HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government confirmed Saturday the return to the United States of a air-to-ground missile that was used by NATO during maneuvers in Europe and ended up by mistake on the island.
In June 2014, Cuban customs discovered at the airport in Havana a rocket with a laser guided AGM 114 “Hellfire” missile on a commercial flight from Paris.
Once the United States officially announced its interest to recover the missile, the Cuban government “conveyed the decision to return it and diplomatic efforts began to make possible the delivery,” said an official note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A team of experts from the US government and Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the missile, traveled to the island to check its condition and on Saturday returned to the United States with the missile.
“Cuba acted with professionalism and transparency, and cooperated to find a satisfactory solution to this event,” stated the official text.
In early 2014, the missile was sent to Spain by Lockheed Martin to be used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organizaiton (NATO) in military maneuvers.
The “Hellfire” missile is often used on the Apache attack helicopters or on drones like the Predator, used to destroy tanks.
After its use it Europe the missile was supposed to be returned to the United States but never arrived.
Investigations by the US authorities determined that the missile was sent by mistake by the airline Air France which took it to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, where it was shipped on a flight to Cuba.