HMS Sutherland is on Exercise Cold Response 2020, say the Royal Navy.
According to a news release, the Type 23 Frigate is the lead anti-submarine warship on the Norwegian-led winter exercise, which involves 15,000 troops from ten nations, including 2,000 from the UK.
“While Royal Marines raid inland via fast raiding craft and helicopters of Commando Helicopter Force, Devonport-based Sutherland is ready to pounce to protect the amphibious forces from subsurface attacks. The ‘Fighting Clan’ remains on call to respond to events and incidents around the UK, but has headed to the high north for a demanding programme of air defence, gunnery and joint anti-submarine exercises.
Sutherland most recently worked alongside the Royal Norwegian Navy’s frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl and completed a successful mission to locate and deter submarines in a Norwegian fjord. Anti-submarine warfare in the freeze of the north poses many challenges in itself – the temperature of the sea (as well as salinity and various temperature layers) play a key role in how effective sonar is – making this essential training for the Cold Response hunters.”
“Operating in the Norwegian fjords going up against a well-trained and worked-up Norwegian submarine who is operating in her own backyard has given us a fresh challenge and allowed us an opportunity to test our thought processes to make sure we’re up to the task,” Principle Warfare Officer (Underwater), Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell said.
“Our recent exercises have included operations with Norwegian frigates and a number of units from the Norwegian Corvette and Mine Countermeasure Squadrons.”