Second Drone Malfunction in One Week
Two Naval shipmen are recovering after an aerial target drone malfunctioned and hit a guided missile cruiser in California.
The accident occurred during a training mission on the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) on Saturday, November 16, 2013.
The ship was testing its combat weapons systems off of Point Mugu in the Pacific Ocean.
The Chancellorsville carries guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons.
Lieutenant Lenaya Rotklein of the United States Third Fleet said two of the three hundred crew on board were injured. Both suffered what were described as minor burns. Rotklein said the ship was heading back to the Navy Base in San Diego to assess the damage and continue the investigation.
The drone was being used to test the ship’s radar. Although the Associated Press reports that Rotklein had no information on whether this particular drone has malfunctioned before, critics of the drone program note that this is the second crash of a military drone this week.
The first reported by the military earlier in the week involved an MQ-9 Reaper Drone which crashed into Lake Ontario near Syracuse, New York. Pieces of that drone were recovered near the shoreline on November 14, 2013. A public report on the incident is expected from the US Air Force.
The Navy is still investigating the latest incident. There is no word yet on what kind of drone crashed into the Chancellorsville.