On Monday, the USS John S. McCain, a Navy guided-missile destroyer, collided with Liberian flagged oil tanker, Alnic MC, near one of the world’s busiest straits in Singapore, and it has many security analysts questioning whether this was a deliberate act or a complete accident.
Five sailors were injured in the collision that caused a gaping hole in the side of the ship, and 10 sailors are missing. Remains have also been found in a locked compartment door.
This is the second major collision in the past two months and the fourth major warship accident in Pacific waters since January.
The unusual frequency of accidents has prompted a decision by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to conduct a broad investigation into the recent accidents, a decision backed by Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Although there is no immediate evidence of hacking, Fox News reported cyber experts believe hacking is possible due to the location of the warships. The Navy did not give an immediate explanation for the collision and is not ruling out a possible cyber attack.
Four accidents have occurred since January in Asian waters:
January – USS Antietam, a guided missile cruiser runs aground while anchoring near Yokosuka base in Japan. Capt. Joseph Carrigan is removed from command.
May – USS Lake Champlain collides with a South Korean fishing boat. No injuries.
June – USS Fitzgerald collides with a container ship near the coast of Japan. Seven sailors died.
August – USS John S. McCain, a Navy guided-missile destroyer, collided with a Liberian flagged oil tanker in waters near Singapore. Ten sailors are missing.
Today on Think Tank the panel discussed the Navy’s reaction and the possibility of a cyber attack.