Video: U.S. and UK Forces Sink an Oliver Hazard Perry-Class Frigate

Harpoon launched from HMS Westminster (Royal Navy)

Published Sep 23, 2022 3:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

On September 7, U.S. and British forces carried out a dramatic sinking exercise in the North Atlantic, testing guided missiles and guided bombs on a decommissioned frigate. 

The former USS Boone - an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, renowned for survivability and often chosen for high-profile SINKEX - served as the target for an array of air- and surface-launched munitions in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force inventories. 

The ex-Boone was struck by Martlet missiles from Wildcat helicopters from HMS Westminster. The helicopters then switched gears and provided laser targeting for Royal Air Force Typhoons to drop Paveway IV guided bombs; the Paveway IV has been used for years against surface targets and has a secondary anti-ship role. 

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon shot a long range Harpoon anti-ship missile at the target while HMS Westminster fired two more Harpoons, all timed to strike simultaneously. It was the first live Harpoon salvo from a UK asset since 2004, and the joint attack delivered about 1,500 pounds of high explosive to three locations on the ship at the same time.

The destroyer USS Arleigh Burke struck the ex-Boone with a Standard Missile 6 (SM-6), a multi-role anti-air/anti-ship missile. Finally, U.S. Air Force F-15E Eagles dropped maritime strike joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) on the ex-USS Boone. (The Air Force Research Laboratory has recently developed a JDAM variant designed to target moving ships, dubbed Quicksink, which does not require traditional laser target designation.) 

After these successive hits, the former USS Boone slipped below the waves - without the usual final torpedo strike. 

The USS Boone was a decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate which entered service in 1982. She was decommissioned in 2012 and remediated to EPA standards before sinking. The twentieth ship of her class, she was the first ship named for Vice Admiral Joel Thompson Boone, a Medal of Honor recipient and the most highly decorated medical officer during World War I.