The Royal Navy and U.S. Navy have tested “traditional and future minehunting techniques and equipment” in the first of new regular training exercises in the Gulf, say the Royal Navy here.
According to a news release:
“Crewed and uncrewed minehunters from the two allies worked side by side as the Royal Navy’s entire presence in the Gulf – five warships and one support vessel, involving upwards of 500 men and women – took part in Exercise Interop.
All four minehunters – HMS Brocklesby, Chiddingfold, Penzance and Shoreham – and their mother ship, RFA Lyme Bay, which has recently arrived in the region as the floating headquarters/warehouse/supermarket/petrol station for British and partner mine warfare vessels, took part, plus the USS Sentry.
The exercise demonstrated the continued ability of the two allies to work together seamlessly, with the added frisson of autonomous minehunting systems operating alongside conventional vessels, all directed by the UK Mine Countermeasures Force (UKMCMFOR) battlestaff from Lyme Bay.”
The Royal Navy also add that HMS Montrose’s participation allowed the frigate to co-ordinate a swarm attack in on the minehunters which were expected to fend off US Navy fast patrol boats as well as Montrose’s RIBs, “testing the gunnery skills of the hunters’ crews and their vessels’ manoeuvrability”.