Mishaps: The Misguided Missile

The Misguided Missile

The Atlantic waters off the coast of Virginia would seem a safe enough sea- lane for an American tanker. But for a moment last week the crew of the 30,000-ton Western Sun must have wondered if they were in the Persian Gulf. Seemingly out of nowhere, an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile blew a 2 1/2- ft. hole in the ship's superstructure. Fortunately, the errant missile was not armed with its customary exploding warhead and missed the ship's cargo of 26,000 bbl. of oil. The 9-ft. projectile was apparently launched during training maneuvers by an F-14 fighter from the Naval Air Station...

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