Intelligence: The Fruit of the AMRAAM


February 4, 2008: Last week, Italian police found two AMRAAM air-to-air missiles hidden among a truck load of oranges from Greece. The 12 foot long missiles, it turned out, were inert dummy models, used for testing and training. Documents were checked and the missiles were traced to a Greek Air Force base. The Greeks said the missiles were headed back to German firm that owned them. What first appeared to be a major intelligence operation, turned out to be much less. Shipping them "hidden" in a truck full of oranges was apparently just a convenient way to transport them, although Italian authorities thought this might to be a ploy to avoid paying customs duties for bringing the missiles into the country. But in the end it appears that the two dummy missiles had been loaned the Greek air force for use on F-4 aircraft, and were simply being trucked back to their owners in Germany.


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