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USS The Sullivans back home after test missile explosion

USS The Sullivans was training off coast of Virginia

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(USNI News photo)

MAYPORT, Fla. – The U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans is back home at Naval Station Mayport, after being damaged when a test missile exploded shortly after being launched during a weekend exercise off the Virginia Coast, Adm. Victor Guillory said. 

Guillory said he had received reports that while conducting routine missile exercises in the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, The Sullivans had a Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) explode after experiencing a malfunction shortly after being fired from the guided-missile destroyer.

"In this particular case, The Sullivans is an Arleigh Burkes Class destroyer that has up to 90 missile cells that can load various surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles and also land attack weapons. In this case, it appears to be a ship preparing to launch the missile, the weapon experienced some sort of malfunction. It exploded shortly after leaving the ship," Guillory said. 

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There were no reported injuries and the destroyer was able to return to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia without any assistance. 

"Debris from the missile did hit the ship and caused minor damage but fortunately none of the sailors were injured," Guillory said. "All of the sailors were in their protected battle stations. This probably helped to prevent injuries from the missile mishap." 

USS The Sullivans was training in the Atlantic alongside the USS Carney, also from Naval Station Mayport.