Wed, Sep 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Missile dropped on deck of navy frigate in Penghu

CRANE INCIDENT:The Navy Command said that the missile’s warhead and tailfin were damaged, but that repairs could be made to the air-defense weapon

By Liu Yu-chin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A missile sits on a launcher on a navy vessel in an undated photograph.

Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Taipei Times

Sailors dropped a missile on the deck of a Republic of China Navy frigate from a considerable height while unloading the ship’s magazine at Magong Port (馬公港) in Penghu County on Monday afternoon, the Navy Command said yesterday.

The incident occurred while sailors were operating a crane to remove ordnance from the Cheng Kung-class frigate Tzuyi, a warship of the 146th Fleet, the Navy Command said.

A RIM-66A Standard Missile 1 became unhitched in mid-lift and fell to the deck, it said.

The missile was worth US$402,500, it said.

While the missile’s warhead and tailfin showed signs of damage from the impact, technicians said it could be repaired after replacing a few of its components, the command said.

“Rumors about the missile being a complete loss are false,” it said.

“We want to emphasize that no personnel were hurt as a result of the incident,” it said.

“Soldiers should handle weapons as if their lives depend on it,” the command said. “All units have been instructed repeatedly to follow procedure when removing munitions from warships.”

An investigation into the incident was under way to identify any failing that might have occurred and to review guidelines for such operations, the command said.

The US-designed Standard Missile 1 is the navy’s primary weapon for air defense, with a secondary anti-ship role.

The missile is 4.47m long and its warhead weighs 625kg.

It has a maximum airspeed of Mach 2 — about 2,447kph — and a range of 37km.

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