Malfunctioning Drone Hits Navy Ship during Training, Injuring Sailors

Investigators are still determining what went wrong with the malfunctioning drone that hit a Navy guided missile cruiser during a training exercise near San Diego, CA.

A Navy official reported that two sailors were injured Saturday when a BQM-74 series drone hit and damaged USS Chancellorsville, the San Diego-based guided missile cruiser.

About 300 crew members were aboard the USS Chancellorsville when the drone struck its side, however, only two sailors were injured. The two sailors are being treated for minor burns.

According to Lieutenant Lenaya Rotlein of the U.S. Third Fleet, the ship had been testing its combat weapons system off Point Mugu in Southern California. The aerial target drone was being used to test the ship’s radar when it crashed into the ship’s left (port) side.

Investigators at Naval Base San Diego are currently assessing the damage to determine why the drone malfunctioned. The BQM-74 series aerial drone is 13 feet long, 1 foot in diameter, and has a wingspan of approximately 6 feet. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp., these drones are used frequently in testing for combat and weapons systems.

USS Chancellorsville will be returning to the Naval Base San Diego for reports and to undergo an investigation regarding the drone mishap.

USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser that carriers guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons; this Naval vessel also has anti-subsurface, anti-surface, and anti-air capabilities. Focused on anti-submarine warfare, USS Chancellorsville also carries two helicopters.

Please enjoy this video of the heroic USS Chancellorsville gliding along the San Diego Bay. The amount of damage will be determined soon by Navy officials.

Photo Credit: Naval Surface Warriors