HMCS Regina Conducts Missile Firing During RIMPAC 2020
(Source: Royal Canadian Navy; issued Aug 31, 2020)
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Regina and Winnipeg were off the coast of Hawaii earlier this week, participating in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, the largest maritime exercise in the world.

The purpose of this exercise was to provide an opportunity for sailors to gain experience working with international forces, practicing group and task force tactics, and using important equipment and weaponry.

The crew of Regina participated in a sinking exercise, or SINKEX, on August 29. A SINKEX occurs when an environmentally clean, decommissioned hulk is purposefully sunk to provide a unique opportunity to improve our coalition partner's readiness.

“With an ever-changing and complex global environment, inter-operability with partner nations is essential to maintain the rules-based international order,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Mike Vanderveer, Weapons Officer on board HCMS Regina.

“This engagement not only proved the technical readiness of Regina and the Royal Canadian Navy, but provided an opportunity to focus on the application of force in coordinated kinetic action with partner nations.”

The weapons system Regina used for this exercise was the RGM-84 Harpoon Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM), which is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile used by most NATO member states.

The missile is launched from a platform situated on the ship. It has the ability to travel at high subsonic speeds and skims across the surface of the water to lower the chances of interception by air defence systems.

“It is a difficult and perishable skill, so any opportunity to plan and execute exercises with combined forces increases our skills, proficiency, and overall capability,” says Vanderveer.

This is the latest Sink Exercise conducted by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) at RIMPAC. At RIMPAC 2018, HMCS Ottawa participated in a SINKEX using the same weapon system with great success.

Proficiency with this system is imperative for RCN frigates as it provides the ship’s commanding officer the ability to address threats from over the horizon, while maintaining a distance that provides increased safety for the ship and crew.

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Navy Excels During Live Missile Firing
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Sept 01, 2020)
The Royal Australian Navy has proven its warfighting capability with devastating effect at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Anzac-class frigate HMAS Stuart successfully fired two Harpoon missiles and coordinated the missile firings of three other ships during one of RIMPAC’s best-known serials called the SINKEX, where participants sink a decommissioned warship.

Two of the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm MH-60R Romeo helicopters embarked in HMA Ships Hobart and Arunta also fired Hellfire missiles during the training serial on August 29.

Gunnery officer in Stuart, Lieutenant Naomi Muir, said live-fire training was critical to ensure Australia maintained a highly capable, agile and lethal fleet.

“It is critical we test our systems to their full capacity,” Lieutenant Muir said, “not only to ensure we are familiar with how our systems operate but also how we operate those systems with other navies.

“Simulation is a critical part of our training but there is nothing better than to conduct live-fire training to ensure our systems work effectively with other nations, and that our people know how to use them.”

Able Seaman Electronics Technician Callum Fox is the Fire Control Officer in Stuart, responsible for pushing the button that ultimately launches the missile.

AB Fox said Stuart had trained to fire the missile since leaving Australia in July.

“Events like these allow us to prove that we are capable of high-end warfare with allied nations. They also allow us to prove our systems and training, and prove to the Australian Government and public that we are a professional and capable navy,” he said.

Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5300 personnel have participated in RIMPAC this year.

Alongside HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius, the exercise has included forces from Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States.

Participating forces have exercised a wide range of capabilities including multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations and live-fire training events.

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