HMS Artful DATE 14012023 CREDIT MOD.jpg
Would-be Royal Navy personnel attended the Submarine Command Course during the exercise (Picture: MOD).
Nuclear

Royal Navy joins Norway's biggest maritime exercise and test would-be submarine commanders

HMS Artful DATE 14012023 CREDIT MOD.jpg
Would-be Royal Navy personnel attended the Submarine Command Course during the exercise (Picture: MOD).

Royal Navy would-be submarine commanders have been put through their paces during Norway's annual exercise, safeguarding Nato's northern flank.

Attack submarine HMS Artful and frigate HMS Northumberland joined the bulk of the Sjøforsvaret – the Royal Norwegian Navy – plus Danish warships, F-35 stealth fighters, and long-range maritime patrol aircraft during the fortnight-long exercise named Flotex.

During the exercise, Artful hosted Navy personnel undertaking the live-action phase of the course, used to test a candidate's ability to command a submarine in hostile waters.

Snow is swept from HMS Northumberland's flight deck.jpg COPYRIGHT MOD.jpg
Snow is swept from HMS Northumberland's flight deck (Picture: MOD).

"Flotex provided a warfare scenario that was complex enough to meet my training aims in an area of ever-changing conditions, to challenge my students to their limit," said Commander 'Mac' McAllister, the course's lead instructor.

He added: "I am extremely grateful to the Norwegian Navy for allowing us to participate in their exercise, and for the all the ships, aircraft and submarines we worked with."

Northumberland off the Norwegian coast at sunrise.JPG COPYRIGHT MOD.JPG
Northumberland off the Norwegian coast at sunrise (Picture: MOD).

Commodore Trond Gimmingsrud, commander of the Norwegian Fleet, said he was delighted both Northumberland and Artful could join his navy's premier exercise.

"We have a long history with close collaboration with the Royal Navy, and its participation in Flotex is valuable to us. It makes them familiar with operating in our waters, and strengthen our abilities to operate together," he added.

Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, Northumberland's Commanding Officer, said the Flotex was the 'icing on the cake' on the frigate's time in the High North, as the ship benefited from Norwegian support and hospitality.

He added: "HMS Northumberland has been very fortunate to spend a lot of time training in Norwegian waters and operating with our Sjøforsvaret friends."

An icy flight deck on HMS Northumberland.JPG COPYRIGHT MOD .JPG
An icy flight deck on HMS Northumberland (Picture: MOD).