expire because they expect to be used shortly after they are made. Sometimes the terrorist making the bomb ends up consuming it – by accident. Perhaps a “freshness” date or a “born on” date would be in order.

Has a pilot ever looked at the Sidewinder missile on his wing and said “Ahh! A vintage 2012. That was a very good year.”

Do bombs improve with age like wine or Scotch?

“Here we have an amusing 12 year old Cruise missile. It has cordite overtones and a fruity petroleum bouquet.”

Do missiles age like people? Does a missile start out as an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile and as it ages becomes good only for short trips? Like an Interstate Ballistic missile? And eventually can only make it to the bathroom? Often.

And what do they do with missiles that are out of date? Can they be refurbished? Or do you toss them out like onions that have sprouted leaves? Can they empty them out and reuse the shell? I know you can’t do that with M&M’s.

Or is the best way to rid the country of old, expired ordnance to bomb the hell out of someone? Perhaps some will fail. The Pentagon said at least one Tomahawk failed last week in Syria. Was that one older than the rest? And if it wasn’t expired, do we get a refund?

Donald Trump is frugal. We all know that.

How many “about to expire” bombs and missiles do we have? Syria is probably hoping our stock is fresh. Except for those 59 Tomahawks.

The MOAB bomb we dropped on Afghanistan must have been pretty old. We have never used them except in tests. They were developed during the Iraq war, but never used. According to Wiki, the MOAB was designed in 2002 and produced in 2003. So that big assed Mother may have been 14 years old. What if the expiration time was 15 years and we were just trying to use them up before they go bad.

Kim Jung-Un has to be wondering how many of these things we have that are starting to smell funny.

When you swallow an aspirin that expired a couple of years ago I guess the worst case scenario is that you keep your headache. But what happens to an old, expired bomb? “I wouldn’t use that one Gunny. It might blow up when it hits the ground.”

But isn’t that the point?

Does a Tomahawk’s lid bulge if it is bad? Like a Mason jar? Does a Tomahawk even have a lid?

And if we launch a “bad” missile are we afraid of being sued if the targets live but get botulism?

Can you freeze bombs and thaw them out when you need them? Does Ziplock make a freezer bag that big?

Can they be freeze dried?

That reminds me. I think I still have a case of Ramen Noodles from College back in the 70’s. I know those don’t expire.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

9 Responses to “Do US Bombs and Missiles Have a ‘Use By’ Date?”

  1. Billy says:

    They just recently found an unexploded bomb in England from WW II. It was still good. Could have killed thousands of people? Thank goodness they diffused it and removed it.

  2. Robert Shannon

    Their is a line from the movie ” The Departed” a fictional account of real life gangster Whitey Bulger with a star studded cast, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Mark Walhburg Leo DeCaprio and some others where one of Bulgers gangster stooges has stolen some ‘ micro processors” that I recall Baldwins character ( a State Policeman ) tells his investigators

    ” these are used in munititons that can put a missile up the ass of a camel 200 miles away”

    Maybe that is where they send these munitions Tom that are approaching an expiration date. Pity the poor camel !

    Happy Easter !

    Bob Shannon

    • Trump Watcher says:

      What is the most interesting thing about these now almost daily Trumped up articles? In 2015 and 2016 combined, Obama dropped close to 50,000 bombs on Syria and Iraq.Trump drops 59 bombs after giving Putin advance notice to get out, who no doubt told the Syrians, and he is to be taken seriously? Really?

      I guess bombs dropped by the Democrats don’t mean anything? Only bombs dropped on abandoned fields by Republicans mean anything???

      The problem I have with Trump? He is not only not doing what he said he would, he is doing the opposite. Impeach Trump.

  3. Ben Slone

    Tritium has a half-life of approximately 12.32 years. So yes to your title…

    • Wieslaw Lichacz says:

      We were told it was a non-nuclear bomb, I have not seen reference to tritium being in the MOAB. Can you point to one please?

      • Ben Slone

        The questions that were posed included “Do US Bombs and Missiles Have a ‘Use By’ Date?” and “Do things like Tomahawks and MOAB’s have expiration dates?” Some US bombs and missiles and Tomahawks have devices that contain tritium.

  4. Buzzcook says:

    I was thinking the same question myself this morning and google led me to you.

    WWII bombs still show up and so does the occasional WWI shell. But those bombs are supposedly very volatile because as the TNT breaks down the nitroglycerin that is touchy stuff.
    iirc I’ve also seen video of old bombs being demilitarized and turned into fertilizer or something.

    Which made me think of the MOAB, Did they use this bunker buster just because it was a case of use it or lose it?

  5. Karl Lembke says:

    Ultimately all chemicals are unstable at any temperature above absolute zero, so bombs would have an expiration date.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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