The U.S. Navy released a video of a sinking exercise, or SINKEX, from the 2022 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise off Hawaii on Saturday.
Footage shows a mix of U.S., Canadian, Australian, and Malaysian forces hitting the former Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG-60) about 50 miles north of Kauai.
The frigate eventually sank into 15,000 feet of water after the missile hits. Named for posthumous Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Rodney Maxwell Davis, the frigate was commissioned in 1987 and spent its nearly 30-year career in the Pacific. It was the second to the last example of the class to be built.
U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II fighters from Carrier Air Wing 9 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln dropped Paveway laser-guided bombs on the frigate. The F-35C from Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 314 “Black Knights” (VMFA-314) can be seen launching with its GAU-22/A 25mm Gatling gun pod mounted on the centerline.
The old warship was tough enough to remain afloat. It burnt after several hits.
There are no combustibles on the ship, be that equipment, fuel, or ammunition of any kind, so secondary explosions shouldn’t happen and fires have less to consume and thus spread. Also, there’s no crew for damage control efforts to lessen the blow of the ship’s injuries. Finally, compartments are sealed throughout the ship to make it even more resilient.
It’s also living proof that these legacy weapons like the Harpoon, Exocet, and Paveway can still hit hard despite their age.