While the circumstances were tragic, the Navy now has a wealth of damage control and battle toughness data available to consider related to the recent collisions of the two Burke class destroyers.
Consider the photo below. There was not direct impact damage to the Aegis radar arrays but they were clearly affected. You can see that the array to the right is partially unsupported and has a gentle curve or warp in it. The array to the left seems largely undamaged although there is some involvement at the very bottom.
|Collision Damage Near Radar Arrays|
The question is, were the arrays still functional immediately after the impact and, if so, to what degree? One of the supposed benefits of arrays is resilience to damage given the modular nature of the elements that make up the array. On the other hand, we’ve heard unconfirmed reports that the gentle grounding of the
threw the Aegis arrays out of alignment to the point that they could not be
Of course, the Navy is unlikely to release any information on this but, internally, the aftermath damage assessments should provide invaluable information about the resilience and battle toughness of the Aegis system.
The same kind of resilience and damage control information can be gleaned from the many other impaced systems and damage control practices. There are a wealth of valuable lessons to be learned. It would be fascinating to read an assessment, even a basic, unclassified one, of the battle worthiness of the Burkes.