16:40 GMT +327 February 2017
    US Army armament crew specialist Michael Mayo, from Florida, loads the rocket pod of an an Apache AH-64D attack helicopter also armed with Hellfire missiles at left

    Authorities Lose Track of US Hellfire Missile, Wrongly Ship Weapon to Cuba

    © AFP 2016/ ROMEO GACAD
    Military & Intelligence
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    An inert air-to-surface Hellfire missile, produced by the United States and intended for training purposes in Europe, was shipped to Cuba by mistake, local media report.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US authorities have tried to retrieve the missile from the Cuban government for over a year, The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday citing people familiar with the matter. The officials have also been working on establishing what actions led to the mistake made in 2014.

    The missile manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, sent the weapon to Spain from Orlando International Airport in early 2014, after acquiring permission from the State Department.

    The Hellfire missile was later used in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military exercise, according to media reports. Following the training, it was eventually delivered to Germany, and was expected to be loaded on a Florida-bound flight. However, officials discovered that the missile was for unclear reasons placed on an Air France flight to Havana.

    People familiar with the incident said US authorities have been concerned that Cuba could share the sensitive military technology with such nations as China, Russia and North Korea, according to media reports.

    At present, the US State Department is probing whether the redirection of the weapon was a criminal act.

    Hellfire II, Lockheed Martin, Cuba
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    • avatar
      Did Cuba send Obama a pink toy replica of the missile and a thank you note?
    • avatar
      and the concern is for what reason? After all, I'm sure that the appropriate military personnel of Russia and China already have extensive information on this piece of ordnance.
    • Mr. Blair M. Phillips
      Ah ha! Now the United States of Capitalism has a reason to attack Cuba and disarm her. NATO will now have the Weapons of Mass Destruction once thought to be in Iraq. A full invasion will be deemed necessary to find, the WMD.(roll eyes)
    • Tony Rossiniin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      U.S missile & rocket technology is inferior to the Russians.....i doubt they would have trouble themselves to even look at it
    • avatar
      Ivan Zadorozhny
      One up for Cuba's secret services.
    • avatar
      What a hypocrisy is that. When Soviet pilot Vktor Belenko stolen MIG-25 1976 and escaped to Japan, USA dismantle every bit of aircraft and after one month of research and analysis returned it in crates thoroughly examined. Now they are calling Cuba to return them back untouched. Well these missiles were not stolen by Cubans and brought there, but they were given to them by good people. Now what has been given can be returned only if recipient want to do that.

      Beside that I find that request very laughable as the fact that Russia has 20 - 30 years advantage in missile technology over USA and all of a sudden they are worried that this junk will reveal Russians anything new. Well in reality it will as Hellfire missiles are top of the range for USA and Russians might discover how much behind USA is lagging. They are worried that Russia will reveal secret why these missiles so often miss the target and kill thousands of innocent people. That will be the most embarrassing revelation as it would kill successful sale of USA military junk all over the world.
    • avatar
      great Putin
      Yankee goo homee
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