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.”