Incident 445: Patriot Missile System Misclassified US Navy Aircraft, Killing Pilot Upon Approval to Fire

Description: US Navy's Patriot missile system misidentified an American Navy F/A-18C Hornet as an enemy projectile, prompting an operator to fire two missiles at the aircraft, which killed the pilot.


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Alleged: Raytheon and Lockheed Martin developed an AI system deployed by US Navy, which harmed US Navy , Nathan White's family and Nathan White.

Incident Stats

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Khoa Lam
Patriot missile: friend or foe? · 2004

Our recent story on the 2003 friendly-fire incident which saw a US Patriot missile down a RAF Tornado with the loss of both crew members, prompted several reader comments on the weapon's chequered history.

Long before Gulf War II, there was…

 Investigation Finds U.S. Missiles Downed Navy Jet · 2004

A military investigation has concluded that a "friendly fire" incident in which a Navy pilot was shot down and killed by U.S. forces during the spring 2003 invasion of Iraq occurred because operators at two Patriot missile batteries and a c…

Woman Sues Raytheon Over Iraq Friendly Fire Death · 2007

BOSTON (Reuters) - The widow of a U.S. Navy pilot who was shot down over Iraq in a 2003 friendly fire incident sued Raytheon Co. on Tuesday, charging that the maker of the missile that took down the plane was liable in the incident.

Akiko O…

Understanding the errors introduced by military AI applications · 2022

On March 22, 2003, two days into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American troops fired a Patriot interceptor missile at what they assumed was an Iraqi anti-radiation missile designed to destroy air-defense systems. Acting on the recommendati…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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