Dummy Hellfire missile mistakenly shipped to Cuba

2016-01-08 14:10


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A dummy US Hellfire missile was mistakenly shipped from Europe to Cuba in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The inert missile did not contain any explosives, the Journal reported, but there are concerns that Cuba could share the technology with potential US adversaries like North Korea or Russia.

The Journal report was attributed to anonymous "people familiar with the matter." A US official with knowledge of the situation, who wasn't authorised to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity, confirmed its veracity to The Associated Press.

According to the Defense Department, the Hellfire is a laser-guided, air-to-surface missile that weighs about 100 pounds. It can be deployed from an attack helicopter like the Apache or an unmanned drone like the Predator. It is manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The US official told the AP that Lockheed was authorised to export the dummy missile for a NATO training exercise. The official attributed the shipping error to Lockheed's freight forwarders, and said the US was working with Lockheed to get the device back.

The official said the US doesn't want any defence technology to remain in a proscribed country, whether that country can use it or not. The official said there is greater concern that Cuba could give more technically advanced countries access to the dummy.

According to the Journal report, the missile was properly shipped to Spain, where it was used in the training exercise. It was then taken on a somewhat roundabout journey through Spain, Germany and France before winding up at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. From there, it was supposed to have been shipped back to Florida; instead, it was loaded onto an Air France flight to Havana.

US officials have been urging the Cuban government to return the missile, the Journal's sources said. The US and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in July 2015 after more than 50 years of hostility.

The Journal reported that the US is also investigating whether the missile's disappearance was a deliberate act of espionage.

Read more on:    cuba  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.