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Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number (e.g., WS-110), military experimental (MX)[2] systems prior to official naming (e.g., under a military aircraft designation system. Preceded by the first Skunk Works program (MX-813 (Convair XF-92) in 1946),[1]:76 the earliest[verification needed] "WS" designation was the 1954 WS-117L.[2]:22 Circa February 1950, an Air Research and Development Command" study prepared by Maj Gen Gordon P. Saville … recommended that a 'systems approach' to new weapons be adopted [whereby] development of a weapon "system" required development of support equipment as well as the actual hardware itself."[1]:166

US weapon programs often were initiated by numbered government specifications such as an Advanced Development Objective (e.g., ADO-40) or a General Operational Requirement (e.g., GOR.80), although some programs were initially identified by contractor numbers (e.g., CL-282).1

The term also made its way into UK use and by 1959 was causing some confusion as to its origins and meaning.[

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