US Navy destroyer damaged by missile explosion during exercise

USS The Sullivans © Dipak
A missile exploded shortly after it was fired from a US Navy destroyer during a Saturday exercise off the coast of Virginia, the navy confirmed to media Thursday.

No injuries were reported, but the USS The Sullivans, a guide-missile destroyer, suffered from some damage to the port side of the ship. A fire broke out, but the crew quickly extinguished it, according to USNI News.

The warhead on the missile wasn’t active, NAVSEA told USNI News.

"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," Navy spokesman Chris Johnson said.

According to Johnson, the malfunctioning missile was a Standard Missile-2 which is primarily used to counter air threats such as fighter jets.

Naval Sea Systems Command’s program executive office Integrated Warfare Systems is now investigating the cause of the malfunctioning missile.

The ship is named after the five Sullivan brothers who served in the US Navy during World War II. They enlisted on the condition that they would all serve together on the same ship, the USS Juneau, but all five brothers were killed when the Juneau was sunk in November 1942.