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Thread: Drone hits US warship

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    Drone hits US warship

    Two sailors suffered minor burns yesterday when a drone crashed into the side of of the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) in a training exercise. The ship was testing its combat and radar systems off of Point Mugu in the Pacific Ocean. The ship is reportedly heading back to its port in San Diego to check for additional damage and conduct an incident review. The model of drone involved was not released and the cause of the mishap is unclear at this time. Earlier this week, a MQ-9 Reaper Drone crashed into Lake Ontario. The Air Force is investigating.

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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Bad week for drones...

    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    Two sailors suffered minor burns yesterday when a drone crashed into the side of of the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) in a training exercise. The ship was testing its combat and radar systems off of Point Mugu in the Pacific Ocean. The ship is reportedly heading back to its port in San Diego to check for additional damage and conduct an incident review. The model of drone involved was not released and the cause of the mishap is unclear at this time. Earlier this week, a MQ-9 Reaper Drone crashed into Lake Ontario. The Air Force is investigating.
    Bad week for drones in the USAF & USN......

    Speaking of Chancellorsville.... The Battle of Chancellorsville, fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, is widely considered to be Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's greatest victory during the American Civil War. Facing an enemy force nearly twice the size of his own, Lee daringly split his troops in two, confronting and surprising Union Gen. Joseph Hooker. Though Hooker still held numerical superiority, he did not press this advantage, instead falling back to defensive positions. When Lee once again split his forces and attacked, Hooker was forced to retreat across the Rappahannock River. Lee's victory came at a high cost, however. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, one of his most trusted generals, was mortally wounded by friendly fire during the battle.

    Okay.... where am I going with this ??? I would not of drawn a mental picture of a Cruiser and had it looking like CG-62.... the Union loss is still fresh!
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    Last edited by blidgepump; 17 Nov 13, at 19:00.

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Update

    The drone was a BMQ-74. It put a 2 foot hole in the CG

    Northrop BQM-74 Chukar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The BQM-74E is propelled during flight by a single Williams J400 (J400-WR-404) turbojet engine, which produces a maximum thrust of 240 pounds force (1068 N) at sea level. The BQM-74 is launched from a zero length ground launcher utilizing dual Jet Assisted Takeoff (JATO) bottles. When equipped with an air launch kit, the BQM-74 can be air launched from a TA-4J, F-16, Grumman Gulfstream I or DC-130 aircraft. The BQM-74 is used primarily as a realistic aerial target, capable of simulating enemy threats for gunnery and missile training exercises.

    Drones are capable of being recovered following a training exercise. A parachute is deployed by remote control or if the remote control link is severed and a flotation kit can be added for sea-based recovery. If recovery of the drone is required, special telemetry warheads are used on the defensive missile in place of explosives. This telemetry warhead is desirable since it allows for extensive analysis of the performance of the defensive missile, including miss distance information that determines if a real warhead would have damaged the target. A direct hit would likely destroy the drone. Gunnery systems would use non-explosive dummy munitions. Since gunnery systems are aimed in front of a moving target so it will fly through the blast-fragments, dummy munitions do not have to directly hit a target. Analysis of radar data would determine if actual explosive munitions would have damaged the target drone.
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    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Old sheet of marine plywood.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Update

    The drone was a BMQ-74. It put a 2 foot hole in the CG

    Northrop BQM-74 Chukar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



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    Name:  USS-Chancellorsville-Drone-Accident.jpg
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    Military cutbacks are bad. Look at that old sheet of plywood.....

    Is this the location of the hole?
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    Last edited by blidgepump; 23 Nov 13, at 06:08.
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    apparently there is some concerns that the CIWS didn't work.

    Information Dissemination: USS Chancellorsville: New Details Tell a Different Story
    Last edited by winton; 23 Nov 13, at 19:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winton View Post
    apparently there is some concerns that the CIWS didn't work.

    Information Dissemination: USS Chancellorsville: New Details Tell a Different Story
    What part of the system being in lock out do we not understand? Unless things have changed a lot in the last 15 or so years, and I rather doubt they have, the CIWS is purposely NOT ALLOWED TO FIRE because BMQ-74s are expensive and reusable. To shoot one down wastes not a little taxpayer money. Moreover, the drone is supposed to fly over the ship, not actually hit it. That was the real malfunction. All the ship's combat systems suite is supposed to do is track the target, period. If the target is "engaged" the telemetry will indicate that it was, while not allowing the gun to fire. If a target is supposed to be destroyed, then a different type is used it's "weapons free." Despite what these dorks on the website you reference are saying, there's really much ado about nothing here, other than a new porthole on the port side of Chancellorsville's superstructure.
    Last edited by desertswo; 24 Nov 13, at 04:21.
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    Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    That is so, also after the USS Antrim incident where they were using it as a target for a CIWS shoot and a civilian passenger was killed by debris they became very cautious of the hazards and rightfully so. We always used TDU's. Training should test you, not kill you. If the sector hold back tool was installed on the CIWS, then I'd have to guess the firing key is not installed or in the safe position as well. Now, if that is the case, from the point you determine that the drone will hit the ship, you have to 1, communicate the need from cic to the local mounts that you will have to fire. 2, put the mount in air ready (a lower mode of readiness) and safe it so you are not thrown off of it as it tracks or crushed by it, etc. 3, remove the sector tool, 4 insert and turn firing key in the elx, 5 flip the mount safety switch back on (this is a switch on the side of the mount that prevents movement) 6 put it in AAW auto and hope there is still enough time for it to acquire, assess, and track, recommend fire and circulate rounds into the firing cam. How long does all that take? How much warning did they have? I've heard from one source 30 seconds- not likely to make it. I seem to remember at one point when we were in a group that was doing a missile exercise where the BQM 74 was being used we were told to have the mount ready in case the drone went out of control. We were not a firing ship- this was for longer range missiles than the NSSMS and other ships in the group were doing the firing. I don't recall the exact state of readiness of the mounts, but they were generally pretty stingy on letting us possess the key until after the Stark incident, then we had the key installed all the time once we left Norfolk for the Gulf in 88. The Chancellorsville pictures show a hole in the port side forward break- that is just open deck behind there, a continuation of the main deck that's just covered but my understanding is that it also penetrated the inside bulkhead and burning fuel entered the computer room and the new Aegis baseline 9 equipt that was just installed was destroyed or damaged badly. So until the Navy reports officially what happened I would guess operational means she returns to port under her own power with no loss of navigability or major engineering systems still intact. Assuming my info is accurate of course. It's a shame, but it reinforces the fact that it's a dangerous job even if you are not in combat. I wonder if Rusty might have a better idea of the superstructure's construction inside the forward break- I don't think the outside skin there is anything special, but the inside bulkhead might be different, its right below CIC.

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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Damage control....

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    That is so, also after the USS Antrim incident where they were using it as a target for a CIWS shoot and a civilian passenger was killed by debris they became very cautious of the hazards and rightfully so. We always used TDU's. Training should test you, not kill you. If the sector hold back tool was installed on the CIWS, then I'd have to guess the firing key is not installed or in the safe position as well. Now, if that is the case, from the point you determine that the drone will hit the ship, you have to 1, communicate the need from cic to the local mounts that you will have to fire. 2, put the mount in air ready (a lower mode of readiness) and safe it so you are not thrown off of it as it tracks or crushed by it, etc. 3, remove the sector tool, 4 insert and turn firing key in the elx, 5 flip the mount safety switch back on (this is a switch on the side of the mount that prevents movement) 6 put it in AAW auto and hope there is still enough time for it to acquire, assess, and track, recommend fire and circulate rounds into the firing cam. How long does all that take? How much warning did they have? I've heard from one source 30 seconds- not likely to make it. I seem to remember at one point when we were in a group that was doing a missile exercise where the BQM 74 was being used we were told to have the mount ready in case the drone went out of control. We were not a firing ship- this was for longer range missiles than the NSSMS and other ships in the group were doing the firing. I don't recall the exact state of readiness of the mounts, but they were generally pretty stingy on letting us possess the key until after the Stark incident, then we had the key installed all the time once we left Norfolk for the Gulf in 88. The Chancellorsville pictures show a hole in the port side forward break- that is just open deck behind there, a continuation of the main deck that's just covered but my understanding is that it also penetrated the inside bulkhead and burning fuel entered the computer room and the new Aegis baseline 9 equipt that was just installed was destroyed or damaged badly. So until the Navy reports officially what happened I would guess operational means she returns to port under her own power with no loss of navigability or major engineering systems still intact. Assuming my info is accurate of course. It's a shame, but it reinforces the fact that it's a dangerous job even if you are not in combat. I wonder if Rusty might have a better idea of the superstructure's construction inside the forward break- I don't think the outside skin there is anything special, but the inside bulkhead might be different, its right below CIC.
    The size of the hole and lack of paint destruction was noted.
    After reading the earlier report of the incident I was expecting for than a "sheet of plywood" to cover the hole.
    If the drone was scheduled to fly over the ship ( it almost cleared) that was an unfortunate degree of closeness.... and that the defense system was locked out for the test.
    Last edited by blidgepump; 25 Nov 13, at 16:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    What part of the system being in lock out do we not understand? Unless things have changed a lot in the last 15 or so years, and I rather doubt they have, the CIWS is purposely NOT ALLOWED TO FIRE because BMQ-74s are expensive and reusable. To shoot one down wastes not a little taxpayer money. Moreover, the drone is supposed to fly over the ship, not actually hit it. That was the real malfunction. All the ship's combat systems suite is supposed to do is track the target, period. If the target is "engaged" the telemetry will indicate that it was, while not allowing the gun to fire. If a target is supposed to be destroyed, then a different type is used it's "weapons free." Despite what these dorks on the website you reference are saying, there's really much ado about nothing here, other than a new porthole on the port side of Chancellorsville's superstructure.
    Good morning Sir, Can you recall a point in time (Early 1980's) when the CIWS systems were so deadly that in order to even go near them the sysytem had to be shut down for servicing or working in the area. These would be the Block 0 series one? These would also be the ones that had the "dinosaur" console user interface. I realize they have come pretty far since then as todays CIWS are pretty dam impressive.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 25 Nov 13, at 17:03.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Good morning Sir, Can you recall a point in time (Early 1980's) when the CIWS systems were so deadly that in order to even go near them the sysytem had to be shut down for servicing or working in the area. These would be the Block 0 series one? These would also be the ones that had the "dinosaur" console user interface. I realize they have come pretty far since then as todays CIWS are pretty dam impressive.
    I didn't get exposed to one until 1986, and I frankly don't recall what block that was, but I don't think we were very far along the evolutionary trail. I remember all the precautions we used to take not to get someone hurt and what you are saying rings true. The block we had in the NTU cruiser was considerably more forgiving.

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    Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    I worked on the Block 0, 1984-89. The only dangerous thing about working on it, besides chemical, electrical, and HM hazards that would be typical of working on any mechanical system was the speed with which the mount could move. The mount was designed for quick reaction to a fast moving object so to be able to so it is driven by 2 motors in elev and 2 in train. These are dc opposing motors, in other words they turn against each other with the motors being driven by it's full voltage but keeping it's opposite in check. When it moves the voltage is altered from opposing to aiding on one side and the mount moves instantly at high speeds with a great deal of torque. You don't want to be in the way of that. Also, it wasn't uncommon for something to screw up the drive currents, causing the mounts to oscillate wildly with increasing force until you shut it down. When you worked on it you placed the mount in the lowest operational mode you could based on what you needed to check. Ideally you would put it in standby, go to the mount and engage the mount safety switch on the side of the barbette. Maint cards would direct you to properly safe things for the maint operation you were doing, many could be done with it turned off entirely, some needed certain subsystems operable so the safety switch was more important. This wasn't unusually dangerous compared to anything else though. Like any moving deck device and emitter it had a red mount train circle painted on the deck around it. The radar wasn't particularly powerful, like standing near a 55B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    I worked on the Block 0, 1984-89. The only dangerous thing about working on it, besides chemical, electrical, and HM hazards that would be typical of working on any mechanical system was the speed with which the mount could move. The mount was designed for quick reaction to a fast moving object so to be able to so it is driven by 2 motors in elev and 2 in train. These are dc opposing motors, in other words they turn against each other with the motors being driven by it's full voltage but keeping it's opposite in check. When it moves the voltage is altered from opposing to aiding on one side and the mount moves instantly at high speeds with a great deal of torque. You don't want to be in the way of that.
    I don't recall the discussion but I remember pointing out the red danger circle to someone a couple of months back. As I said then, it's not so much about protecting people from things going "bomb", "bang", or "crump" per se; rather as you indicated, the rapid rate at which something like a CIWS, MK 45 5"/54-62, or even the old MK 10 Terrier battery in Gridley can train. Carbon steel may bend, but flesh and bone does not, and there are far too many horror stories about fractured skulls and what not because someone didn't have their head on a swivel to ever take those red lines lightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    The radar wasn't particularly powerful, like standing near a 55B.
    Do you mean "unlike" standing near a 55B (for those not clued in, Don and I are discussing the AN/SPG-55B fire control radar seen below)? We had them in Constellation for her Terrier battery and of course in the cruiser and as I recall, that was a whole shitload of microwave energy being rather finely focused. Standing too close was not recommended, but you know how it is with the sea going version of "urban legend." If half the shit that was supposed to kill you really could, none of us would be here. Still, I wouldn't stand in close proximity with that puppy lit off and tracking, and certainly wouldn't walk in front of it, even if one physically could.


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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    :
    Do you mean "unlike" standing near a 55B (for those not clued in, Don and I are discussing the AN/SPG-55B fire control radar seen below)? We had them in Constellation for her Terrier battery and of course in the cruiser and as I recall, that was a whole shitload of microwave energy being rather finely focused. Standing too close was not recommended, but you know how it is with the sea going version of "urban legend." If half the shit that was supposed to kill you really could, none of us would be here. Still, I wouldn't stand in close proximity with that puppy lit off and tracking, and certainly wouldn't walk in front of it, even if one physically could.

    The "urban legend" I heard about those things is you could "cook a seagull" at 100 yards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    The "urban legend" I heard about those things is you could "cook a seagull" at 100 yards.
    Well, like I said, it's a very finely focused ray of microwave energy that those things emit. I've heard the same legend. Whether that is even possible I couldn't say, but again, I wouldn't recommend hanging around in front of one of them.

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    I wouldn't go in front of one at all. The AN/SPY 1a has a radiation hazard to over 1400 ft in the beam and I'm fairly sure the 55B puts out more power. heating of the molecules in your body would take place as sure as if you were sitting in a microwave oven. It is also a hazard to munitions.

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