Key point: Anti-ship weapons from the annals of the Cold War.
On July 12, 2018, the USS Racine met her grisly fate.
The 522-foot long tank landing ship was struck by four different types of guided missiles, one of which triggered a massive explosion that sent shards of debris spraying across the sea and ripped open part of her hull, exposing the inner decks. Finally, a Mark 48 torpedo struck the forty-six-year-old vessel beneath the waterline and nearly snapped off her bow. An hour later, the five-thousand-ton ship sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean fifty-five miles north of Hawaii.
At least four different military services participated in the Racine's ritual sacrifice on the altar of the Pacific Rim (or RIMPAC) exercise known as SINKEX. Participants included P-8 Poseidon patrol planes of the Australian Navy, Type 12 surface-to-surface missile batteries of the Japanese Self Defense Ground Force, the U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class submarine Olympia, and artillerymen and helicopter pilots from the U.S. Army.
Yes, you read that last part right.
An Army AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter flew within range using a remote-controlled MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone (a unique capability of the Guardian), located the Racine and shared targeting data across Link 16 datalinks to two artillery units.
One battery fired Norwegian-built Naval Strike Missiles from a Palletized Loading System 10x10 truck sixty-three miles away. The ship was attacked by six rockets from a HIMARS multiple-rocket system of the 17th Field Artillery Brigade on Kauai, Hawaii. You can see the missile launches and the destruction of the Racine in this video.
But why on earth is the land warfare branch practicing sinking ships?
Pacific War Redux
The United States and China are locked in a security competition for the foreseeable future, so the Pentagon is re-gearing for great-power conflict-and deploying a slew of new buzzwords to explain how it will go about it.
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