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Reason why the United States is launching powerful missiles at its own billion-dollar ships

Written by Bruno Teles
Published 18/06/2024 às 20:22
Reason why the United States is launching powerful missiles at its own billion-dollar ships
The United States has a very strategic reason to launch powerful missiles against its own ships. Although it may seem contradictory, this practice is part of military exercises known as SINKEX (sinking exercises). But why does this happen? Image: Fluctus/Disclosure

The United States has a very strategic reason to launch powerful missiles against its own ships. Although it may seem contradictory, this practice is part of military exercises known as SINKEX (sinking exercises). But why does this happen?

Container ships and other types of military vessels face many challenges during their operations. When a ship becomes obsolete, damaged, or impossible to repair, it is removed from service in a decommissioning ceremony. These ships can end up in a “ship graveyard”, where they are dismantled to reuse parts. However, some of them have a different fate: they are used as targets in sinking exercises in the United States.

In exercises like RIMPAC, held every two years, ships from several allied nations in the Pacific come together to test their weapons and tactics. During these exercises, a decommissioned ship is sunk using a variety of weapons such as anti-ship missiles, torpedoes and bombs. The objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of weapons and tactics in a realistic scenario.

A notable example is the USS Bonhomme Richard of the United States, which suffered severe damage in a fire

Instead of being repaired, it was decided that the ship would be decommissioned and possibly used in future exercises. Other ships that have undergone SINKEX exercises include the tank carrier USS Fresno, which was sunk with the help of a Harpoon missile fired from a submarine.

Why perform these exercises?

SINKEX exercises allow the United States military and its allies to test the effectiveness of their weapons and tactics in a realistic scenario without risk to human life. Crews can train in conditions that simulate real combat, increasing their readiness and effectiveness in conflict situations.

By observing how a ship behaves when hit by different weapons, engineers can improve the design and construction of future ships. Ships that cannot be repaired or upgraded are disposed of in a way that still contributes to the security and training of the military.

The United States follows strict environmental standards during these exercises

Before sinking, ships are thoroughly cleaned to remove dangerous substances such as oil, asbestos and PCBs. This ensures that the environmental impact is minimized. Although it may seem contradictory, launching powerful missiles against your own ships It is an essential practice for the United States.

These exercises ensure that weapons and tactics are always up to date and effective, while also providing a safe and controlled way to dispose of obsolete ships. In this way, the United States maintains its military readiness and contributes to global security.

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Bruno Teles

I talk about technology, innovation, oil and gas. I update daily about opportunities in the Brazilian market. Agenda suggestion? Send it to brunotelesredator@gmail.com

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