Type 23 Frigate HMS Lancaster linked up with HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl for exercises in the Arctic and were joined by two Norwegian Air Force F-16s providing a “realistic foe” in the Arctic skies, say the Royal Navy.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“On entering the Arctic Circle, Lancaster and Thor Heyerdahl worked together to improve the smooth operation of the two allies across the full range of naval warfare in the High North: navigation, communications and dealing with threats below, on and above the waves.

Two Norwegian Air Force F-16s provided the two ships with a realistic ‘foe’ in the Arctic skies.

Late winter storms caused the warships to seek the shelter of the fjords which afforded extra training for bridge teams in confined waters – and allowed the ship’s company some rare Arctic sightseeing while conducting damage-control drills.”

“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. These exercises ensure we are ready for any incident that could occur day or night,” explained Warrant Officer Si Hargreaves, Lancaster’s Executive Warrant Officer.

You can read more here.

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Rob

Whenever these exercises are reported we learn that it has taken place but not who won. Did the ship’s radars pick them up early enough? Did the simulated Sea Ceptor engagement catch the aircraft before they closed the target? How did all ranks do, gun teams, medics, damage control, etc…

Guess they keep all that well under the hat but it would be nice to know.

Gunbuster

No single entity wins… Everyone does as exercises break down into phases to test everyone, attacker and defender alike. Long range detection and engagement – Ship win Long range detection and missile Launch – F16 win. Simulated hit- DC Drills ship win. FGA attack- F16 win CRW Drills against FGA- Ship wins Crew working on the upper deck in the artic – Ship win. Working in Fijords and around the Norwegian islands is like nothing else you do in the RN. It has its own set of constraints on both attacker and defender. I have done it a few times… Read more »

Max Jones

The issue with releasing information about who wins is that it can be divisive and people end up saying X is better than Y and then cite a training exercise as a reason. Often an individual drill will be designed with a specific outcome in mind.

Rob N

Theoretically the 997 and Sea Ceptor should be more than a match for a 4 generation un-stealthy fighter. However things are not that simple – close into land planes can be masked by the terrain until the last minute. To defend itself properly the defence would need to be very fast. A bit like San Carlos Water in the Falklands. I can only hope the T23 has an automated defence mode. I fear that they will wish to keep men in the defence loop to ‘keep control’, were as in modern warfare time is luxury that cannot be afforded.

Gunbuster

You are in the loop… To turn auto mode on. After that the only man in the loop is to turn it off. As you say man in the loop is to slow… Let the computers do it and you tell them not to.

Gunbuster

Good thing about Fijords (besides the crinkly bits) is they are steep sided all the way to the bottom. Ships can get really close to the sides which helps to mask them from aircraft above.

As they are narrow ish and usually way, way higher than the Ship detection for either side is down to mk1 eyeball a lot of the time.

Nate m

is that how the Tirpitz and Bismarck hid during ww2?

john melling

Thor Heyerdahl :O looking modern, compared to a cluttered looking Lancaster
Believe they have 8 NSMs on them Fridtjof Nansen class
Eventually replacing those F16 with F35s i think?

Jonny

Was thinking about how much more modern the Norwegian frigate looks. How do the insides of the ships compare?

Nate m

tbh better. the Norwegians are new with more advanced sensors. the oldest ship in the class(Fridtjof Nansen) dates back to 2003, the oldest t23 is hms Norfolk. the newest Nansen class ( Thor Heyerdahl) dates back to 2007, the newest t23s (st Albans) dates back to 2000. Soo our newest one can compare with their oldest one.

Gunbuster

Not wanting to pish on your parade but you are talking B******s. The RN sold Norfolk and 2 other T23s to Chile in the 2005. One of them Marlborough I was on at the time and paid her off. I was in the last group of 3 RN staff, one WE, one ME and the OOD to walk off the gangway having actually and physically turned the lights off and locked the doors before handing the keys over to DESA… Since then the remaining T23 have had new radars (Main and Nav) , New IFF, Link updates, Sea Ceptor missiles,… Read more »

Nate m

oh k. but don’t you think designs a bit old. but ours are lighter so i guess more manoeuvrable? also is the 4.5 inch auto or semi auto? (just out of curiosity btw)

Gunbuster

4.5 is fully auto, just keep putting rounds on the feed ring and it will keep going at 20rnds a min.
Stealth wise a T23 comes in at the size of a fishing trawler on radar…which is pretty good for the size of the thing…. All those angled doors , sloping sides and avoiding natural radar reflector angles on the upper deck all help.

David

Woah! Tonto, pulled back on the reins! Is Sunday not a working day in the middle east 😉

Gunbuster

Yep it’s a work day here … Was up at 5 with a little bit of a headache (self induced… LFC beat the Gooners 😁) , In work for 0615. I have 10 days left to undock a ship that still has a 150m sq hole in its flight deck above the engine room, ( it was 350sqm in total so its getting smaller) its 30+ degs, blowing a whooly, I cannot crane on the 3 x 3 tonne steel plates I need because its gusting 35knts and I didn’t even get a friken Creme Egg Easter Egg off the… Read more »

Nate m

wow must be tough working in the RN.

Gunbuster

Not in anymore I now just fix war canoes of various nations… I actually now have to work for a living!!

Airborne

You can’t beat knowledge and experience! Although a clue about some of those acronyms would be great 😁

Airborne

Nate do you actually have any military knowledge or experience? Excuse my possible rudeness but a lot of your posts are absolute chuff.

Nate m

no I am a civi but I wanna work in the military. in terms of knowledge i know a decent amount of things about our armed forces and armed forces of the world.

Robert Blay.

Just join up then mate, and do it for real. You will find that people serving, never look at sites like this. Only when you leave, and want to keep your hand in, do you then discover defence sites like this.

Nate m

ya don’t think their gonna let a year 9 in.

Robert Blay

Cadets then? I was 20 when I joined the RN. Time of my life, would recommend it to anyone. And todays RN is a great time to serve.

Airborne

I joined at 16…even nowadays I recommend doing a few years and seeing how you like it. But if your to young I know a group in Sierra Leone that recruits lads from age 10 upwards 😂. Do it, you won’t regret it.

Nate m

also how was my post above chuff. gunbuster agreed that in some cases Norwegians are better then us!

Airborne

Many countries are better than us, we have capabilities others don’t and vice versa, but you don’t seem to understand the concept of combined arms, asymmetric warfare etc etc and it’s not about just counting numbers anymore. It’s not top trumps, it’s about capability and the ability to deploy. Do some research prior to posting continued negative posts. Or ask some on here, they are pretty sound in their advice and experience, take Gunbuster for one, underwater knife fighting ninja on RN matters.

Nate m

okay come on, in terms of training and numbers only 7. but you can’t beat our training. also this question is not related to this but how many air victories u need to get to be an ace of the ace (like the red baron during ww1) if so is the ace of the ace still a thing?

Gunbuster

PMSL!

Pete

19 years between respective launches….1991 and 2009 and 17 years between launch of first in class. Not much wonder they look generation’s apart.

I see the ‘modern’ Norwegian vessel has Stingray. I get what people say, especially in a blue water scenario, that if you are using Stingray you are too close. However, does Stingray not have an effective use in tight littoral environments such as entrances to Norwegian fjords or in the confined environments of the outer and inner Hebrides where sub hunting Frigates may come across subs at relatively short ranges ?

Gunbuster

Sting Ray is very effective in the littoral. In real life training shots against subs all the collected data is used to develop and update the software in the torpedo. When a software update is introduced it is applied and contains the latest lessons learnt. It can also be applied through the skin of the weapon in the armament depot…. You don’t need to dismantle it. When launched by aircraft the parachute used on most torpedoes is immediately detached when they hit the water. The torpedo then plunges very deep into the water before orientation itself, self checking and then… Read more »

pete

That was my understanding GB and what I was poorly trying to say…Stingray is a very effective Weapon, still highly valued and effective in the Literal environments. Im really just questioning why Type 26 wont have the option of a ship launch Stingray…or does that mean they will add an ASROC capability (perhaps the Japanese version) and/or rely on a helicopter launch of Stingray which would come with reaction time problems in confined waters.

Gunbuster

Ship launch Sting Ray in blue water was and is going to be a bit of a hail mary .
If RN Transformation proceeds as it currently is then what you could have is drones on the surface or in the air on a constant rotation carrying whatever you need, Sting Ray being one of them.
The F35s from a carrier will have Loyal Wingmen…
Frigates could have Loyal MTB or MGB.

pete

Understand the Blue Water issue GB (as mentioned in my original comment). I guess what your saying is don’t necessarily look to Type 26 for the protection of, for example, the CAS deterrent as it comes in and out of home waters …rather that role could be part of the scope of Type 32 with Loyal MTB or MGB you mention and other land based drones…gotcha. Cheers

Max Jones

ASROC and ship-based Torpedoes are pretty similar. Both are short notice systems mostly used as a last wave of defence in case you suddenly spot a threat which hasn’t already killed you from 50km away. ASROC has an extension in range which helps but it’s the same general role being occupied.

Helicopter-deployed torpedoes are still a far better system with the main caveat being the reaction time (if a submarine is spotted a few kilometres away you won’t have time to fuel, load and deploy a helicopter).

Gunbuster

Unless its at Alert 5…

Stand Off Rocket Man

That being the case, why haven’t we (or others) already developed a version of ASROC that can be launched to 60+kms away or even further? As far as I remember there were talks about it, and I know the Russians have such missiles that supposedly can reach to 100km+

Gunbuster

You cannot generate an accurate enough range and bearing at that range. You are talking possibly a convergence zone distance so environmental come into play in a big way for passive. For active you would struggle to detect let alone hold the target for a firing solution at 100km . Chances are you launch the missile and the sub would not be where the torpedo dropped. As lightweight tops have a max 7-10 min running time if you don’t drop right on top of the sub, the torpedo won’t find the sub or if it does see it it won’t… Read more »

Stand Off Rocket Man

OK, thanks. So, then the question becomes, why aren’t all anti-sub frigates equipped with 2 ASW helicopters as standard? Surely having only one leaves the sub open to attack when the only onboard helicopter is under repair etc? I know the Type 26 has space for 2 Merlin as far as I understand it, but will they routinely have 2 aboard? Also, what do you think about anti-torpedo torpedoes such as the one being developed by ATLAS? Surely they would be a no brainer to have aboard as standard if they work. I know the Americans took their version off… Read more »

Stand Off Rocket Man

leaves the ship open to attack is obviously what I meant…

Gunbuster

RN vessels have a Torpedo Defence system fitted. It comes in a couple of parts. A wet end towed acoustic detection system that has a couple of other parts that decoy incoming torpedoes and a counter measure launching system for putting decoys into the water. All of it is computer controlled and whilst the wet end is not a full on towed array system that an ASW ship would use to detect subs, you can identify in general terms things in the water besides topedos if you know what you are doing and know what to look for with regards… Read more »

Gunbuster

T 22 carried 2 x Lynx but as ponies not hunters. It was by exception that you got 2. Even then it was usually a standard lynx plus a full on Gulf modded one and in threat areas for surface not ASW warfare. 2 helos would improve things in wartime. But then everything that floats with a flight deck would get a Helo and you would in all likely hood be in a task group so plenty of air assets spread over plenty of ships. Merlin hunters localising targets and Wilcats ponying in Sting Ray for VECTACs after the Merlin… Read more »

Stand Off Rocket Man

Thanks for your answers! So interesting and informative for someone like me who’s not on the front end of all of this. I knew about the torpedo defence, but not how it works or how effective it is. Re “Of course if the warhead is a bucket of sunshine”, I think it would be a good idea to have anti-sub rockets/missiles that are nuclear capable. May never get used, we hope, but it’s the deterrent factor. Even if there is some agreement in place that such warheads are not allowed, the Russians/Chinese will have them ready to use if necessary.But… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Stand Off Rocket Man
Max Jones

Type 26 will have 2 merlins, though I’m not sure they will deploy with them considering the cost of all the aircraft that would entail. Certainly not in CSGs.

Nate m

kinda embarrassing to see a rust stain on our ship and nothing on the Norwegian.

Gunbuster

She is Operational not Decorational.

Anchors and the cable cause rust because they scrape and batter the paint when being used, so she has been at anchor a few times.
It shows she has been at sea working and not tied up alongside

Nate m

fair point

Captain P Wash

We have a “Different kind of Sea Salt” .

Airborne

Really? In Afghan we looked a bag of shit, fucking good though.

Posse Comitatus

A previous U.S. defence Secretary (James Mattis) in conversation with his Chinese counterpart said that while he would do all he could to avoid war, if he had to go to war then he would prefer his opponent to be one where the entire officer corps had never experienced combat or been subject to hostile fire. A similar principle applies here. That RN type 23 and its crew and training, rust or not would be a formidable adversary for any naval vessel. No disrespect to the Norwegians, but I know the ship I’d want to be on if push came… Read more »