British aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales led more than 3,000 sailors and Royal Marines inside the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to “safeguarding Europe’s ‘northern flank’ against any aggressor”.

The task force joined more than 27,000 personnel, warships, armour, and air power from more than two dozen NATO allies and partners for Cold Response 2022, the largest military exercise hosted in Norway since the Cold War.

“Britain’s biggest warship, HMS Prince of Wales, led the naval fleet, demonstrating her ability to act as NATO command ship – a role she will hold for the rest of 2022. This was the first time one of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers has been so far north, with more than 1,000 sailors gaining their first experience of operating in the Arctic region. Royal Navy sailors pushed the boundaries of what the 65,000-tonne flagship can do, as the crew developed new ways of working and coping with temperatures as low as -30 Celsius.”

HMS Prince of Wales commanding officer, Captain Steve Higham, said:

“As we continue to operate in and around the Arctic with our allies and partners, the sailors on HMS Prince of Wales are continuing to learn the skills, and build the experience that allow the Royal Navy to push the boundaries of UK carrier operations in the cold, harsh environment.”

A news release added:

“The ship’s role in the exercise saw her work side-by-side with a breadth of British and Allied air power from F-35B Lightning stealth fighters to the Americans’ unique Osprey MV22 tiltrotor aircraft and Sea Stallion helicopters. The fortnight-long exercise – on top of several months of preparatory training both in the UK and Arctic – allowed the Royal Navy to demonstrate some of its unique capabilities, from launching commando raids from submarines to operating a fifth-generation aircraft carrier in sub-zero conditions for the first time.

The Royal Marines practised and honed new raiding tactics for stealth missions on the treacherous Norwegian coastline, supported by host nation forces, as well as conducting more regular manoeuvres and drills honed over more than half a century as the UK’s experts in Arctic warfare. Meanwhile divers from HMS Grimsby plunged into the icy fjords to neutralise mines and pave the way for task forces to sail through safely.

Royal Navy maritime Wildcat helicopters – normally found over the ocean, not land – joined the usual elements of Commando Helicopter Force to extend capabilities high over Norway. The Wildcat used its Seaspray radar, typically used for hunting suspicious ships, over land for the first time, picking out targets for their comrades, flying alongside the Royal Marines’ regular battlefield ‘eyes in the sky’, 847 Naval Air Squadron. They provided intelligence and firepower to comrades on the ground, assisted by the US Marine Corps’ Cobra gunships.”

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace MP said:

“I congratulate all those personnel from across the services who have achieved so much in the Arctic over recent weeks. Having visited the exercise myself I can testify to the challenging conditions and their utmost professionalism and good humour in maintaining operations throughout.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago

I’ve read the SNP have been up to their usual tactics. Appparently we’re only building 8 warships in Scotland. I know the type 32’s have there critics but I think they qualify as warships ! Didn’t mention Ferries and Turkey for some strange reason.

Last edited 2 days ago by David Steeper
David A
David A
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

To the SNP they might classify them as battleships!

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago
Reply to  David A

😂😂

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

What!? a nationalised ship yard and they’re ordering ferries from Turkey 😉 lol.
Total hypocrites.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Your much more polite than me !

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

That was the censored reply 😉

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Slippery msp. As I can tell he said they were promised 13 warships built on the Clyde. The msp if he knows his stuff will claim they said they would build 13 type 26 on the clyde. That was cut to 8. But the 5 river batch 2 warships takes it back to 13! he can claim he is correct saying he was talking about type 26 whist also being wrong😂😂
You have to wonder about some politicians, most people when they don’t know much about a topic stay quiet.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The Type 31’s in Rosyth as well or are they the Glasgow National party. The SNP are used to a grovelling media inside Scotland especially TV and Radio that could be why it never occurs to them that they’ll get called out when they outright lie. It was the same when Labour ran Scotland they’ve just switched.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 day ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yes that’s correct but he stated built on the Clyde, not the Firth of Forth.
I’ve no doubt that the msp most likely knows very little about military ship building and thus doesn’t know what is built where.
What he does know now is using the old sound bite of 13 type 26 promised cut to 8 doesn’t work.
It would be interesting to know how much of the cost per frigate actually ends up spent in the shipyard? Wages obviously but most of the other bits of the ships are bought from all over.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Aah good spot. Intelligence wise he’s gone up in my estimation. Clever liar rather than stupid liar.

Martin
Martin
1 day ago
Reply to  David Steeper

They actually are the Glasgow national party. Only Glasgow and Dundee voted yes Edinburgh was 74% no.

Steve
Steve
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Isn’t it strictly speaking true, as the t32 hasn’t been ordered yet. Can’t blame policticans for applying a bit of spin, even though surely the average Scott realises that war ship production doesn’t employee enough people to make any realistic impact on the overall Scottish position.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve

T31 has been orders and is being built.

So

8 x T26
5 x T31
5 x River B2

Makes more than 13 ships…

Jon
Jon
1 day ago

Polish provisional fit-out for their Type 31s looks interesting: including up to 128 CAMM missiles, according to Navy News. Due to enter service about one year after ours

Last edited 1 day ago by Jon
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 day ago
Reply to  Jon

Yeh, a quad packed 32 cell VLS system..!

I’ve been saying the RN should go quad for ages…

Ho hum…

CR

Jon
Jon
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

So far I have found no explanation why an expensive VLS is required to get the higher CAMM densities. If anyone out there knows why the 6-pack launcher is so big, I’d be really interested.

David
David
1 day ago
Reply to  Jon

WOW! -128 CAMM missiles …… what do we have? 12…. Our Type 31 weapons fit as it stands today, is an embarrassment! Who would ever take us seriously….. By all accounts, the Type 32 isn’t going to be much better.

I never understood why our escorts were – and still are – woefully underarmed when compared to peer navy ships.

Sonik
Sonik
1 day ago
Reply to  David

Perhaps because the T31’s will be the mainstay of the Polish Navy? Obviously they would want them much better equipped than ours, which are second tier vessels, because we do also have T45, T23, T26. I’m sure the PN would love to have our fleet given the choice, but what they are doing with the resources they have available looks sensible.

Last edited 1 day ago by Sonik
farouk
farouk
2 days ago

Interesting video of something British apparently shooting down a Russian Orlan-10 UAV

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Martlet I hear?

farouk
farouk
2 days ago

So it now seems, I wasnt sure as it looks so similar to Starstreak, but hey its now battleproven and shows it can take out small UAVs at a distance (Picture of the Orlan 10 below) which to me is a result:

Orlan-10_on_the_launch_catapult.jpg
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 days ago
Reply to  farouk

That is very impressive, hardly an easy target for such a weapon but the sort of target it was designed to counter so nice to see it can cope.

Daveyb
Daveyb
17 minutes ago
Reply to  farouk

To tell the difference, look at the diameter of the rear tube. Martlet has a much smaller diameter than Starstreak’s.

AV
AV
2 days ago

Yes heard that also. Good news if confimed.

AV
AV
2 days ago

Any news on our supply of anti-ship missiles?..surely not Harpoon..maybe Martlet for this also?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Ni idea mate.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago

So is martlet the same in all versions? Helicopter launch, ship attack, surface-surface, surface to air?
Does it use the same targeting as the starstreak?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I know they share technology but hopefully others can answer that question as beyond that, as a famous waiter often said, I know nothing.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Wikipedia has a surprisingly good and up to date good article on it. Whether it reveals everything is above my security clearance which is. Who !

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Pass. Davey will know.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 seconds ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes, its the same one for all launch methods. It uses exactly the same guidance system as Starstreak. Except at close range Martlet also uses a small nose mounted IR sensor to home in on to the target. Being a one piece missile, it has several warhead options along with additional nose mounted sensor options including a semi-active laser. The tubes come sealed from the factory, so I don’t believe the warhead or sensors can be changed over in the field. They are marked with different part numbers on the tube. If I remember rightly they also had a different… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
2 days ago
Reply to  farouk

LMM excellent, so the head sheds aren’t telling the people everything we are sending! Excellent proving ground and very useful to the Ukrainians! Keep it up well done all round.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Totally agree, lots more going on behind the scenes than publicised…which is great.
Our early engagement with Ukraine with training and support etc post Crimea is paying off both ways.

David Barry
David Barry
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Different subject but won’t Royal have to consume a huge amount of carbs? Fo they have standard rat packs, or are they enhanced?

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

The 24 hour Operational Ration Pack (OEP) which is the newer self-heating rat pack, now has 10 menus, including vegetarian, kosher and Halal. They have an energy rating of between 4000 to 4500kcal and they still contain biscuits brown! The older boxed pack that you had to heat the main meals up with boiling water, had a specific cold weather version, which included more breakfast oats. As far as I’m aware there isn’t a specific cold weather menu with the new ORPs.

Jon
Jon
2 days ago

USS Tripoli has exercised with 20 F-35Bs overtaking HMS QE as the ship having the most 5th generation planes flown from it.

It would be great to see the USMC guest again on a Royal Navy carrier next year so we can get the record back in style. 20 of ours and 16 of theirs, just for a week.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Exercised or deployed though?..lol

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

True. It’s no eight-month deployment.

They worked up to 20 in sustained and surge conditions over a week, and frankly, given the size of the deck and hangar, I reckon that’s pretty impressive, even if they never get to deploy like that. I didn’t think they’d last even as long as a week, as stuffed as they were.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

It wasn’t meant to be an eight months deployment but a proof of concept. And they proved the concept. There was also an F-117 involved.
USAF F-117 Integrated With U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Involved In ‘Lightning Carrier’ Concept Demo – The Aviationist

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Thought those long since retired 👍

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

The USAF are using them as red air stealth aircraft.

AV
AV
1 day ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Worlds most expensive aggressor squadron lol..

Steve M
Steve M
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Looking at pic https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7134402/uss-tripoli-and-marine-aircraft-group-13-demonstrate-lightning-carrier-concept, they can fit 20 on deck but not really sure they could fight off that deck effectively? only looks like they can VTOL!! would struggle to get long enough deck run to STOL especially with out jump

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

More a photo op for funding for their light carrier program me thinks 👍

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

You know how the Americans say they don’t want ski jumps because they reduce landing stations for Helicopters……

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

They have a clear full-length runway in that picture with 16 on deck. Of course they can take off with the planes loaded. The real question is can they maintain the aircraft on return and send them out again and again.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes sortie rate will be poor…but 20 aircraft in that shot. …dont forget the airframes at the stern. Theyd need the full length for full weight take off.
Not possible with that parking…Without a ski jump that set up is very much a compromise.

Last edited 2 days ago by AV
Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

I agree, the lack of a ski-jump is politics. But operationally, they wouldn’t have 20 on deck. They’d have some in the hangar.

Last edited 2 days ago by Jon
David Barry
David Barry
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Image 3/12 is interesting… have a look at all the planes parked up as the one in the middle operates…

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Having the 20 F35s arranged on the deck is for PR. Normally as part of the Marine Air Group, they only embark 8 to 10 F35s or Harriers with the other aircraft being made up with V22s, CH53, Cobras and Hueys. They usually only park those required for flight on the deck, with the rest stored in the hangar. However, the exercise showed that they can be moved from the hangar to the flight deck and made flight ready pretty quickly. The other key thing they developed was using two spots for landing rather than one. This sped up the… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 day ago
Reply to  Daveyb

They have air-to-air refuelling with the MV-22s. Rotors and tiltrotors would have to be moved to other ships in the group if America or Tripoli was acting as a Lightning carrier, but it could be there.

Daveyb
Daveyb
18 minutes ago
Reply to  Jon

Looking at the recent pictures – see attached image. It seems the carrier can have about 13 F35Bs parked on the flight deck and still use the port side for operations. With just enough parking space for a pair of SH60s. Which means the remaining 7 would be in the hangar at the start of the day. On the exercise the ship sailed with 3 SH60s. Would they have space for three additional V22s as well? The V22s could do the plane guard role, but that would be expensive in additional maintenance hours? I have a feeling that operating 20… Read more »

USMC_F-35Bs,_USS_America,_Oct._8,_2019.jpg
AV
AV
2 days ago

Boom! That shoots down the nay sayers.
POW with no aircraft on board 😂

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
2 days ago

I didn’t realise POW was bigger than QE, or is it just heavier?

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Just heavier 👍

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Marginally longer too.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Wasnt aware of that Jon..deviation in the jigs or a deliberate extension?.

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Really marginal deviation. Nothing planned. Someone measured it when they launched PoW and it was announced as the biggest. One of them had to be.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Cheers Jon, thought so…gotta be marginal at best 👍

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

You would hope it is marginal if it’s unplanned deviation….sorry but it 20 foot longer than planned and will not fit in xxxx.

AV
AV
1 day ago
Reply to  Jonathan

😂👍

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago

That’s making a very good statement about the high north and NATOs ability to either control or interdict.

Its going to be one of these areas that will become a geopolitical hot potato as global warming causing the opening of the north east passage for more of the year. With a projection that it’s going to be ice free all year round.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Totally agree, a new front requiring further funding.
The writings been on the wall for a while with Russian artic extension.
With what’s going on in Ukraine and further commitments required there plus a general recommitment to Europe required…a big boost in military spending required all round.
Next defence review should be telling!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

And of course we must consider how Russian artic expansion inevitably brings them into conflict with Canada.

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

What with the on going situation in Ukraine, coupled with sanctions the Artic for the Russians will now be second fiddle. On thing that’s certain, they certainly cant maintain multiple fronts even as is .

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Although a lot around the high north will start to be around sea lane interdiction or protection. So the assets that Russia will use will be its submarine fleet more than anything else as well as the fact it could interdict the north east passage at any point. So that’s going to need significant naval resources going forward, it’s also likely that due to geography the RN will be heavily involved. Interestingly it may an area that the RN and PLAN may come in direct conflict as a point of direct U.K. national interest.

Crabfat
Crabfat
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Ben Wallace for Chancellor?

Crabfat
Crabfat
2 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

If Sunak loses his job,I mean,,,

AV
AV
1 day ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Think he and his wife are doing some major PR to ensure he stays. Dont have an issue with it myself, a lot of spin going on to taint them.

David Barry
David Barry
2 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Bluffing til tok who milks his military ‘experience’ every opportunity he gets.

The tories need a new cabinet, full stop. Tobias Ellwood for PM! Mercer for Defence.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

There are some decent Conservative MPs, Elwood, Mercer and Hunt come to mind as individuals who have directly stood up for what they have a passion for.

Jon
Jon
1 day ago
Reply to  David Barry

Ellwood comes over as a glory hound. Julian Lewis impressed me more.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago

Wonderful stuff. Great to hear the carrier working with a full mix of aircraft from F35b, sea stallions, cv-22 ospreys, merlins, wildcats and so on. Great training I imagine

Last edited 2 days ago by Monkey spanker
Paul42
Paul42
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Did POW actually embark any UK F35Bs?

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Dont believe so, original UK exercise was for anti sub…so Merlins with a wildcat contingent I think.

Esteban
Esteban
1 day ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There were no f-35 b models deployed by anyone. And guess who owned all the ospreys and the sea stallions. And the US Marines lost aviators when one of the ospreys went down… That would be actual commitment.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago

The article says POW is the biggest ship in the navy. How much bigger is she than queen Lizzie?

AV
AV
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Just heavier 👍

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 days ago
Reply to  AV

Bit longer also..

JohnH
JohnH
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I believe both carriers they are, within a gnat’s whisker, the same size and so both can claim to be our biggest warship.

AV
AV
1 day ago
Reply to  JohnH

But in naval terms biggest is viewed through the lense of displacement….POW is both heavier and now clearly longer (all be it marginally)…so POW definitely the biggest.

Jay R
Jay R
1 day ago

Let’s face it, the QE class are F35B carriers only, and that’s not a bad thing. The USMC would make good use of such an impressive warship, enabling a second fleet of back up carriers to the main us fleet. I wounder if we will ever see a carrier with a ski ramp in US service? Why on earth do the RAF need the F35B? UK defence needs a shake up. Aviation needs to be this: 60 F35B for the FAA. 72 F35A for the RAF. An additional order for Typhoons, 2 squadrons. 36 more A400Ms. 120 Blackhawks. Wedgetail number… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 day ago
Reply to  Jay R

RAF needs F-35B to muscle in on the Navy’s action and gain some purple credentials – its service politics and the RAF are the masters.
Blackhawk – why do we need to buy an old helicopter design – and anyway shouldn’t the AAC operate it?

Daveyb
Daveyb
40 minutes ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Joint Force Harrier sort of worked between the RAF and Navy. This was due to the size of the ship more than anything. As the Invincible class could only embark a squadron, so there were still Harriers left to send to Afghan etc. With the QE class, this is going to be different. The ship can easily embark 3 squadrons of the F35s and still have plenty of room left for other aircraft. So if we are talking 30 ish F35Bs on a carrier, plus another 5 in maintenance say, out of 48 how many are left for the RAF?… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 day ago
Reply to  Jay R

While I would agree with the FAA having control of the B’s and a number of A’s for the RAF I believe that the powers that be are in capable of thinking out of the box so for the time being I would just say we need more of every thing and once we get the numbers up then we can start to look at who should operate what.
If we try to change the system before the numbers go up then all that happens is loads more committees to talk the ideas to death.

John Clark
John Clark
1 day ago
Reply to  Jay R

I would think the RAF will definitely get F35A if project Tempest fizzles out….

It would be disappointing, but it would serve the RAF very well.

RobW
RobW
1 day ago
Reply to  John Clark

Unless other nations come on board it is hard to see how Tempest can achieve its goals without huge new investment from an increase in our defence budget. I hope that happens but if not yes F35A would seem to be the way to go for the RAF, along with new investment in Typhoon. Any ‘A’ order mustn’t limit the ‘B’ order for the carriers though, we need 70-90 of those to make the carriers work. There is no reason why new tranches of Typhoon couldn’t be part of the mix into the latter half of this century. It would… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 day ago
Reply to  RobW

I think we should emulate what Germany declared re: our defence budget.

Of course, ours has been better than theirs, we haven’t quite neglected our military to the same level they have. I’d say a £20 billion one-off payment to procure more Typhoons, upgrade all 227 Chally 2s to C3, buy more E7 Wedgetails, reverse the 10k troop cuts to the army and fit more offensive weapons to our ships.

Then increase defence spending to 2.5-3% (£50-60 billion per year total)

grizzler
grizzler
1 day ago
Reply to  John Clark

Is the A actually any good ..I know we’ve got the B due to the carrier design we opted for …but aside ofrmn the 30% (I think) sharing of parts inherent in the designs …is the A any good and would it serve the purpose required?
but in essence is viable yes I would split the B out and earmarkthem ostensibly for the carriers (both of em!)

Steve R
Steve R
22 hours ago
Reply to  grizzler

I wouldn’t split them unless there was suddenly a large increase in how many we’re ordering. If we’re only ever going to have 60-90 in service at any one time then they need to all be the B version. Anything else completely waters down our carrier air power. If we get 80 F35s then we can have: 4 frontline squadrons of 12 each (48) An OCU of 8-10 A test squadron of 3 18-29 spare airframes. I think the number would have to be at least the original 138, all in service at the same time, to warrant an A/B… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 day ago
Reply to  Jay R

They’re having the B so that we can surge the carriers if need be. If we had 2 squadrons of A and 2 of B then we’re only ever going to get 24 planes on our carriers. Maybe stretch to 30 by taking spares or planes out of the OCU as how 809 Squadron was created in the Falklands. They’re all carrier-capable, making them more flexible. If we went down an A/B split then we’d need more aircraft. Minimum 75 of each. I wouldn’t want to have fewer than 3 squadrons of each type. Agree re: Typhoons. I’d increase this… Read more »

Martin
Martin
1 day ago

It shows what an amazing a flexible design the CVF is. A real air base in the sea able to operate 5gen fighters and helicopters at the same time. Much more useful than a 100,000 CVN for 25% of the price.

grizzler
grizzler
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

I still want one that can fly ‘conventional’ carrier planes with more range tbh