Idiots are not exclusive to Australian politics
This story beggars belief that such a serious bungle could possibly happen. The headline could have read, The ADF has recovered a sensitive missile sent by mistake via Australian Post express to North Korea. Unfortunately, the box was empty, except for a note saying, “Dangerous goods removed by Australian Customs.”
The United States has recovered a missile accidentally sent to Cuba two years ago, bringing an end to an unusual and sensitive episode in the world of defence. The dummy training version of a US-made Hellfire missile was returned with the “cooperation of the Cuban Government”, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.
Source: AFP 14/2/16
Hellfire dummy missile found in ‘wrongful shipping mix-up’ returned to US after Cuban delivery
The missile went missing after a logistical mix-up in Europe.
“The re-establishment of diplomatic relations and the re-opening of our Embassy in Havana allow us to engage with the Cuban Government on issues of mutual interest,” Mr Toner said.
A source familiar with the issue — who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity because of US laws protecting the confidentiality of commercial arms deals — said the missile, which did not contain explosives, was shipped to Spain first for a NATO training exercise.
The missile was sent from Orlando, Florida, but the mix-up occurred when it was being sent back to the US.
It is believed the missile was loaded onto a truck chartered by Air France headed toward Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris, then onto a cargo flight to Havana, where it was seized by the authorities there.
Despite the recent thaw in US-Cuban relations, the loss of the missile — even the dummy version — raised the possibility Havana could pass sensitive military technology on to rivals such as Russia or China.
Washington has treated the matter as a logistical mix-up, but the US Justice Department is investigating.
The Hellfire missile, commonly fired at ground targets from a helicopter or a drone, has been in service since 1984, and has been delivered to more than two dozen countries.
The Hellfire is produced by US defence giant Lockheed Martin, along with an inert version known as a Captive Air Training Missile, stripped of its warhead, fuse, gyroscope and motor.