According to a recent press release from the Royal Air Force, Typhoons from the “Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron” just sunk a decommissioned U.S Navy frigate along with the Royal Navy under the pre-planned live attacking exercise as part of their training. The mission was carried out under the “Exercise Atlantic Thunder 22” program, which was scheduled to take place from 1st to the 12th of September. It should be noted that the sinking exercise, also abbreviated as SINKEX, happened on September 7th, 2022, and was part of one of the most ambitious and critical projects that took place on the northwest coast of Scotland.
In addition to this, this was the first participation of its kind on part of the UK’s Royal Navy in 18 years and this was further confirmed by the recent announcement made by the military. However, on part of the RAF Typhoons, this was also a historic breakthrough because most such types of live fire exercises had been executed in the Pacific Ocean before, but this time, the recent happening in the Atlantic proved the exceptional nature of the project. Watch the video embedded below if you want to take a glimpse of what happened in the exercise:
As you can see in the video, a decommissioned frigate, also known as the USS Boone or ((an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate) has been deployed in the exercise and was being presented as a target for the US Typhoons. However, three RAF Typhoons took part in this exercise, and out of these three, only one became successful in delivering a live bomb to the cruiser. Furthermore, Royal Navy’s HMS Westminster, a Wildcat helicopter, a US P-8 Poseidon, F-15E Strike Eagles, and the USS Arleigh Burke have also been interconnected with this ship assault.
Thus, in order to have some skin in the game, the British Wildcat HMA2 helicopter was used so that the targets of the RAF Typhoons hit the subject. It should be noted that this Wildcat helicopter was from 815 Naval Air Squadron. The helicopter also exercised the use of its own integrated surface-to-air missiles during the encounter. More specifically, all the missiles fired from the helicopter have been purposefully designed for asymmetrical targets including small, fast naval crafts, etc.
Not to mention, this squadron i.e., 41, has its headquarters located at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire and it played a pivotal role in assisting the movement of Allies into Germany during 1944-1945.