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Denmark closes major shipping strait over faulty missile launcher

Denmark closes major shipping strait over faulty missile launcher



Denmark has closed one of the world's busiest shipping lanes over an activated but malfunctioning missile launcher on a Danish navy ship, the country's military said Thursday.

The ship Niels Juel is located in Denmark's Great Belt Strait, the main sea gateway to the Baltic Sea.

The booster on a Harpoon missile aboard the ship was activated during a mandatory test on Thursday and the launcher cannot currently be deactivated, the Danish armed forces said in a statement, adding that specialists were on their way to resolve the problem.

Until the booster is disabled, there is a risk that the missile could be launched and fly several kilometers away, he said.

The danger zone is estimated to be up to 5-7 kilometers (about 3-4 miles) from Korsr Naval Station, at an altitude of approximately 1,000 meters above water in a southerly direction, the statement underlined. The rocket is not in the direction of the big belt bridge.

Airspace in the area is also currently closed, the military said.

The Harpoon missile is a stealth missile, but it is only the booster that is activated in connection with the test, and therefore there is no risk of the missile exploding or reaching further than the booster rocket can lift.

Police and the Danish Maritime Authority have been informed and vessels heading towards the danger zone have been notified and asked to wait until the problem is resolved, the statement said.




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