USS Chancellorsville: Drone Slams Into Navy Ship Off California

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 06:59 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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No one was seriously hurt after an aerial drone slammed into the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Chancellorsville on Saturday near Point Mugu off the Southern California coast.

The  San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the drone struck the USS Chancellorsville but that the Navy wouldn't comment on what type drone hit the ship, only to say that the drone was malfunctioning at the time. The newspaper noted that the crash occurred where BQM-74E aerial targets are widely used.

A Navy news release said the accident happened Saturday about 1:25 p.m. while the ship was conducting a radar tracking exercise during routine training at sea.

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"No sailors were seriously injured, but two sailors were treated for minor burns," Navy officials said in a statement. "The ship remains capable of operations, however it did sustain some damage and will return to its homeport of San Diego to have the damage assessed. The Navy is investigating the cause of the malfunction."

The Union-Tribune reported that the Chancellorsville normally runs with about 340 crew members and has seen action in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser commissioned in 1989 and part of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group, according to the Navy.

The Navy said the ships detect, classify and track potential targets simultaneously in the air, on the surface and underwater. The Chancellorsville can destroy targets using a variety of ways, by launching ship and helicopter torpedoes, deck guns, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, rapid-fire close-in weapons and electronic jammers and decoys, per the Navy.

The Union-Tribune wrote that the Chancellorsville's air defense systems is one of the most advanced among Navy cruisers and regular has one of the most advanced air defense systems in the Navy and regular conducts weapons tests off the California coast.

The Chancellorsville used an SM-6 missile to hit a target drone off Point Mugu in late August, reported the Union-Tribune. The ship has spent significant time overseas, with Yokosuka, Japan hosting as its homeport from 1998 to 2006 before returning to San Diego, per the Navy.

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In 1993, the Chancellorsville launched strikes on the Iraqi Intelligence Center in Baghdad with nine Tomahawk missiles in retaliation for the aborted assassination attempt on former President George H.W. Bush, wrote the Navy about the ship.
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