An Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was damaged after colliding with a commercial vessel off the coast of Japan, the fifth such incident involving a warship in the 7th Fleet’s area of operations in 2017 alone. But for once, the incident wasn’t the result of serious failures blamed on Navy watchstanders.
In the days after the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker off near the Strait of Malacca on Aug 21., Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson sought to throw cold water on an alarming theory on the McCain collision smoldering among the amateur national security experts dwelling in the Internet’s fever swamps: Could a single cyberattack have compromised the $1.8 billion destroyer’s systems and disabled the warship without firing a single shot?
The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer, collided with a merchant tanker east of the Strait of Malacca while headed to Singapore for a routine port visit on the morning of Aug 21., the U.S. 7th Fleet announced in a statement.
On Aug. 17, the Navy released the preliminary results of its investigation into the June 17 collision between the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald and Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal that left seven sailors dead. The report provides minute-by-minute details of the horror that unfolded aboard the Fitzgerald after the nighttime collision, but it also highlights brave actions by the sailors of Berthing 2, which immediately flooded after the Crystal’s “bulbous bow” punched a 13-by-17 foot hole below the Fitzgerald’s waterline, to save their fellow sailors.