Danish Navy Missile Might Launch Any Time Due to Technical Issues

A technological glitch means that a missile from the Danish military might launch at any moment, prompting the nation to block off a section of airspace and warn ships about the possibility of an unintended hit.

The frigate HDMS Niels Juel had a mechanical issue with a Harpoon missile while testing at anchor at the Korsoer naval base, west of Copenhagen, according to the Danish armed forces. The military said that the launch vehicle booster is now engaged and cannot be deactivated.

Only the booster is turned on; there’s no need to worry about the missile exploding or going beyond the range of the booster rocket.

But if it were to launch accidentally, pieces may land in Danish seas, endangering other vehicles.

The Danish Maritime Authority announced on its website that the Storebaelt Strait, between Funen and Zeeland, is now the site of a military exercise.

From mid-afternoon until eight evening (1800 GMT), aviation travel above the Great Belt maritime lane—which divides the two islands—was prohibited.

The strait is a heavily used maritime route connecting the North Sea to the Baltic Sea.

The risk zone is not in the direction of the Storebaelt bridge and tunnel connection. It is predicted to be up to 4.3 miles from Korsoer at an elevation of around 0.62 miles above sea level.

The link operator says the bridge’s vehicle and rail traffic are safe. The military has restricted the airspace and informed all ships in the region to wait for the issue to be handled.

A malfunctioning missile has already caused similar mayhem in Denmark. A rocket was launched inadvertently from a Danish ship during a 1982 exercise; it flew for 21 miles before detonating.

The fireball and shock wave destroyed four vacant vacation cottages and damaged another 130 nearby houses to a lesser extent.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt.