Frigate HMS Iron Duke is playing the role of an enemy warship to give a NATO fleet a realistic threat which it must try to counter in an exercise scenario.

According to a Royal Navy press release:

“Due to an unexpected change to the ship’s programme, Iron Duke had to make rapid preparations to deploy and sustain herself in the Baltic with only a few days’ notice, from storing enough provisions to sustain the crew for a month away, collecting £110,000 worth of Polish Zloty, Danish Krone and Euros to help the port visit programme, take onboard and, unusually for a Type 23 Frigate, embarking a Wildcat helicopter from the Commando Helicopter Force – more typically found supporting Royal Marines on the battlefield than warships mid-ocean.

The exercise itself was split into two distinct phases; the Combat Enhancement and Force Integration Training phase, which comprised an intense series of warfare activities.”

The second phase involved HMS Iron Duke switching sides to play the enemy of NATO Forces, ‘posing a credible threat to NATO activity and providing the allied warships them a realistic adversary on which to practise their warfare tactics’ say the Royal Navy.

“Part of the job of playing enemy forces is to train NATO; Iron Duke was part of a Danish-led Task Group which aimed to deny control of the sea to the coalition who brought their full suite of war fighting capabilities to bear on the Portsmouth-based frigate.”

BALTOPS is an annual exercise which tests the 16 allied and partner maritime nations taking part. Exercise BALTOPS is designed to demonstrate the unity of NATO allies and partners in the region whilst indicating strength in providing security in the Baltic Region.

HMS Iron Duke is a Type 23 frigate, her original design role was anti-submarine warfare, but she can be employed in a variety of roles.

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John Hampson

Thought Polish Zloty and Danish Krone were history?


i thought the ship was somehow hacked and started firing at allies from the title XD


Well it’s not going to be much of a challenge soon. No anti ship missiles mean it will be blown out of the water before it can even get in range.

Nick Bowman

That’s what I was thinking. Hardy a Sovremenny or a Kirov when it comes to surface warfare, is it?


Is the government still SERIOUSLY going to go through with deletion of Harpoon without replacement??? I hope they have used the time to look at what a bungling, idiotic and irresponsible move that would be and either fund Harpoon properly or find a viable alternative. This is deftly serious, let alone embarrassing in front of our allies. Can you imagine a RN ship ‘escorting’ a tanker through the Straits of Hormuz with just a pop-gun on deck to ward off the bad guys’ ships? The Russians, Chinese and Iranians must be loving this – and I don’t blame them! Stupid,… Read more »


Defence, police, nurses, legal aid, pupil funding, firefighters all swinging cuts.

Aid rises by a whopping c£10b pa since Tories came into power though so there’s that.

In another time it would be called treason.

Nick Bowman

I wouldn’t worry about the Straits of Hormuz. Missiles, aircraft and small boats are clearly the major threats and British warships can effectively defend against those threats. The problem is that in blue water combat against modern surface units, the RN’a surface units will not be able to sink ships. That’s a ridiculous situation to be in.

Mr Bell

Sheer stupidity. Why can we not just get the proven and tested Norwegian antiship missile 100+km range, fire and forget, stealth features and adaptable for vertical launch, cannister launch, ship, shore, sub or aircraft launched. What’s not to like. £300-400 million would cover all antiship requirements in peacetime. HMG need to get real if they think scrapping harpoon without an immediately ready replacement is anything other than utter stupidity.

Mr Bell

In answer to Ian’s comment. By definition of undermining the defence capability of the nation and undermining key public services, the Torries are totally guilty of treason.