HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Destroyer, is taking part in a two-week exercise with the French Navy.
Exercise POLARIS 21 is a huge workout for the French Navy in every aspect of combat at sea: carrier operations, anti-submarine warfare, mine clearance, amphibious landings, as well as cyber threats and the latest drone tech. According to a Royal Navy news release:
“The Marine Nationale is keen to test its ability to ‘plug and fight’ with its allies. So while France provides the bulk of participants in two tasks, headed by her flagship aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle, Spain, Italy, Greece, the USA have all thrown their hats in the ring with the Royal Navy to get the most out of the exercise.
In all, more than 6,000 personnel, two dozen ships, one nuclear submarine, Navy Rafale jets, French land and air forces are involved in Polaris, which is split between the Atlantic and Mediterranean.”
It is understood that the international force will spend the first week ‘warming up’: getting to know each other and their methods of operating, before Polaris shifts gear into a more demanding test of all participants, focused on the Charles de Gaulle battle group.