Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) completed annual Romanian multinational exercise Sea Shield 2018 today in the Black Sea.

The NATO Group includes flagship Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan, Spanish frigate SPS Victoria, Bulgarian frigate BGS Drazki, Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand and Turkish frigate TCG Gimlik and joined ships, submarines, aircraft and soldiers from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and the United States to conduct the exercise off the coast of Romania in the Black Sea.

The exercise participants enhanced interoperability by practicing NATO standard procedures for defence against aircraft, ship or submarine attack as well as asymmetric threats that can take many forms.

NATO ships ROS Regele Ferdinand and ESPS Victoria conducted a boarding operation drill on May 8th. During the exercise the Romanian Air Force provided three MiG 21 Lancers and the Royal Air Force contributed three Typhoon jets to serve as simulated air threats. Romanian Land Forces participated in the exercise for the first time with a detachment of infantry from the Mechanized Brigade 9 in Mărăşeşti.

A specific period of the exercise focused on honing anti-submarine warfare skills in a coordinated effort by ships and maritime patrol aircraft from Turkey and the United States.

Commander Utley, Commander of SNMG2 said:

“This Exercise enables the NATO Allies to work together and build individual and collective capability whilst delivering reassurance to Allied nations bordering the Black Sea.

Closer cooperation and communication is one key element of this interoperability, an example of that is demonstrated today in that I arrived via a UK Navy helicopter which landed on a Romanian warship, whilst conducting an Anti-submarine exercise against a Turkish submarine, all this activity being safely controlled by a multinational staff.”

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That’s one good looking ship

Sceptical Richard

Yep, harpoon on board somehow rounds her off nicely.

Nigel Collins

Hopefully with Dragonfire by the end of 2019.
If we have enough money left in the pot!


Doubt that, probably on a barge. But the only type in the fleet that will have the power requirements for laser weapons I’d imagine


Yes, I would like to see the RN Harpoons upgraded to Block II and fitted to the Type 31. Currently AShM is only an ‘adaptable’ requirement. I can’t believe we won’t afford this. It would give Type 31 much more credibility.
I think there is a relatovely inexpensive upgrade kit available.

Andy G

I wouldnt be relying on Turkish forces at this point. Huge military buildup happening there and they are aligning more and more with Moscow.


Closer trade and project ties with Turkey are an unsavoury comsequence of Brexit. Erdogen is intent on rebuilding the Ottoman empire.

David Steeper

Andy G seconded. But at least as far as we’re concerned I’d add the Spanish. Not sure we wouldn’t live to regret showing the Spanish how we operate and what we’re capable and incapable of doing.

Paul T

David – apart from the ‘Gibraltar’ issue I don’t really have any concerns regarding the Spanish,i work in an environment with a fair few of them and they seem reasonable people.As an anecdotal point I grew up in a small village in Kent,unbeknown to me at the back end of the Battle of Britain a ME109 crash landed within the parish due to technical issues,it was pretty much intact by all accounts.The strange fact was the pilot (soon to become pow) was not German but was actually Spanish, it certainly surprised me.