Calls for official inquiry after French Exocet admission

Fresh revelations surrounding the supply of Exocet missiles to Argentina before the Falklands conflict have sparked calls for an inquiry.

For 40 years, many have felt there are unresolved questions pertaining to the supplying to Argentina of MM38 and AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, then produced by Aérospatiale. Exocets hit three British ships during the conflict, sinking HMS Sheffield and Atlantic Conveyor, and damaging HMS Glamorgan; 46 people were killed in the attacks.

It has been alleged that the Exocets featured a ‘kill switch’ and that this detail was not shared. France denies the function existed, but Admiral Lord West, former First Sea Lord and commander of HMS Ardent during the conflict, told The Telegraph newspaper: "[The French] did give us a certain amount of material about Exocet, but I was also told there was a mechanism within it so that foreign people couldn't fire an Exocet at a French ship without them being able to do something about it.”

Commander Mike Norman, second-in-command of Sheffield, said: “Exocet was the one weapon the task force was really worried about – if it was true, and they didn't tell us how we could disarm them, I think it would be terrible.”

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