Live air-to-air missile found at central Florida airport

Author: The Associated Press
Published: Updated:
A French S-530 guided missile sits secured in a store facility at Lakeland Linder Airport on Friday. Teams from the 6th Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight and 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron transported the missile to MacDill Air Force Base while it awaits proper disposal. (Credit: MacDill Air Force Base)

A live air-to-air missile discovered at a small central Florida airport has been secured in a munition storage facility at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

The unarmed French S-530 air-to-air missile was found Lakeland Linder International Airport on Aug. 14.

“It is secured and safe and they are just waiting on when and where they are going to dispose of the missile. Those details are yet to be solidified,” Lt. Brandon Hanner, chief of media operations at MacDill, told The Ledger.

Hanner said typically these kinds of weapons are taken to the explosives range and detonated. But this one is “too large to do that at MacDill,” so the disposal logistics are being planned out.

“The only thing out of the ordinary about this is it is not a U.S.-made missile, which is why we were dispatched out to it,” Hanner said.

The missile was found near Draken International, a defense contractor located at the airport. The discovery led to a partial evacuation of the airport, the newspaper reported.

MacDill’s explosive ordnance team secured the device, then the logistics readiness squadron assisted them in bringing it to Tampa on a flatbed trailer, Hanner said.

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