Tuesday, November 19, 2013

USS Chancellorsville Hit By Drone

The Navy has reported that a BQM-74 target drone went out of control and hit the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) on 16-Nov while the ship was conducting air defense and radar tracking exercises.  The hit left a two or three foot hole in the port side of the ship.  The Information Dissemination (ID) website reports that the ship and crew attempted to defend the ship but failed.

I have no independent confirmation that the ship attempted to defend itself, however, I also have no reason to disbelieve the ID report as their reports are generally factual and true.

ID correctly notes that the issue is not the loss of control of the drone but, rather, the failure of the ship’s defensive systems.  I’ll be watching this one closely to see what the Navy offers in the way of an explanation.

Here’s a link, below, to the ID article.  They have an extensive writeup and cover all the points I would make so I won’t bother repeating their efforts.  I encourage you to follow the link and read the article.  Plus, they have a great photo of the damage.


  1. Oh god, that's embarrassing. Conducting an *air defence* drill, and when the target actually decides to attack you, you can't stop it.

    I am guessing that, had this not happened, the ship would shot down the plodding drone and everyone would have gotten a pat on the back. Instead, we get to discover that in the case of the unexpected, one of the most vaunted air defence systems in the world fails completely.

    Against one, single, solitary, subsonic target drone, designed in the 1960s.


    (What the size of the hole would be if the Chukar had been carrying a 1000lb warhead like the Silkworm or the Siren is an exercise left to the reader.)

  2. Before we jump to conclusions, there are a number of unknowns.

    For example, depending upon the specifics of the test, and where the ship was in it's deployment cycle this is possible that the ship was not armed.

    It is also possible that the CIWS was not in engagement mode: target drones are not cheap and not every test is a track to engagement, and not every range actually permits engagement.

    It is also entirely possible that the ship was screwed up.

    Not much information to go on.



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