Six Archer class vessels have engaged HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group, simulating an assault by fast inshore attack craft.
HMS Puncher, HMS Biter, HMS Express, HMS Charger, HMS Archer and HMS Trumpeter faced off HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group.
The Archer class comprise sixteen P2000 Archer Class Fast Inshore Patrol Craft, according to the Royal Navy:
“Due to their unique ability to operate in ports and confined waters not traditionally accessible to other Warships, they can conduct several roles from Safeguarding Britain’s Nuclear fleet, Maritime Security, Force Protection, support to overseas NATO Operations, to supporting the training of the next generation of Warfare Officers.”
Half of Coastal Forces Squadron entering the Sound of Mull 🏴
— HMS Puncher (@HMSPuncher) May 11, 2021
The craft are attacking as ‘opposing forces’, darting around the Scottish islands to simulate attacks by fast inshore attack craft in order to train the Carrier Strike Group to defend against them.
A fast attack craft is typically a small, fast, agile and offensive combat vessel armed with anti-ship missiles, guns or torpedoes. FACs are usually operated in close proximity to land as they lack both the seakeeping and all-round defensive capabilities to survive in blue water. They are designed to ‘swarm’ enemy warships.