HMS Portland's Merlin flies over the ship's forecastle during Ex Dynamic Mongoose 22 DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT NATO.jpg_.jpg
HMS Portland and her Merlin helicopter took part in Dynamic Mongoose 22 (Picture: NATO).
Exercises

Navy frigate hones skills on NATO's biggest sub-hunt exercise

HMS Portland and her crew joined surface ships and aircrafts on Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 22.

HMS Portland's Merlin flies over the ship's forecastle during Ex Dynamic Mongoose 22 DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT NATO.jpg_.jpg
HMS Portland and her Merlin helicopter took part in Dynamic Mongoose 22 (Picture: NATO).

A Royal Navy Type 23 frigate has completed NATO's premiere submarine hunting exercise.

Plymouth-based HMS Portland and her crew honed their skills at sea in the waters of the Greenland gap and the Norwegian Sea.

As part of Dynamic Mongoose, HMS Portland joined 10 other surface ships, seven helicopters – including her own Merlin – and 16 maritime patrol aircraft in the alliance's largest test of its anti-submarine forces in the North Atlantic.

"Dynamic Mongoose 22 has shown us that the combined efforts of these world-leading anti-submarine warfare capabilities are a force to be reckoned with," Underwater Warfare Specialist AB Lewis Hunter said.

The exercise saw the force spend more than six entire days hunting three submarines acting as prey.

Dynamic Mongoose 22 focused on actively finding underwater threats – sending sound waves through the Atlantic depths in the hope of striking a submarine and getting a 'ping' back – rather than a passive search, simply listening for a submarine

Sailor 1st Class Doug Steele of HMCS Halifax casts a sonobuoy into the Atlantic during Ex Dynamic Mongoose 22 DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT NATO.jpg_.jpg
A sailor from HMCS Halifax casts a sonobuoy in the Atlantic during Ex Dynamic Mongoose 22 (Picture: NATO).

During the exercise, Portland used her active sonar and was supported by her own Merlin helicopter that deployed sonobuoy listening devices.

Lieutenant Matt Ford manoeuvred the 14-tonne helicopter into the hover, allowing the submarine hunting team onboard to lower their sonar.

"Dynamic Mongoose has provided a great opportunity to work alongside other NATO units as part of a large force against some challenging sub-surface opposition," Lt Ford said.

"Mohawk Flight's contribution to the anti-submarine serials has greatly contributed towards HMS Portland's already very positive integration into Standing NATO Maritime Group 1," he added.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) currently consists of seven ships led by the Dutch flagship vessel HNLMS De Zeven Provincien and is responsible for the safety and security of waters around northern Europe.