The world's largest marine war games exercise gets underway

A 19,000-ton amphibious assault ship has been sunk during the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC 2010.

The former USS New Orleans survived hits from at least seven Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a laser-guided 500lb bomb before finally succumbing to gunfire from multinational warships northwest of Hawaii.

RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2010 involves 32 surface ships, five submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 20,000 personnel.

At least two more decommissioned warships were due to be sent to the bottom during the exercise which has been taking place throughout July.

“This is the largest RIMPAC that we’ve had,” said Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, commander, US 3rd Fleet.

The exercise is designed to increase co-operation between participating nations, which this year included units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the USA.