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Friendly Fire Apparently Downed British Copter

From Times Wires Services

The Ministry of Defense said Friday that a breakdown in communications probably caused a Royal Navy ship to shoot down a British army helicopter during the 1982 Falklands campaign, killing four crewmen.

A board of inquiry investigating the shooting down of a British army Gazelle helicopter reached an inconclusive verdict that it was hit by “an unknown missile.” But a spokesman said missile fragments and other evidence indicated that the helicopter was probably struck by a Sea Dart missile fired from the British destroyer Cardiff. The vessel apparently mistook it for an enemy aircraft because a warning from a central control unit failed to reach the ship.


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