Unmanned Helicopter Crashes into Navy Ship, Damaging Hull

MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle aboard USS Charleston
Sailors charge the battery of an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), March 27, 2021. (Adam Butler/U.S. Navy)

SAN DIEGO — An unmanned helicopter crashed into the side of a U.S. Navy ship during routine operations in the western Pacific ocean, officials said Tuesday.

No one was injured when the 31-foot-long MQ-8B Fire Scout struck the hull of the USS Charleston shortly after the helicopter took off from the San Diego-based Littoral Combat Ship about 3:40 p.m. Monday.

The ship’s safety net was damaged as was an area above the waterline but it was able to continue its operations, the Navy said in a statement. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Navy declined to give further details or specify where the incident occurred or how long the deployment will be.

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