Seven Archer class vessels from the Royal Navy’s 1st Patrol Boat Squadron have taken part in BALTOPS, alongside 43 other ships and 60 aircraft from 22 allied nations.

The Royal Navy say exercise featured live fire training, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, air defence and for the first time, joint personnel recovery from the sea (the Archer class vessels of 1PBS playing a key role in this new addition to BALTOPS).

Lieutenant Duncan Napier, Commanding Officer of HMS Example said in a release, “This exercise really demonstrated how adaptable and flexible the Archer class vessels of 1PBS can be, reacting to the real-time changes in the scenario, and truly proving we are small ships with a big impact.”

Primarily, the ships played the opposing force for most of the exercise, conducting a wide range of threat profiles against the different ships. These ranged from acting as belligerent fishing vessels to coordinated ‘swarm’ attacks, seeking to isolate and destroy any unit they could draw away from the main group.

Commander Mark Hammon, Commander 1PBS said, “This deployment of seven vessels to the Baltic sea once again displays the utility and the impact that these small vessels can have; they reach places that are not reachable by any other deployable vessel in the Royal Navy; they have created their own niche within the surface fleet.”

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NATO does have quite the plethora of baby patrol boats of negligable military use.

Odd to see one of those US Navy catamarans as well


You may have been looking at a Latvian Skrunda class patrol vessel.


Now THAT is embarrassing. The Navy that once ruled the waves can only contribute a handful of tiny patrol boats in the large assemblage pictured above!

David Stephen

So should we have sent Type 45s & 23s to simulate enemy threats? That would make zero sense. They did not need high end ASW or AAW capabilities to perform the task required. Sending the assets we did is perfectly reasonable. We have other ships deployed on NATO tasks and are contributing to NATO MCM groups 1 & 2, NATO SMG1, Task Forces 150 & 151. As well as maintaining Op Kip, ATPN & ATPS, FOST, FRE, TAPS and CASD. I think sending 7 Archer class to BALTOPS is a pretty good effort.


Agreed. These vessels are simulating attacks by numbers of small, fast boats, that could be operated by states or terrorist groups in, for example, the Persian Gulf, against much larger NATO or coalition warships. A Type 45, Type 23 or even an OPV would not be able to perform that task. The Archers are ideal for this kind of training.


And if the larger vessels worked with the other ships it’s very likely they would have a heads up on tactics and capabilities rather defeating the object of the exercise.


Not as embarrassing as your ill informed and ignorant comment…

Where does it say that the RN was unable to send anything else? If the requirement was to send some small boats manned by experienced personnel to act as aggressors in a particular environment then the requirement was fulfilled.

Did you expect to see one of the carriers zooming all over the place acting as a small fishing boat?

Paul Cox

And they have the audacity to broadcast this as if the fact they can send 7 vessels on exercise is a good thing. We’ve akways been able to do this but historically there were more men in one messdeck than in the entire RN contingent. Embarrassing and shameful.

Daniele Mandelli

Easy ammunition for the moaners.

But utter nonsense on their part.

The RN has ships deployed all over the world. If we send the small Archers so what exactly? What do people expect with their role in this exercise.

Some just love to find fault with everything.


I agree with Geoff’s comments on 30th June, that these patrol boats are unarmed large motor launches and have no military value. We should have sent some minesweepers and/or Offshore patrol vessels at least to give at least some statement of power.


Again not the point of the exercise the enemy had to be vessels from a navy not otherwise participating is it really that difgicult to understand and their armament is irrelevant they were just representing vessels with a potential wide range of armament. They don’t actually have to have or use those weapons to be representative of the threat especially as we don’t actually have the actual weapons most likely to represent the threat anyway on NATO vessels. How the hell does a bigger vessel especially a mnehunter or similar represent a fast attack craft for heaven sake?


Thanks David. Love this site for its level of real debate and knowledge.My comment was meant in general terms-not specific to this excercise. The symbolism in the above,notwithstanding my learned friends explanations above, is hard to escape!


Hope we had a admiral in charge of this fleet


Capable of up to 45 knots, quite ideal for simulating attack moves. The actual armament they carry is unimportant, they could in theory be carrying anything – including anti-ship missiles.


I think the hull form would allow 45kts but the engine only allows 25kts.