Drone malfunctions, hits U.S. Navy ship during training

Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:49pm EST

A soldier stands in front of a 'Shadow' Unmanned Aerial System during an official presentation by the German and U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at the U.S. military base in Vilseck-Grafenwoehr October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

A soldier stands in front of a 'Shadow' Unmanned Aerial System during an official presentation by the German and U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at the U.S. military base in Vilseck-Grafenwoehr October 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

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(Reuters) - An aerial target drone malfunctioned and crashed into a United States Navy ship off the coast of southern California on Saturday, leaving two sailors with minor burns, a Navy spokeswoman said.

Two Navy ships were involved in tracking the unmanned drone as part of a training exercise on Saturday afternoon when the drone malfunctioned and collided with the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, the spokeswoman said on Sunday.

"No person was seriously injured," according to Lieutenant Lenaya Rotklein, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Third Fleet.

About 300 people were aboard the ship at the time, she said. The ship was returning to the Naval Base San Diego for repairs and an investigation into the mishap.

(Refiles to correct spelling to guided-missile, not guide-missile, in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Maureen Bavdek)

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Comments (3)
SKYDRIFTER wrote:
This incident doesn’t speak well for the “defenses” of such a mightily armed U.S. Navy vessel. Has a weakness just been exposed?

All a country such as Iran needs is a fleet of randomly armed close combat “fishing boats?” Rather like a delivery truck wiping out the Marine barracks in Beirut – or an inflatable boat nearly sinking the USS Cole? Instead of a load of explosives, the “armed” fishing boats fire straight-line (unguided) rockets; or rocket-propelled torpedoes?

Perhaps this incident is an example of primal combat:

“A laser-cannon is no match for a well-thrown rock or spear.”

Nov 17, 2013 9:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chapter wrote:
We’ve been using unmanned target drones since at least Vietnam, maybe longer. Anyone flipping out about this is just looking for a reason to flip out. That is all.

Nov 18, 2013 12:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
Alex77 wrote:
Driverless Cars: If a sophisticated latter generation drone designed and operated by the best and brightest can do this now and then that means driverless cars will have a far worse safety record after they are unleashed on the countless targets we call our home towns.

Nov 18, 2013 2:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
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