NATO’s anti-submarine warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2019 began Monday, February 25th off the Sicilian coast.
The exercise involves ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from 10 Allied nations converging on the Central Mediterranean Sea for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare training.
Submarines from Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, under the control of NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), are joining nine surface ships from the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Italy, Turkey, France, and Greece.
As host nation, Italy will provide support in Catania Harbour, the Navy Helicopter Base in Catania and Naval Air Station Sigonella, as well as logistic support (refuelling operations, medical assistance and personnel accommodation) in Augusta Naval Base.
“NATO’s annual anti-submarine-warfare exercise DYNAMIC MANTA remains one of the most challenging exercises and an excellent opportunity for NATO nations’ naval forces to practice and evaluate their Anti-Submarine skillset in a challenging environment,” said Rear Admiral Andrew Lennon, NATO Submarines Commander.
“This exercise is a unique opportunity to enhance naval forces’ war fighting skills in all three dimensions of Anti-Submarine-Warfare in a multinational and multi-threat environment. We appreciate the outstanding host nation support of the Italian Navy that is required to make this challenging and effective exercise happen.”
To support the simulated multi-threat environment, a total of six Maritime Patrol Aircraft and 2 Helicopters from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States will operate from Sigonella Air Base and from the Italian Navy’s Helicopter base in Catania, under the control of personnel from NATO Maritime Air Command.
The aim of this exercise, say NATO, is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills.


  1. Why do ASW exercises like this often take place in the Med?

    I recall other reports on UKDJ of this sort of training in those waters.

    Are the waters shallower than the Atlantic, or warmer, giving differing returns? I guess so?

    Do NATO ever do ASW exercises like this in the Atlantic or is that left to the USN and RN?

    • The Atlantic is where the serious sub hunting takes place. Best leave that to the ones with the highest competency. I’m sure between us, Norway, Sweden and the US we have it covered. I would of said Germany too, but they don’t have any working subs lol.

      • shame we don’t have any conventional submarines i’d love to see if a gotland type attack on the group by conventional powered submarines would be foiled£1.4 billion for 1 astute or far more gotlands built for £100 million? i know what i’d prefer.anyone here speak swedish?

    • Why do these exercises take place in the Med instead of the Atlantic in early March? Cos its cold and wet in the middle of the ocean at this time of year perhaps and the planners didn’t fancy two weeks in mid Atlantic being seasick when instead they could have a run ashore in some nice Mediterranean ports?

    • Lot’s of interesting submarines roaming around the Med these days…Never know when you might want to have the experience, training and skills to find and track one…

  2. Pretty sure ASW exercise in the med is just unfair If they have MPA’s available to them, Just look down bingo there you are you pesky sub.

    Sorry Andy but I’m pretty sure you know them.

  3. Sorry to rain on the idea of lots of good runs ashore and balmy weather, the Med in winter can be more than choppy, it can be very rough and unpleasant. And it is a rotten environment for ASW, lots of thermocline difficulties, different water densities and always the possibility that you can run across a contact that isn’t one of the boats you are supposed to be exercising with. So a good place to practice your art.
    It’s good to see that a UK nuke is taking part, pity that we don’t have a frigate as well.

    • Yeah, an anti-sub Type 23 should be involved, but no doubt the RN couldn’t spare one of the 8. We need more than 8 ASW frigates! I hope the type 31s get some kind of ASW kit.


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