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SM-2 missile explodes, damaging Navy destroyer

USS Sullivan missile explosion

Missile explodes, damaging Mayport-based destroyer.

A missile exploded as it was being fired from the destroyer The Sullivans in a Saturday exercise, damaging the the side of the ship but not injuring any crew members, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

The malfunctioned Standard Missile-2, fired from the forward missile deck, caused some damage to the port side of the ship, according to a NAVSEA statement to Navy Times. The warhead fitted to the malfunctioning missile was not activated at the time of launch.

"On July 18 at approximately 9 a.m. a Standard Missile-2 test missile exploded after suffering a malfunction as it was fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans during a planned missile exercise off the coast of Virginia," NAVSEA said. "There were no injuries and only minor damage to the port side of the ship resulting from missile debris."

NAVSEA, which is responsible for building and maintaining ships and systems for the Navy, has launched an investigation into the incident. , NAVSEA said . The misfire was first reported by USNI News, which obtained images of of the explosion.

"An investigation into the malfunction has been ordered and is being conducted by the Navy's Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, which is part of Naval Sea Systems Command," NAVSEA said. "It is too early to determine what, if any, effect this will have on the ship's schedule."

NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson said The Sullivans crew responded, and quickly extinguished, the fire on deck.

An earlier version incorrectly identified the missile deck from which the SM-2 was launched.

The incident was first reported by USNI News, which

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