Florida: Live French missile found in cargo at civil airport; USAF called in

Florida: Live French missile found in cargo at civil airport; USAF called in
Air Force personnel wrangle an unexpected missile in central Florida. MacDill AFB image

[Ed. – The shipment was apparently on the up-and-up.  The missile was headed for a defense contractor that provides opposition air services for military training.  Why it was necessary for a live warhead to be shipped by commercial means is a mystery.  As noted in the story, the warhead would have had to be armed to detonate, and (naturally) wasn’t.  That doesn’t make it a whole lot better.]

A Florida airport called in the U.S. Air Force last week after discovering a live air-to-air missile. Officials at Lakeland Linder International Airport found the Matra 530 missile in a shipment to a defense contractor that uses the airport to house its fleet of fighter jets. The weapon was transferred to MacDill Air Force Base for disposal.

Authorities found the live missile in a shipment to Draken International, which specializes in providing pilots and fighter jets to fly against U.S. military pilots and air defense systems in realistic, real-world training. Draken has a fleet of 150 older jets retired from military services around the world, including the U.S., Czech Republic, South Africa, and France.

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