HMS Northumberland’s 4.5in main gun ‘lit up the sky’ in support of NATO troops ashore, say the MoD.
Responding to a number of fire missions requested by Viking, the call sign of the fire controller ashore, the Royal Navy say that 21 high explosive shells left the barrel at more than twice the speed of sound in salvos of up to five rounds at a time.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“The barrage was the Devonport warship’s most overt act yet after nine days’ participation in Trident Juncture 18, NATO’s largest exercise of the year – and the biggest war game hosted by Norway since the Cold War.
To date, Northumberland has been largely focused on practising anti-submarine warfare alongside her sister HMS Westminster, ‘protecting’ US assault ship USS Iwo Jima.”
However, as the task force approached the Norwegian coast, Northumberland broke away from the task group, sailed up to the ‘gunline’ in Frohavet Fjord under the cover of darkness, the Royal Navy add.
At 5.40am, the Principal Warfare Officer in Northumberland’s operations room gave the order: Four-five, engage.
And seconds later an hour-long bombardment of the ranges at Malorade was unleashed.