• US and partner forces sank a former US frigate this month during the Rim of the Pacific exercise.
  • A US Navy video shows the ex-USS Rodney M. Davis being hit by bombs and missiles before sinking.
  • This is the 28th iteration of RIMPAC, the world's largest maritime military exercise. 

More than 25,000 personnel from 26 Pacific countries are taking part in Rim of the Pacific, the largest maritime military exercise in the world, in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands this month.

During the US-led exercise, units from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and the US sank the ex-USS Rodney M. Davis, a decommissioned guided-missile frigate, in 15,000 feet of water 50 nautical miles north of Kauai.

Footage released by the US Navy shows the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate being barraged by missiles and bombs before sinking.

The 453-foot-long, 4,200-ton frigate entered service in February 1985 and was decommissioned seven years ago. It was named for a Marine who received the Medal of Honor posthumously during the Vietnam War.

A sinking exercise, or sinkex, is a regular feature of the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise. Participants sank a decommissioned landing ship in 2018 and a decommissioned amphibious cargo ship in 2020.

The drill allows participants "to hone their skills in a live-fire setting," said Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson, deputy commander of the RIMPAC combined task force. "There is nothing that really replaces the training value of opportunities such as this, which enable us to test our weapons and their associated combat systems with as much realism as possible."

Before the sinking exercise, the frigate went through a through cleaning process to remove all "environmentally harmful material."

Video posted on the RIMPAC Twitter account shows anti-ship missiles launched by the Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Winnipeg, the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Lekir, and a US Navy Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, according to The War Zone.

Lekir became the first Royal Malaysian Navy ship to fire a missile outside Malaysia's territorial waters. The chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy called it "a professionally enriching experience" for Lekir's crew.

Malaysian corvette KD Lekir fires a missile during the Rim of the Pacific sinking exercise on July 12. Foto: Royal Malaysian Navy/DVIDS

Begun in 1971, RIMPAC is designed to "foster and sustain cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans," according to the US Navy's 3rd Fleet.

This year's RIMPAC is the 28th iteration of the exercise.

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