HMS Lancaster Returns From Navy's First 2021 Arctic Deployment

The Type 23 frigate will undergo maintenance whilst her crew enjoy some Easter leave.

HMS Lancaster has returned to Portsmouth Naval Base after completing the Royal Navy's first Arctic deployment of the year.

The Type 23 frigate joined up with the Norwegian navy and air force for a patrol of the Norwegian Sea and combined training in the narrow waters of the country's fjords.

The vessel and her crew worked alongside HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl to improve the smooth operation of the two allies across the full range of naval warfare in the High North, including navigation, communications and dealing with threats below, on and above the waves.

Two Norwegian F-16 jets were used in mock-combat scenarios.

Late winter storms caused the vessels to seek shelter, affording bridge teams extra time in confined waters and an opportunity for damage control drills for the ship's company.

HMS Lancaster (left) and HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl shelter from Arctic storms (Picture: Royal Navy).

"Without an emergency service to call on at sea, it is down to the professional training and teamwork of our sailors to carry out these safety critical evolutions such as damage control, firefighting and casualty handling," explained Warrant Officer Si Hargreaves, HMS Lancaster's Executive Warrant Officer.

"These exercises ensure we are ready for any incident that could occur day or night." 

Commander Lars Larsson, commanding HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl, said the training "enhanced our ability to effectively cooperate and safely conduct maritime operations in all domains".

"This is enhancing cohesion among allies and our common security in the North," he said.

The returning crew of HMS Lancaster will now be able to enjoy some Easter leave, whilst the frigate will undergo maintenance after its battle with the winter seas.