For almost two years, the U.S. Navy refrained from sinking old warships in the U.S. coastal waters due to environmental and financial concerns. The old warships are used as target practice for naval exercises. The Navy recently lifted the moratorium on this practice after evaluating the costs, benefits and environmental impact of the program.
Known as Sinkex, short for sinking exercise, Navy has used the target practice to dispose an old ship. Previous ship models that had undergone this treatment range from small vessels to large aircraft carriers like the USS America.
Later this month, three old vessels will follow the same fate. The Kilauea, Niagara Falls, and Concord will be sent in a watery grave off the coast of Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific Naval Exercises. The RIMPAC will last for five weeks and it will involve over thousands of military personnel from 22 nations.
According to the Navy, the Sinkex offers important live-fire training for the times of war and provides clean vessels for at-sea, live-fire exercises. The ships provide exercises for airplane bombers, warships and submarines. The results can be used to aid acquisition, planning and design of future vessels.
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News source: www.washingtonpost.com