Denmark axes its defence chief for failure to report weapons system malfunction

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark on Wednesday fired its chief of defence Flemming Lenfter, after he had failed to report about malfunctioning weapon systems during an attack last month on a Danish frigate deployed to the Red Sea.

Local defence media Olfi on Tuesday cited a confidential report by the captain as saying the frigate’s radar and missile systems had failed during a drone attack by Houthi militants on March 9, putting the crew of 175 at risk.

Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen told a press briefing he had not been informed in detail about the incident.

“I have not been aware of the report given by the captain,” Poulsen said, declining to elaborate.

“I no longer have trust in the chief of defence, Flemming Lentfer,” he added.

The frigate Iver Huitfeldt, which was deployed to the Red Sea as part of the U.S.-led Operation Prosperity Guardian to help safeguard commercial sea traffic, eventually shot down four drones during the March 9 attack without any harm to the ship or crew.

Lentfer, who was appointed in October 2020, will be replaced on an interim basis by Michael Wiggers Hyldgaard, the minister said.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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