Exocet Missile

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The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, and airplanes. Several hundred were fired in combat during the 1980s. In 1982, during the Falklands War, Exocets became noted worldwide when Argentine Navy Exocet-equipped Super Etendard warplanes sank the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield on 4 May 1982, and the 15,000 ton merchant ship Atlantic Conveyor, were struck by two Exocet anti-ship missiles, on 25 May. An MM38 ship-to-ship Exocet transferred from the Argentinean Navy destroyer ARA Guerrico to a land-based truck damaged HMS Glamorgan on June 12. Iraq fired an estimated 200 air-launched Exocets against Iranian shipping during the Iran–Iraq War with varying levels of success. Tankers and other civilian shipping were often hit. On May 17, 1987, the pilot of an Iraqi Mirage F-1 allegedly mistook the U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate USS Stark for an Iranian tanker and fired two Exocets at the warship. The first penetrated the port-side hull. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-metre (9.8 ft × 13 ft) gash then exploded in crew quarters. Thirty-seven sailors were killed and twenty-one were injured. Stark was heavily damaged, but saved by the crew and sent back for repairs. The errant pilot was reportedly executed for his error, and his explanations for the attack are not available. Later, Iraqi officials denied that the pilot had been executed and stated that he was still alive. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

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