Two of the seven Navy ships moored at Bremerton's mothball fleet will be sunk under a barrage of firepower during upcoming multinational naval training exercises.
The USS Ingraham and the USS Ford will be used as live-fire targets for a sink exercise, known as SINKEX, according to the Navy's fiscal year 2019 budget.
Both the Ingraham and Ford, Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates, were decommissioned at Naval Station Everett in 2015.
SINKEX is intended to be an opportunity to test a ship's weapon systems on a surface target. The exercise also presents an opportunity to study ship survivability while under fire, which the Navy has previously used to develop the next generation of naval vessels like the newest Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
The budget lists seven vessels total — four frigates, two amphibious cargo ships and one tank-landing ship — for use as targets in future iterations of the Rim of the Pacific and Valiant Shield training exercises.
Ford and Ingraham have been in the line-up for SINKEX since 2016, said U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Tim Gorman.
Ford is tentatively scheduled to be used in Valiant Shield this fall, however a lack of available military towing vessels may prevent it from being used this year, Gorman said.
If that's the case, Gorman said the Ford would be used as a target in another exercise at a later date.
Ingraham has not yet been assigned to a particular exercise.
RIMPAC, which is billed as the world's largest maritime exercise, is a month-long exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of Southern California every two years.
In 2016, more than 45 surface ship and five submarines from 26 nations participated in the exercise. With more than 25,000 personnel and 200 aircraft involved, it was the largest iteration of the exercise since it began in 1971.
During the exercise, the Navy and partner nation vessels sank frigates USS Thatch on July 14 and USS Crommelin on July 19.
Valiant Shield is an exercise held every two years since 2006 near Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands for Navy vessels to practice joint operations.
The frigate USS Rentz was used as a target vessel during the last variation of that exercise in September 2016. It took the vessel five hours to sink after sustaining 22 missile hits, according to a Navy press release.
Prior to use in a sinking exercise, the Navy cleans and strips the target ship of any known contaminants per an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency.
A certified contractor will inspect the vessel and remove environmentally hazardous materials such as oils, fuel oils, refrigerants, felt gaskets, wool ducting, transformers, capacitors, galley equipment, machine shop equipment and Polychlorinated Biphenyls, which are toxic chemical compounds found in coolants and lubricants manufactured before 1977.
Once a vessel is prepared, it will be towed from its mooring all the way to the location of the exercise without any stops along the way.
It costs more than $700,000 to sink Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate like the Ford and Ingraham during an exercise, Gorman said.
Ships must be sunk in water more than 6,000 feet deep and at least 50 nautical miles from land. After the exercise is completed, the Navy is obligated to report the location of the wreckage.
Other mothballed ships along Bremerton's waterfront are in the line-up to be sent to the scrapyard, including the amphibious transport dock ship USS Dubuque and aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. The Navy has not publicly announced the fate of the USS Rodney M. Davis, another decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate stored in Bremerton.