1982 Harpoon Missile Misfire Incident

1982 Harpoon Missile Misfire Incident

On September 6, 1982 a frigate, the HDMS "Peder Skram", accidentally fired a Harpoon missile during maneuvers in the Kattegat. [ [http://forsvaret.dk/SOK/Om+SOK/Maerkedage/sep/ "List of anniversaries"] , Danish Navy; Last accessed on June 26, 2007] 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, while damaging a further 130 buildings in the immediate vicinity. No human injury was reported.


A navy investigation into the matter initially concluded that a technical malfunction was the cause of the launch as it happened in the absence of the missile launch key. Later, the vessel's captain was indicted for negligence. He was eventually convicted. [ [http://www.navalhistory.dk/danish/Historien/1945_1989/PederSkram_Missiluheld.htm "HARPOON missil ødelagde et større sommerhusområde ved Lumsås"] , Johnny E. Balsved; Last accessed on June 26, 2007]

USS Coontz incident

On July 14, 1981 the USS Coontz off St. Croix experienced a similar incident also involving a Harpoon missile, which impacted in the Ocean. [ [http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/naval-nuclear-accidents.pdf "Naval/nuclear accidents"] , Greenpeace; Last accessed on June 26, 2007]

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