USS Stark (FFG-31)
The Stark Before Mississippi (1988)
|Order||January 23, 1978|
|Keel laying||August 24, 1979|
|Launch||May 30, 1980|
|1. Period of service|
|Commissioning||October 23, 1982|
|Decommissioning||May 7, 1999|
17 officers, 198 sailors
1 propeller, driven by 2 gas turbines; 41,000 wave horsepower
1 gun 76 mm, 2 torpedo launchers. Disarmed: 1 rocket launcher
The USS Stark served in the Middle East in 1984 and 1987 as part of Operation Earnest Will to protect US oil shipments. On May 17, 1987, she was badly damaged by two Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi Mirage F1 during the Iran-Iraq war . The plane took off from Shaibah at 8 p.m. local time and flew south into the Persian Gulf . Shortly after the US frigate routinely asked the Mirage to identify itself at around 10:10 p.m., its pilot fired two Exocet anti-ship missiles at the USS Stark. Due to a malfunction of the phalanx defense system, the warning electronics did not recognize the missile attack. The first missile was only noticed by a lookout seconds before impact. She turned to port and exploded in the crew quarters . The impact had caused a hole 3 x 4 meters. The ensuing fire put most of the electronic systems on the ship out of action. The second missile hit the superstructure of the frigate. 37 US sailors were killed and 21 wounded. The attempt to target the Mirage with the help of two Saudi F-15 Eagles failed because the Saudi military was unable to fire at an Iraqi aircraft in Iraqi airspace. The fire on the USS Stark was brought under control during the night. The ship was able to return to the base in Bahrain on its own . The repair cost $ 142 million.
The USS Stark then joined the Atlantic Fleet before being relocated back to the Middle East in 1991. In 1993 she belonged to UNITAS ; In 1994 she participated in Operations Support Democracy and Noble Anvil .
On May 7, 1999, she was decommissioned, struck from the ship register and scrapped from June 21, 2006 .
- Overview of the attack on the Stark and the political background (Engl.)
- Overview of the attack incl. Images of the damage (Engl.)
- Report on the attack and the fight against the resulting fire ( Memento of December 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive )