The USS Thach was an O.H. Perry class frigate, who served in the US Navy from 1984 until 2013. The ship’s “career” may have had nothing important to show she managed to stand out in her last “mission” that was nothing more than to be a target in the exercise RIMPAC 2016.
Many allied Navies, besides the US Navy, participated in RIMPAC such as the Australia, South Korean, Japanese, Canadian, Indian etc.
On July 14, 2016, USS Thach, was stripped from all sorts of equipment, was ancored out of Hawaii to be used as the “SINKEX” target for RIMPAC 2016.
But the frigate had a…different opinion on this! Initially, a South Korean submarine unleashed a Sub-Harpoon missile, hitting the target. It was followed by an Australian frigate that also launched a Harpoon, which again hit the frigate. A SH-60S helicopter launched a Hellfire and an American P-3C a Maverick. All shots were on target, but the USS Thach just wouldn’t sink!
The destroyer USS Princeton hit the frigate with a third Harpoon missile(!) and a second SH-60S, fired a salvo of Hellfires. A F/A-18 Hornet threw a 2.000-pound Mk.84 bomb, and a B-52 a 500 pound Paveway.
The USS Thach, to the surprise of all, continued to float! The final shot was given by an American submarine with a Mk.48 torpedo.
The USS Thach was hit by a total of more than 5.000 pounds of explosives, plus the -highly flammable- fuel of the missiles that hit it and yet withstood the pounding for 12 whole hours!
Clearly the USS Thach proved to be a tough ship, but another reason why she did not sink quickly is because she did not carry any ammunition and fuel that would surely cause secondary explosions.