HMCS Regina conducts missile firing during RIMPAC 2020

Navy News / August 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.