The U.S. Navy ship that was struck by an errant target drone will need an estimated six-months of repairs costing around $30 million, according to a statement from the Navy provided to USNI News on Monday.
Repairs to USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) repairs will focus on the ship’s portside computer room which, “was heavily damaged by the impact of a test target at the Point Mugu [California] range on Nov. 16,” according to the statement from the service and first reported by Navy Times on Monday.
The collision of the Northrop Grumman BQM-74 target drone with the ship was part of a test of the Navy’s Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) for the installation of the Chancellorsville’s Baseline 9 Aegis combat system.
Navy Times reported on Monday the ship’s crew had about a four second warning the target controllers at Point Mugu range had lost control of the BQM-74 before the drone struck the ship.
“There was just a breakdown in communications … and the ship had no time to react,” the paper quoted an unnamed former crewman.
According to the Navy Times report, there was one watch stander in the space during when the drone hit the ship. The impact was also extremely close to the ship’s Combat Information Center which was filled with sailors and contractors.
The Navy is still investigating the cause of the impact of the drone on the ship. The Navy has also still not said if Chancellorsville’s two Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) had been activated and armed for the exercise.
BQM-74 flight plans are typically built with an offset that would keep the ship safe in case control of the drone was lost.