1982 Harpoon missile misfire incident

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Harpoon missile misfire incident
Date: 6 September 1982
Site: Lumsås, Zealand, Denmark
Caused by: Royal Danish Navy
Cause: Technical malfunction; human error
Casualties/injuries: None
Other damage: Extensive property damage

On 6 September 1982, a Danish frigate, the HDMS Peder Skram, accidentally fired a Harpoon missile during maneuvers in the Kattegat.[1] The missile traveled 34 kilometers at low level, severing several power lines before striking some trees after which it exploded. The fireball and subsequent shock wave destroyed four unoccupied summer cottages and damaged a further 130 buildings in the immediate vicinity. No human injury was reported.

Cause[edit]

A navy investigation into the matter initially concluded that a technical malfunction was the cause of the launch as it happened without the launch key being activated. The missile system had undergone maintenance and was in the process of being checked by an expert from the navy materiel command. He was charged with negligence and was eventually convicted. Later most charges were dropped by a second investigation. The manufacturer of the missile later paid the Danish government a compensation, which covered all the damages made by the missile.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ List of anniversaries, Danish Navy; last accessed on 26 June 2007.
  2. ^ HARPOON missil ødelagde et større sommerhusområde ved Lumsås, Johnny E. Balsved; last accessed on 26 June 2007.

Coordinates: 55°55′57″N 11°31′51″E / 55.93250°N 11.53083°E / 55.93250; 11.53083