Ex USNS Kilauea sinking after being hit by an Australian Mk 48 torpedo fired by the Collins Class submarine, as part of the RIMPAC exercise in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Australian Defence.

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Collins Class submarine HMAS Farncomb has successfully sunk a target ship, the 12,106-tonne former USNS (United States Navy Ship) Kilauea in Hawaii. Farncomb, a Collins Class submarine, fired one Mark 48 Torpedo and achieved a hit just below the bridge of the ship as part of a sinking exercise, or “SINKEX,” at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. The former USNS Kilauea broke into two parts and sank about 40 minutes later.

Pacific Missile Range Facility, off Hawaii, this week. Submerging at periscope level, HMAS Farncomb (bottom left and insert) closes in on the target ship (top of picture), former USNS Kilauea, to launch the Mk 48 torpedo that sent the Kilauea to the bottom. Photo: Ausralian defence.

The submarine’s Commanding Officer, Commander Glen Miles, said the firing is a significant milestone for both himself and his 60-strong crew.“This is the result of professionalism and teamwork,” Commander Miles said. “Those of us who drive these boats know that the Collins’ weapons systems are among the most capable in the world.”

USNS Concord suffers a devastating hit by a Canadian torpedo launched by HMAS Victoria. The vessel went down several minutes later. Photo: DND Combat Camera

Few days earlier, on July 17 2012 the Canadian submarine Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Victoria (SSK 876) sunk the decommissioned USNS Concord target vessel at the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, in Kauai County, Hawaii.

Australia and Canada are among 22 nations attending Exercise RIMPAC that includes six submarines and 40 surface ships participating in a realistic maritime warfare scenario.

Former United States Navy Ship Kilauea breaks apart and sinks following a torpedo attack from the Collins Class submarine HMAS Farncomb, on the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) off Hawaii, during RIMPAC 2012. HMAS Farncomb fired a Mark 48 Torpedo into the Kilauea’s hull, striking the ship below the bridge. Photo: Australian defence.
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