Home » Weapons » Ammo and Munitions » Ok Guys, Who Sent Patriot Missiles to China? (Updated)

Ok Guys, Who Sent Patriot Missiles to China? (Updated)

by John Reed on December 22, 2011

So, Finnish Authorities yesterday found 69 Patriot air-defense missiles and another 160 tons of explosives on a ship bound for China. What!?

The British-flagged merchant ship Thor Liberty apparently left Emden, Germany with the missiles and stopped in Finland to pick up anchor chains when Finnish customs inspectors found the weapons — in crates marked as fireworks — during a routine sweep of the ship.

No one seems to know how 69 of the U.S.’ prized air defense missiles ended up on a ship bound for China  but this kind of movement can only happen with the approval of someone in high places.

Keep in mind that Germany has a bunch of Patriot missiles and has sold its older Patriots to South Korea during times of high tension with North Korea. Finnish authorities couldn’t say if the ship was planning on making any stops before it arrived in China. It’s plausible the missiles found aboard the Thor Liberty are a German shipment bound for South Korea but you’d think we’d have heard about the deal; you’d also think they wouldn’t be “badly stored” and marked as fireworks.

Update: Germany is now saying that the missiles are part of a legit arms transfer to South Korea. No word on why it was done in such a shady manner.

Here’s the AP quoting a Finnish customs official:

“We have impounded the explosives and missiles and asked the Defense Ministry to transport and store them,” Lounatmaa said. “At this stage we don’t know where it (the cargo) was loaded on the ship or if the Thor Liberty planned a drop before its port of destination in China.”

Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen of the National Bureau of Investigation said dock workers found the explosives — picric acid — badly stored on open pallets instead of in closed containers. They alerted inspectors who found the missiles in containers marked as holding fireworks.

Remember, the numerous versions of the Raytheon-made Patriot missiles are used by the U.S. and its allies to defend ground targets against all manner of aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Finnish officials have confiscated the deadly cargo and are investigating if this a breach of the country’s export laws.

I could kind of understand when that rogue shipment of Russian tanks was discovered in Africa, they were apparently going to help south Sudanese rebels. But this is on a different level. Who in China needs U.S-made air defense missiles besides the PLA (so that it can reverse engineer them)? Maybe this is some sort of counter-espionage project aimed at supplying China with faulty, obsolete versions of the missiles. Who knows. This one will be interesting to follow.

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

dimeck December 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

Way to go Finnish customs authorities!

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muki December 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

duh, url length sucked. Here shorter version of it: http://goo.gl/C0VTa
Happy Xmas
-muki

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Marcase December 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

That “other” China, Taiwan, is another Patriot user, but the whole masquerading as fireworks just really, really smells of mainland China…

It’s not just that Patriots were shipped, but the sheer AMOUNT of missiles; if just one missile got through it would’ve been a feat, but 69 PAC’s equals about 17 launchers, that’s about half a dozen truck loads!

This does make one wonder about the other shiploads that passed “inspection” and got through the maze…

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Marcase December 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

Okay, confirmed: German PAC’s for South Korea…

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McPosterdoor December 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

Uh fireworks, really? Is this a joke? I'm sure China has such a hard time manufacturing fireworks locally and must import them constantly from Europe, making this a perfect cover. Was labeling them 'cheap plastic goods', 'poisoned baby formula' 'paper lanterns' or 'substandard drywall' too unbelievable? Why not have the LandShark deliver them?… '[knock knock] CandyGram… [knock knock] uh… flowers'.

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tiger December 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Landshark, going old school with the jokes today. lol

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extreme_one December 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

- The shipment was approved by U
- Only another state would be able to cough up the $220m(at least)> South Korea
- The Finnish people are just plain stupid if they think they can hold on to the missiles. And removing them even more so. Somebody fucked up big time here.
They are also stupid if they believe that anyone would make make the time and date of such transport public by applying for a license.

You might as well send greeting cards to all the terrorists around the world.
Remember that MS Estonia(Stockholm to Helsinki) allegedly had weapons on board when it sank.

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Cosmoskitten December 23, 2011 at 7:09 am

"Finnish people are just plain stupid if they think they can hold on to the missiles"

It is an entirely sensible idea to impound the missiles while doing an investigation if any crimes have been committed.

Regarding your idea that the shipping company should keep military cargo secret from the customs, I think most countries in the world see that as a bad idea.

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@vm8x December 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

Ugh, one of the most overhyped and misleading news in recent memory. Just shows how easily Finnish media (I’m a Finn) blows up a story without knowing the facts. Frankly I’m surprised that international media jumped on the bandwagon too…

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RICK HART December 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

OK OBAMA WHATS THE STORY NOW?WHAT NEW LIE DO YOU HAVE TO SELL US DOWN THE TUBES????

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kim December 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Don't do drugs before hitting the keyboard. Please.

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loveliberty January 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

The patriots were the price of getting China to support the sanctions on Iran………They are the model ONLY supplied to Israel at this point…………..This needs some LOOKING INTO!

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dddd December 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

If this was intentional, and the missiles were bound for China, I would bet my house they were intended for testing electronic countermeasures.

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Dhunt Aus December 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I was thinking the same thing

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Brian Higgins December 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

"150 metric tons of the explosive material nitroguanidine, according to police." This civilian concludes that the explosives, and missiles, were intended for military use. More intel about the explosive: "Nitroguanidine is used as an explosive propellant, notably in triple-base smokeless powder. The nitroguanidine reduces the propellant's flash and flame temperature without sacrificing chamber pressure. These are typically used in large bore guns where barrel erosion and flash are particularly important." (Wikipedia)

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Pinkie December 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Wow, wikipediaman thanks

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anonimouse9 December 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I'm not buying the story that it' an official shipment from Germany to South Korea.
If that's the case, why the shoddy packing, and poor documentation?
And why rick it on a boat headed to China?
Sounds REAL fishy, like someone is covering up for a big mistake.

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Musson1 December 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I agree whole heartedly! Maybe the cover story was Germany to South Korea – but those 'fireworks' were never getting out of China!

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PolicyWonk December 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Big mistake? Or treason?

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John Moore December 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

CH calls Germany and says ok say they were your's heading for SK and we will help you with your financial crisis your going through.

Sounds plausible.

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bleh December 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

> CH calls Germany

Why do you think Switzerland is involved? Did I miss some development in the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory?

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Guest December 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Unbefoubling real!!! I'd like to hear what the excuse is rockets for S. Korea marked in fireboxes? oops it was supposed to be Captain Crunch labeled. I'm sure a way to tie it to the Pakistani Border incident may not be far off, since it's also our fault now (ironically, sarcastically speaking…) how many blunders makes in the past month? 1) Lost UAV over Iran 2) Pakistanis shooting at Americans, but damned if we shoot back and now 3) Giving China actual hardware.. and no Congressional inquires yet? LOL

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Tom December 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

Can anyone believe the UAV over Iran landed without a scratch? Now This……….
The operators of the UAV said, they lost control of the UAV. The was code for some other authority taking control and giving it to IRAN meaning Russia &
China………

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J Hughes December 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Reminds me of Lord Of War. Corrupt Generals and false labeling of weapons.

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Vejadu December 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I'm guessing the shipper chased after the lowest cost transporter and didn't pay attention to en route stops. The lowest rate rationale explains poor inspection of the cargo and the mislabeling as well.

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mpower6428 December 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

the scary alternative….?

china, despite our "intelligence" bugdet, may be running circles around us.

no, i dont even want to believe it but, seeing as NOBODY here is equiped to reasure me….

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Infidel4LIFE December 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

im afraid that could be true. The chicoms are good at playing games. We play chess, while they play Goh..know ur enemy, hell we don't know much i would say. This stinks and sounds illegal.

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Matt Holzmann December 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

seeing that Europe is becoming more dependent upon China to bail them out of the crisis, might this be a case of quid pro quo?

Did the ship have a manifest? What were the stated destinations? Anchor chain from Finland to China when China has one of the world's largest shipbuilding industries?

Storage of high technology weapons systems as well as explosive components for a 12,000 mile voyage would be critical. The Soviets used to buy all sorts of stuff and let it rust as soon as it arrived, but the Chinese are a lot smarter.

This doesn't add up very well.

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Mitch S. December 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I'm still waiting for the South Koreans to confirm the missiles were meant for them.

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ondafritz December 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Un registered shipping of 330,693 pounds of an explosive Nitroguanidine that isnt available on the commercial market and only sold to the military is treason in my book

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Jon A December 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Treason against who?

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Nick December 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Its probably legit. Germany has been selling of their stocks and south korean has been buying em up to go along with their upgraded radars. Besides why would china buy more then a couple dozen for testing?

Still very shoddy shipping. Yuppp lets combine a missile and explosive shipment and give it to the ukrainians.

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Hassa March 26, 2014 at 1:55 am

Bones , the cartoon rnidems me of a picture we took during an alarm.I put my glasses on over my mask so that I could read.Be darned if I don’t look like Shuldig.Of course I was younger and better looking then.Today I look like Shuldig even without the mask.

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American Heretic December 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Welll, let's see. What has Obama done about this stab in the backi? I can still walk into the German car dealership and buy a BMW. The U.S. still has tens of thousands of troops in Germany. Amerca is still the largest contributor to NATO.

I know. Our president has called Angela Merkel and asked her politely to stop doing this. America needs to stop treating its enemies as friends and its friends as enemies.

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oppervlakkig December 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

You are kidding, right?

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tiger December 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I guess inspectors in Finland missed my crate labeled, "Chia Pets. "

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update December 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

now a small update from Finland. Our customs had a small translation error when they inspected the cargo. Orginal cargopapers said “rockets” and someone translated it to “ilotulituksia” that means fireworks in Finnish. So the cargopapers where Ok.

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blight December 23, 2011 at 9:17 am

Thanks. It's always better to have first-hand reporting on the ground: AP/Reuters isn't exactly known for assigning the right reporters to the right jobs.

"Rockets" is also a clever way of disgusing anti-air missiles. The Germans probably never had the most advanced patriots, these would be the older PAC-1's meant as air defense in the event of WW3. You know, the ones that didn't do so hot in GW1…

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major.rod December 24, 2011 at 12:27 am

Blight – Didn't do too well? As I remember they knocked down every plane they were fired at (though they were later found to be friendly and should have never been fired upon).

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blight December 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

We parked them around Tel Aviv to repel Scuds. They were spun as anti-Scud and were total failures at that mission.

Of course, if you want to feel better you can focus on the fact that they fulfilled their design objectives; and that the generals simply asked too much of them due to shortsightedness in American military procurement.

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Vejadu December 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

That's why you use 4 digit UN numbers to clearly identify the dangerous goods being carried, avoiding translation errors. A novice error here

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Joshua December 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

In lieu of recent events, it seems perfectly reaonable. > SK worries about a possible, trigger happy NK during regime change. > They rush order missiles on the down low to keep from threatening the delicate situation. > End result? Rushing the shipment blows the secret.

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Brian December 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

How does ANYTHING go from Emden to anywhere in Asia via Kotka? Unless perhaps it’s going via Trans Siberian Rail… That’s 1800km in the wrong direction.

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anchorsaway December 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Kotka was a two-day sail prior to the ship heading for Shanghai

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Kski December 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I think some one took a pay out from the chicoms to just so happed have this suspect ship stop in the PRC, over night of course, to have the "Fireworks" unloaded.

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Stratege December 23, 2011 at 1:20 am

Actually, Chinese have significantly better SAM than old Patriot – the SAM S-300 bought from Russia. So why China need Patriots ?

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Chimp December 23, 2011 at 1:44 am

Right. As I understand it, HQ-17 is effectively a PMU-2 with upgraded electronics… probably not as good as the very latest patriot setups, but very formidable in any case.

It's most likely a dodgy arms sale to South Korea.

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DHunt Aus December 23, 2011 at 4:29 am

Hypotheticaly, if they were for china, i'd put my money on counter measures of some sort.
Defeating air defenses is a pretty sweet advantage, but then again the patriot isnt the only ground to air capability in the west now is it.

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Enrico December 23, 2011 at 9:31 am

Maybe they could need them to study countermeasures against Taiwanese and Japanese Patriots.

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Stratege December 24, 2011 at 2:04 am

Good point

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Chimp December 23, 2011 at 1:35 am

Look up "HQ-17".

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DHunt Aus December 23, 2011 at 4:24 am

Just a thaught, where i live ( Australia) if im sending my rifle to the gun shop i dont write on the box, gun inside, because i dont want idiots looking for a cheap gun to come across my gun and think . " oh jackpot". Maybe a similar reason for the storage not saying " AIR DEFENSE MISSILES AND HIGH EXPLOSIVES FOUND HERE", because the delivery guys just dont need to know, for secuirty reasons.

Just a thaught.

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tangwai December 23, 2011 at 5:53 am

Probably better not to think next time ;) delivery guys…lol…it is not DHL

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donald kulinski December 23, 2011 at 6:26 am

12-23-2011 with all the thinking did someone forget the ram jet with a ionic wind generator at the front (the theory is that the faster you go ,the faster you move more air and fuel into the unit) ,,the ionic wind generator is to force air into the front at the ground level and even in airflight,,,,then there is the fact that an electromagnetic cannon can fire a round just about into ,”OUTER SPACE’,, and the last thought ,the site http://www.jlnlabs.org shows ionic wind foating objects with thrust from ions,,,so where are the ,”backyard scientist”, thinking about shooting a laser light into a tesla coil and turning light into mass,only found one article about ,the process,,and recently ,scientist in norway or sweden seperated light of red and green using gold and silver,,, and dont forget that the color green from the ancient world was set into a tesla strengty mag. in tellah..fla. and a two plane dimension was found, in quantum thinking ,that finding is going to change quantum thinking,,so who is using quantum to power ships,,,,,,now for the holiday of wishful thinking ,,”who gets the lamborghini for christmas???? thanks for your time,,donald

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Twidget at large December 23, 2011 at 7:08 am

Um,…wtf?!?

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flyboy December 23, 2011 at 8:58 am

Ah from the German Empire – last known to be run by khazarian zionists (roths sign/israel). Let's see how this works for them, israel loses 17 launchers in an accounting blunder, but it doesn't matter – they were given to israel and paid for by d.c. (you and me)
Somehow, prc re-enforces . . . for testing and trial purposes, also know as WAR.
eufrrprc rolls together and when prc takes Taiwan, commies attempt to crush US to bring the World Order to fruition.
Thank you Finland!

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flyboy December 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

The "Thank you" to Finland was legit – THANK YOU FINLAND

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flyboy December 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

Oh, I'm so far off base!!!? Google up how many times Israel has sold US out to the prc . . . thumbs down that? lemmings!

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Mastro December 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

People wonder why we didn't export the F22- our "allies" will sell us out toot sweet.

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Tim England December 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

The Germans desperate for the Chinese to help shore up the zero zone currency did a trade plain and simple.

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Tim England December 23, 2011 at 11:44 am

Just don’t forget that Obahma gave details last year of the Uk’s nuclear force to uncle Putin for some dirty deal.

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J Hughes December 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Btw isnt one of the many rules for a foreign country buying U.S made weapons, that they cannot not transfer said weapons to a 2nd foreign country without U.S approval???

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Red December 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I'd imagine. After all, Israel wouldn't be permitted to transfer F-15I Ra'ams to Moscow without consulting Washington, surely.

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Infidel4LIFE December 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I hate those chicoms. Good work Finland!!

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AMMO461 December 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Oh that's a new one…. Fireworks…. That's great. I want to remind everyone… CHINA IS NOT OUR FRIEND!!! Commies are commies and that will never change… Just like terrorists are terrorists and that will never changer. Don't let anyone, especially our Government Elected in Washington try to convince you otherwise. I know I am probably speaking to the choir. But it's worth saying.

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credit AAA December 24, 2011 at 5:30 am

It was not labeled "fireworks" but "rockets". misunderstanding. but 150 metric tons of the explosive material nitroguanidine, partly in broken boxes in the same shipping…

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bleh December 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

Nitroguanidine is Highly Flammable (F) and an Irritant (Xi) according to the Dangerous Substances Directive. It’s not considered an explosive because it won’t explode without some serious work (just as most run of the mill stuff will burn but is not marked F).

About those broken boxes, given the cluster”§$% with the “fireworks” translation, I’d say the Finns are just making **** up to look not quite as incompetent.

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choir December 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm

music is the language of heaven – sing on.(/p) and, while you're at it, let Toto pull the curtain to reveal: NATO = CENTRAL Banks = Rot sign = prison planet. Anyone here posting NOT want a free Country for their progeny? either head 'em off at the pass, or this buisness "doesn't fit your pistol" c'mon? are you talking to me?

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G.A.MACKINLAY December 24, 2011 at 3:11 am

This is a very odd story. For a start the ship is not a British ship, but one flagged under The Isle of Man, it is owned by a Danish company registered in Copenhagen. She is short range coastal freighter which normally works the Baltic region with forestry products or fertilisers. This is probably the basis of the story, Nitroguanidine is very easily converted into commercial farm grade fertiliser. Yours, G/. New South Wales, Australia

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Elijah December 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

If it looks like a dog and smells like a dog and fleas are bitting you ashtray, well the fleas come from somewhere.

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surveyor December 27, 2011 at 12:46 am

This is the reason you need a US Merchant Marine. When you carry military equipment including M1 Abrams tanks on Russian freighters, you dont think that they are so brain dead as to not take a peek or two at those tanks? This is an old story. The US Navy has long been adverse to the very existance of the US Merchant Marine. We were told long ago that our wartime life expectancy was 2 weeks, so what was the point in our existance? With no US Merchant Marine, the USN could dump the FFs, FFGs, P3s necessary for convoy escort and more money could go into power projection. The US Navy forgot the old rule: no ships= no shipyards – and where are we now? We have no US Merchant Marine and we have next to no shipbuilding base. Way to go US Navy!

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insider December 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Part 1 / 4

In the meantime, Germany officially admitted that its "Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement" filled out all the obligatory paperwork for this shipment, thereby publicly contradicting the Finnish government. (I presume that the ship captain was also expressively forbidden to show them to any authority, not to create any international scandal on his own)
However, the German government is still mute about the DESTINATION country of those missiles.

My three guesses:

(Continued)

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OMEGATALON December 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm

If I didn't know better.. I would say this is the work of VP Joe Biden or Mr Foot in Mouth.

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GregG December 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Major F'up! Huge!

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insider December 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

To the poster “surveyor”

You wrote: “Excuse me, but exactly WHY would you ship 69 Patriot Missiles under a Commercial Bill of Lading? Has anyone ever heard of Military Sealift Command, which exists for the very purpose of carrying sensitive military cargoes such as Patriot Missiles in a secure manner?”
——————————————————————————————————————–

Part 1 / 5

As I indicated above: Irrespectively whether those missiles were sent BY Germany or merely VIA Germany, the Germans would always be faced with the following dilemma before this particular deal: “My friend’s enemy just happens to be another friend of mine, too…”. Meaning: Germany has friendly relations with BOTH Taiwan AND with its arch-enemy China, and doesn’t want to alarm the paranoid, irascible neighbour of yet another friend in that region (South Korea) either.

(Continued)

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insider December 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Part 2 / 5

So: How should Germany proceed without giving up one (very profitable) friendship – China – or causing unnecessary anxiety to another friend – South Korea? (The U.S.A.’s practical solution: Just sacrifice the poorer friend of the two – Taiwan. But we €s aren’t quite like that)

YOUR suggestion = a globe-crossing, Western, military merchant vessel, inescapably catches the eye of such war-ready countries like China and North Korea (reconnaissance, spies among harbour workers, etc.), resulting in Germany’s immediate exposure and international embarrassment, most probably in economical retaliations, too.
Not the perfect macro-economic moment for that.

(Continued)

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insider December 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Part 3 / 5

So the German Military just decided to travel incognito, marked that missile cargo as “party items” (firecrackers) and blended it into an ocean full of peacefully bobbing, civilian cargo ships…
Yep, exactly like that “israeli” cargo Jumbo / El Al Flight 1862 did, when it left the U.S.A. on the 4.10.1992 with its belly full of nerve gas components marked as “cassette recorders” (N.P.T. Treaty, anyone?) and crashed in Shiphol, Dutchland, releasing the poison onto the city.

U.S. American, I can barely imagine how outraged you felt back then.

(Continued)

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insider December 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Part 4 / 5

I even dare to ask: For every covert, German, military shipment discovered ( = so far, only this one), how many OTHER , highly compromising transports were already successful in the last decades?
And you’re really convinced that the U.S.A. never even SUSPECTED about a single, polemic German arms sale either? Oh come on, now you’re thinking like a child.

Don’t you even find the U.S.A.’s official silence about this whole (apparent) scandal absolutely DEAFENING , like a defendant’s famous “right to remain silent” in court?

I even suspect that we’re only looking at the TIP of an iceberg in worldwide, clandestine, completely immoral deals going on between alleged “enemies” à la Iran-Contra-Gate!!! Our imagination is probably the only limit for that…

(Continued)

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insider December 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Part 5 / 5

This was merely my MOST PLAUSIBLE explanation for this mysterious, intercepted missile shipment.

However, I’m always fatally attracted towards the LEAST plausible scenario (it’s genetic).

What if BOTH the U.S.A. AND Germany sent those missiles DELIBERATELY straight to China, as in: “Hey Commies, here’s a nice gesture from the opulent, decadent West” ? Maybe they have a common, threatening (but economically powerless) enemy, and in this case Realpolitik trumped over ideological differences ( = charades for peasants) and diplomatic appearances, etc.?

Boys, are those Finnish zealots going to suffer…

surveyor December 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Back in the day when we had National Flag Merchant Marines, this sort of nonsense was FAR more difficult. The flag on the back of a ship indicated friend or foe and the officers of the ship had sworn an oath to their flag. Today, the flag of a ship means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The population of ships that I see on a daily basis run about 40% Chinese, 40% Phillipino, and 20% a mix of South Koreans, Russians, Ukranians, Croatians, Turks. Japanese, Americans, Brits, Norweigans are virtually non existant.

The point is that short sighted shipowners are perpetually seeking cheaper and cheaper crews. While many nations such as the Phillipines provide crews as a means of employment for their people, China is providing crews for power to control as many ships as possible. For the most part, a shipowner has excellent control over a Phillipino crew, but what they dont realize is that a Chinese Communist crew's first loyalty is to China- and the shipowner really does not have control of his ship. Orders from Chinas government will supercede orders from the ship owner. The shipowner only has the illusion of control.

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TheTruthWillSetUFree December 30, 2011 at 12:47 am
charlie February 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm

What wold the chinease need with this old junk when they have the israeli's to buy all the latest American technology from. Israel sold them a brand new fighter jet the American tax payers paid israel to develope so they could build theri own ..supposedly and it ends up in china as a fine new aircraft Our American pilots migh have to come up agains someday…with friends like the israeli's …

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Thomas November 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

Northern Europe has a 500 billion current account surplus yearly, is the largest exporter on the planet, the largest Foreign Direct Investor, etc….Why do they need China who is a poorer country with a per capita income of about $5000, underdeveloped infrastructure, overpopulation, severe pollution problems, severe corruption problems, etc. Now the Typical Chinese Worker makes $3000 yearly and the typical German Worker makes $50,000(US Dollars or $40,000 Euros yearly) and they have social benefits that would cost Americans $50,000 Yearly(Free College, Vocational School, Healthcare, Dental, Sick Days, Sick Leave, etc) so Combining the German Wages with their Benefits amounts to $100,000 Versus $3,000 in China now which country is stronger?

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a stubid guy from Finland December 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Guys check your facts. That cargoship was hijacked near Sweden not Norway. And M/s Estoinia was on-route from Tallin to Stockholm (not from Helsinki). It only sank in Finnish waters. And You must be stubid if you really think Finland tries to keep those Missiles. Keeping them would cause too much problems in foregin affairs.

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Nick T. December 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

You seem to be missing the point of this story. The west's premier anti-airborne-anything missile was on it's way to a country that has been on this site numerous times about carrier-killer missiles and recently evidence that sugests they may have more nukes than we thought. This story isn't blown up enough if you ask me. Counter-espionage was a nice twist though.

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cowboy December 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm

no, not perfect, but effective. AND, you don't know what they were s'pose to p/u in Finland (ruskie nukes for prc?). I'm telling you, this is a conspiracy of the most devilish kind . . . over

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insider December 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Part 3 / 4

2) It these "Patriot" missiles were meant for South Korea (because South Korea has the "Patriots", too!), then Germany also preferred to keep it secret, because of the ill-defined political situation in nuclear-armed North Korea right now, with the succession of the last "Great Leader" by an unprepared tweenie, etc., not to cause the suspicion that the West is preparing some sort of opportunistic surprise assault on a rogue country à la Libya, etc. .

(Continued)

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insider December 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Part 4 / 4

3) If these "Patriot" missiles were meant for Red China, then Germany certainly had reasons to keep this shipment ultra-secret, but… why send 69 of them?! Two or three dozens of "Patriots" – or even just one of each taste – should more than suffice to reverse-engineer and test them comprehensively!
And: The greatest technical secrets of these "Patriot" missiles are all housed inside their "brains" anyway (seekers, ground radars et al), not inside their comparatively large and "dumb" engine sections and flukes. So: Why send ~ 70 COMPLETE and absolutely identical reloads of "Patriot" missiles to Communist China – and without the all-important detection and guidance radars on top of that! – instead of just their tiny chips & software, or even less: Just a data file with all the blueprints?
In case Germany indeed planned a massive betrayal of the West à la "israel", this would be incomparably much harder to detect than the sudden disappearance of so many missiles, whose worldwide numbers are probably even regularly checked by their paranoid maker, the U.S.A. !

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blight December 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think this is the least likely scenario, but ROK and ROC are still likely. Alternatively, the Patriots were meant to be dropped off at an intermediate country while the explosives continued on to a separate destination…the explosives might've had a legit destination and were likely used to cloak the Patriots.

More likely than not the missiles were disassembled and shipped as parts for safety reasons, but you're right in that shipping the fun parts would've made more sense. As I'd posted earlier, the PAC-1's that went to Germany are no good against Scuds, so they are likely en route to North Korea. The ROC has to worry about the Chinese conventional BM force, so old PAC-1's will fail for them just as they failed against Scuds in GW1.

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surveyor December 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Excuse me, but exactly WHY would you ship 69 Patriot Missiles under a Commercial Bill of Lading? Has anyone ever heard of Military Sealift Command, which exists for the very purpose of carrying sensitive military cargoes such as Patriot Missiles in a secure manner? Does ANYONE in the DOD know ANYTHING about cargo ?

Let me guess, the ship was manned by Communist Chinese, complete with Commisar. Only about 40% of world shipping is manned by Communist Chinese. Whille the US Navy does not believe that we need a Merchant Marine, the Chinese have adopted nearly half the worlds flag of convenience vessels by providing crews for them. They can do with 1 word what the Germans could not do in 2 world wars with torpeadoes. The word is "Stop". Stop wherever you are and do absolutely nothing. The US economy would grind to a halt- and there is no knee jerk counter strategy. Once the word is given, it will work. This is one very good reason that we all need a return to national flag merchant marines.

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