USS Stark (FFG-31)

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As built:
One OTO Melara Mk 75 76 mm/62 caliber naval gun
two Mk 32 triple-tube (324 mm) launchers for Mark 46 torpedoes
one Vulcan Phalanx CIWS; four .50-cal (12.7 mm) machine guns.
one Mk 13 Mod 4 single-arm launcher for Harpoon anti-ship missiles and SM-1MR Standard anti-ship/air missiles (40 round magazine)

USS Stark (FFG-31), 23rd ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates, was named for Admiral Harold Rainsford Stark (1880–1972). In 1987, an Iraqi jet fighter attacked the USS Stark under disputed circumstances. 37 American sailors died as a result. It is the only successful anti-ship missile attack on a U.S. Navy warship.

Ordered from Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington on 23 January 1978 as part of the FY78 program, Stark was laid down on 24 August 1979, launched on 30 May 1980, and commissioned on 23 October 1982, CDR Terence W. Costello commanding. Decommissioned on 7 May 1999, Stark was scrapped in 2006.

Contents

Missile attack

The USS Stark was deployed to the Middle East Force in 1984 and 1987. Captain Glenn R. Brindel was the commanding officer during the 1987 deployment. The ship was struck on May 17, 1987, by two Exocet antiship missiles fired from an Iraqi Mirage F1[1][2] plane during the Iran–Iraq War. The plane had taken off from Shaibah at 20:00 and had flown south into the Persian Gulf. The fighter fired the first Exocet missile from a range of 22.5 nautical miles (41.7 km), and the second from 15.5 nautical miles (28.7 km), at about the time the fighter was given a routine radio warning by the Stark.[3] The frigate did not detect the missiles with radar and warning was given by the lookout only moments before the missiles struck.[4] The first penetrated the port-side hull; it failed to detonate, but spewed flaming rocket fuel in its path. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-meter gash—then exploded in crew quarters. 37 sailors were killed and 21 were injured.[4]

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