img07439 The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) departed Naval Station Norfolk today, on a deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility which includes the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

On 12 October 2000,  a suicide attack was launched against the USS Cole, while it was harbored and being refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. 17 American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured. This event was the deadliest attack against a United States Naval vessel since 1987. The terrorist organization al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. The American Navy has reconsidered their rules of engagement in response to this attack.

The DDG (Arleigh Burke Class destroyer) carries an impressive array of weaponry.

RUM-139 Vertical Launch ASROC

DDG

RGM-84 Harpoon missile

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RIM-161,  RIM-66M, RIM-162 surface to air missiles

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2 X 20 mm Phalanx CIWS

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90 cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System

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1 X 127mm Mk-45 cannon

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MH60S Seahawk helicopter

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