China sub collides with array towed by U.S. ship: report

The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is docked at a port in Inchon, 40 km (25 miles) west of Seoul, in this March 19, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/You Sung-Ho

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Chinese submarine accidentally collided with an underwater sonar array being towed by a U.S. military ship, CNN reported on Friday, quoting an unnamed military official.

The incident occurred on Thursday near Subic Bay off the coast of the Philippines, according to the CNN report.

The destroyer USS John S. McCain was towing the array, deployed to track underwater sounds.

“The John S. McCain did have a problem with its towed array sonar. It was damaged” on Thursday in Subic Bay, a Pentagon spokesman told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The spokesman, who asked not to be identified, would not confirm other details of the CNN report, including whether the array collided with a Chinese submarine. He said the U.S. destroyer was not damaged and was not hit by another vessel.

The U.S. Navy does not view the incident as a deliberate move by Beijing to harass military ships operating in the region, CNN reported.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney