PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war

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PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
The US military attacked, destroyed, and sank the ex-USS Ingraham, a decommissioned guided-missile frigate, on Aug. 15, 2021. US Navy
  • The US military attacked, destroyed, and sank an old guided-missile frigate on Sunday.
  • The exercise aimed to prepare the military to "decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace."
  • The destroyed warship was the decommissioned ex-USS Ingraham.

The US armed forces destroyed and sank a warship this weekend amid a massive military exercise, demonstrating how the joint force could destroy enemy ships in a high-end fight.

The ex-USS Ingraham, a US Navy guided-missile frigate that was decommissioned in 2015 after over 25 years of service, was blown apart during a sinking exercise (SINKEX) in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area on Sunday, Pacific Fleet said Tuesday.

PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
The ex-USS Ingraham during the Aug. 15, 2021 SINKEX. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Danny Kelley

The Ingraham was the last Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate the US ever built and the fourth ship to bear the name. Its predecessor, an Allen M. Summer-class destroyer, was sold to Greece and sunk as a target during a military exercise in 2001.

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"Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the Navy's Large-Scale Exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance," Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, the 3rd fleet commander, said of the latest sinking exercise.

He said that "the precise and coordinated strikes from the Navy and our joint teammates resulted in the rapid destruction and sinking of the target ship," adding that the strikes "exemplify our ability to decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace."

SINKEXs are not uncommon for the US military, which sees them as valuable training should the US need to engage an adversary with a naval force, such as the Chinese military and its growing fleet, which is already the largest in the world.

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Pacfic Fleet did not provide a lot of details on the exercise in its press release, but photos from the SINKEX offer some insight into the weapons that were brought to bear on the warship.

PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
Marines fire Naval Strike Missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands during Aug. 15, 2021 SINKEX. US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dillon Buck

The exercise involved the Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), which uses a ground-based vehicle equipped with Naval Strike Missile launchers to fire on enemy naval assets. The missile in the photo was fired from a position over 100 nautical miles from the warship.

PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets launch from the USS Carl Vinson US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erin Zorich

F/A-18 Super Hornets from the USS Carl Vinson, which recently became the first US aircraft carrier to deploy with F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, participated in the exercise. The Navy released photos of its personnel arming the aircraft with weapons for the exercise.

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PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
US Navy sailors arming an F/A-18 Super Hornet for the Aug. 15, 2021 SINKEX US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeffrey Kempton

The attack on the ex-USS Ingraham also involved at least one P-8A Poseidon, a anti-submarine and maritime patrol aircraft and the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago, which helped coordinate the launch of a UGM-84 anti-ship Harpoon missile during the exercise.

PHOTOS: The US military obliterated a missile frigate, showing off how it could sink enemy ships in a war
Sailors aboard the submarine USS Chicago coordinate the launch of a Harpoon anti-ship missile during the Aug. 15, 2021 SINKEX. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Hall

Pacific Fleet said in its statement on the SINKEX that the ship used in the sinking exercise was prepared in accordance with relevant environmental regulations. It was sunk in an area located at least 50 nautical miles offshore and where the water was at least 6,000 feet deep.

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