Failed Navy Missile Launch Forced Danish Airspace and Shipping Lane Closures

Denmark Closes Airspace and Key Shipping Lane Following Missile Malfunction

The test on a navy vessel close to the Danish coast resulted in a failed missile launch, forcing Denmark to close part of its air space and one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The National Maritime Authority warned ships not to sail through the Great Belt strait, which is the main maritime access to the Baltic Sea.

The problem occurred during a mandatory test where the missile launcher was activated and could not be deactivated. Until the missile launcher is disabled, there is a risk that the missile can fire and fly several kilometers away. A naval exercise was ongoing in the area, with a navigational warning shown.

The warning covered an area some 5-7 kilometers of the Great Belt bridge, which crosses the strait. However, the bridge remained open to traffic, as its operator stated. The Danish military said that the missile was launched from the frigate Niels Juel, which has previously taken part in NATO exercises.

In a statement, the military said that the missile failure had been caused by a “technical” problem and that specialists had been deployed to carry out an investigation. However, until the booster is disabled there is still a risk that the missile could launch and fly several kilometers away. The incident happened during a test of a Harpoon missile, with the military stating that only

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