Major NATO Exercise Begins Off Icelandic Coast

The UK is among six NATO nations taking part in the exercise which involves around 2,000 military personnel.

A major NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise has got underway off the coast of Iceland. 

Dynamic Mongoose is the second of the alliance's two annual anti-submarine exercises and runs until 10 July.

Five surface ships, five submarines and five maritime patrol aircraft from the UK, Germany, France, Norway, Canada and the US are all taking part.

Submarines will take turns hunting and being hunted whilst working with aircraft and surface ships.

Training in the cooler waters of the Atlantic is vital as temperature plays a key role in the effectiveness of sonar.

The sea off the coast of Iceland is five degrees cooler than the Mediterranean, where the previous training exercise took place in February.

“NATO’s annual anti-submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Mongoose remains one of the most challenging exercises,” said Rear Admiral Andrew Burcher, Commander NATO Submarines.

"[It is] an excellent opportunity for NATO nations’ naval forces to practice and evaluate their anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare skillsets in the challenging environment of the North Atlantic."

Royal Navy submarine hunters, HMS Kent and HMS Westminster, each have a subamrine hunting Merlin Mk2 helicopter embarked (Picture: Royal Navy).

In total, more than 500 British personnel are deployed on the exercise.

Royal Navy ships HMS Kent and HMS Westminster are taking part in the training and each have a Merlin Mk2 helicopter embarked.

The aircraft are expected to be flying for up to eight hours a day searching for submarines.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, special measures are being taken by Icelandic authorities and the contributing nations.

Cover image: NATO.