Denmark Sacks Defense Chief As Red Sea Failures Pile Up For NATO

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 05, 2024 - 09:00 AM

Via The Cradle

The Danish government fired Chief of Defense Flemming Lentfer on Wednesday after it was revealed that the top military official failed to report flaws in the HDMS Iver Huitfeldt frigate's air defense and weapons systems that emerged during an attack last month by the Yemeni armed forces in the Red Sea.

"I have lost trust in the chief of defense," Troels Lund Poulsen, Denmark’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, told reporters on Wednesday night. Poulsen reportedly learned about the failure from the Danish military outlet Olfi.

HDMS Iver Huitfeldt

"We are facing a historic and necessary strengthening of Denmark’s defense forces. This places great demands on our organization and on the military advice at a political level," the Danish official added.

On March 9, the Iver Huitfeldt's air defense systems failed for 30 minutes while engaging Yemeni attacks launched by Houthis in support of Gaza, according to a leaked document written by the ship’s commanding officer and reviewed by Olfi. The document also reported issues with the ship’s ammunition system, which caused half of its rounds to detonate before they hit their target.

"Our clear understanding is that the issue has been known for years without the necessary sense of urgency to resolve the problem," the frigate's commanding officer reported.

The Iver Huitfeldt eventually fended off the attack, shooting down four drones over the Red Sea in what – at the time – was presented as a success story.

Lentfer's firing is the latest in a string of recent public embarrassments from NATO member states, particularly in the Red Sea, where a months-long campaign of US and UK airstrikes inside Yemen has failed to deter attacks against Israeli-linked vessels.

"We favor a diplomatic solution; we know that there is no military solution," US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking said on Wednesday from Oman, candidly acknowledging the failure of what US military commanders called Washington's largest naval battle since WWII.

Source: Ritzau Scanpix

Other recent mishaps for NATO include Germany’s use of obsolete communications systems and unsecured lines to discuss providing Ukraine with cruise missiles and Britain's failure twice in a row to test its nuclear missiles after having two of its flagship aircraft carriers break down ahead of drills in Norway.