HMS Duncan, currently flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, recently led a meeting of NATO vessels in the Aegean Sea.

Duncan, in company with the Turkish frigate TCG Gemlik and Spanish frigate ESPS Victoria, met up with German frigate FGS Bayern and Greek naval vessels for a passing exercise, known as PASSEX.

Bayern, flagship of Task Unit 1, was accompanied by the Hellenic Navy destroyer HS Adrias, fast-attack craft HS Mykonios and gunboat HS Armatolos.

Recently HMS Duncan sailed through the Bosphorus Straight and into the Black Sea, a move described by Russian media recently as ‘clear provocation’. HMS Duncan is leading Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 ‘(SNMG2), what NATO call an ‘Immediate Reaction Force’. The destroyer left Portsmouth Naval Base in early January resume the role after a three-month stint in charge last year.

SNMG2 is a ‘multinational, integrated maritime force’ – made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team – that is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from participating in exercises to crisis response and real world operational missions.

Last year, HMS Duncan visited the Ukrainian port of Odessa in the first visit by a Royal Navy ship in eight years.

The Type 45 destroyer is one of the most advanced air-defence vessels in the world. So powerful is the vessels SAMPSON radar, from Glasgow, it could monitor the air traffic over the entirety of Scotland and northern England.

The US Naval War College has suggested that the SAMPSON radar is capable of tracking 1,000 objects the size of a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound

The UK’s National Audit Office reported that, during an ‘intensive attack’, a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together.

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Spain and Turkey-reliable allies..??

Sceptical Richard

I would say Spain yes, Turkey probably less so these days. But it all depends on the nature of the threat and who is threatening you and how. If and when the balloon goes up, it is important to continue to hold regular exercises with our NATO partners. I’d rather have the Turks on my side than against me…


Agree with what you say. My only reservations are Spain-the Gibraltar issue? Turkey- a bit of a loose canon-one minute cursing the Russians, the next the best of pals

Stuart Willard

They love to play one off against the other to gain advantages for itself especially in terms of gaining advantages in NATO, defence and compromise from the West generally. It’s only going going to get worse sadly.


Given Turkey’s increasing belligerence toward Greece it’s hard to stomach it being part of NATO patrols in the Aegean. Perhaps it’s a way of reminding Turkey of it’s obligations, even so.


I am really tossing the coin as to which side an Erdogan led Turkey is going to come down on… Wonder how much more the Turk Military is willing to stand. They’ve been purged far worse than even the Venezuelan military…

Apologies for any typos – I’m actually posting these at Angels 4 and it’s a bumpy cloud top ride today!




Just as we were musing…

Truth is stranger than fiction…

Daniele Mandelli


Cheers for the link on previous Carrier thread concerning USN.

Sceptical Richard

You lead a charmed life Helions!


I was really hoping I did RS after some of the really good jolts we were taking over the mid section of the country and then again about halfway over to HNL.

Took me back years – all I had to do was shut my eyes and imagine the roar of turboprops and I could have been the back of a C-130 on a low level in the North Carolina summer… Not so sweet memories those… 😀



Thank you sir!