Smart weapons increase

The Defense Department's increasing reliance on precision-guided weapons is good news for the IT industry, whose tools play an essential role in supporting such systems, according to a report released by Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles.

"Precision weapons are only as good as the information systems supporting them," said Robert Haffa, co-author of the report, "Future War: What Trends in America's Post-Cold War Military Conflicts Tell Us About 21st Century Warfare," and director of Northrop Grumman's Analysis Center.

Using precision-guided weapons has helped reduce casualties during times of conflict, from 3.2 per day during Operation Desert Storm to 0.05 per day in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Haffa said the report will be used by Northrop Grumman to better anticipate changes within the Defense Department.

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