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US Hellfire missile mistakenly shipped to Cuba

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posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 12:57 AM
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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.



US Hellfire missile mistakenly shipped to Cuba

This event is said to have occurred in 2014, so I'm not sure if it was the subject of an old thread, but The Guardian article seems to imply that news of this occurrence is just becoming public now.

It begs the question, "Why use a commercial carrier to ship a highly restricted and quite compact piece of military technology?"




posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 01:01 AM
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Another Cuban missile crisis?



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 01:07 AM
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a reply to: JHumm

That should have been the title of the thread.

At least Cuba isn't triumphantly parading the missile around for the world press. They are probably carefully studying it and negotiating for its release.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 01:09 AM
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a reply to: JHumm

haha, that was literally correct and appropriate description. Well since it happened well over 14 months ago, I presume nothing serious came of it. Maybe someone was reassigned is all?



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 01:39 AM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

What you left out from that article...


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 such as North Korea or Russia.


Yes, a big error. However not as dangerous as portrayed.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 03:44 AM
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originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: ipsedixit

What you left out from that article...


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 such as North Korea or Russia.


Yes, a big error. However not as dangerous as portrayed.


All this missile dident have was the explosives. But, what about the rest of it?



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:26 AM
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a reply to: spy66

to know exactly what it was we would need the part number

there are several types of training round

the most basic of which is a " ballast round " with the dimensions , mass , aerodynamics , COG etc of a full missile - but containing nothing but concrete

right upto a " paintball " version - that has a dyepack warhead so that its " hits " are visible

most training is done on simulators

wioth the most common " live fire " training - being an rocket - that has no hellfire parts other than the casing - as its used to get pilots accustomed to the separation and acceleration of a missile - one thing that sims are crap at



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:58 AM
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a reply to: ipsedixit




This event is said to have occurred in 2014, so I'm not sure if it was the subject of an old thread, but The Guardian article seems to imply that news of this occurrence is just becoming public now.


In the past I have seen the Guardian write stories on old news when it then they don't have anything new to report.

In other words, slow news day and they need more internet traffic.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 05:14 AM
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originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: ipsedixit

What you left out from that article...


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 such as North Korea or Russia.


Yes, a big error. However not as dangerous as portrayed.

But disturbing non the less, that still counts as a major muck-up..can't have that.
edit on 8-1-2016 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 05:16 AM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

How do you just "accidently" ship hellfire missles?



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 05:18 AM
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originally posted by: spy66

originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: ipsedixit

What you left out from that article...


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 such as North Korea or Russia.


Yes, a big error. However not as dangerous as portrayed.


All this missile dident have was the explosives. But, what about the rest of it?

Yeah the explosives are easy to make. Likely the cheapest easiest thing in them.

It’s the guidance and firing mechanisms that would be the sort after bits.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: spy66

It was probably an M36 captive carry missile. It didn't have motor or warhead. It has a laser seeker, but everything else is ballast. They have the captive carry version and another for training loaders that doesn't have a seeker.
edit on 1/8/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 07:40 AM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape

The Hellfire has two training variants. One is the captive carry version used on aircraft, that has a laser seeker, the other is used for training loaders, that just has ballast to weigh the same as a live missile.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 07:50 AM
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There is a lot that isn't told in the story. However, the US is trying to get it back and, the spokesperson was speaking on condition of anonymity. The espionage overtones are also interesting.

It's a good story. It tells us that Cuba wants to be friendly, but not friends.

It tells us that the French air carrier is lazy and dumb or in need of a thorough employee review, if policy at the Pentagon is going to continue to be, to ship secret stuff via public carrier.

Why did they ship it that way? That in itself is odd. Almost too dumb to be just dumb. Maybe they were just cutting corners. Maybe they were "dangling" to see what snapped at the bait and where.

Who knows?



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

They routinely ship small numbers of hardware that way. If you're only shipping 5 or 6 missiles there's no point shipping them with a military aircraft unless there's already one going that way. Commercial flights fly those routes every day, so you don't have to tie up invaluable Airlift to move a few small pieces of equipment.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 08:04 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'm sure that is the case. Its a good idea until there is a problem. We don't know how much of a problem this is. The story suggests that Lockheed itself was the source for this "tester", not some air force armory. I wonder if this thing was something new and secret that wasn't handled as it should have been at the European end.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 08:25 AM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
Why did they ship it that way? That in itself is odd. Almost too dumb to be just dumb. Maybe they were just cutting corners. Maybe they were "dangling" to see what snapped at the bait and where.

Who knows?


Sometimes shipping things in plain sight is, as Zaphod58 stated, more economical. On top of that, sometimes just hiding things in plain sight works really well. Like the not-so-secret white trains for moving nuclear weapons around the country from the 50s to 80s. Or, even better, the way they move them around now...



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

Lockheed supplies the training munitions. There really isn't anything secret about the Hellfire. It's a fairly basic missile. The seeker in the live missile is pretty good, but not the best we have.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:39 AM
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BBC Link

BBC seems to think US officials are concerned enough that they don't want any foreign powers to acquire it. That is one place where the Russian tech seems to lag behind as well; they haven't exactly been known for their precision of late.



posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: Caughtlurking

About the only thing in it that they would worry about is the seeker, and how it's cooled. That's where the US has the lead, and has for some time.



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