Frigates HMS Northumberland and Westminster are joining minehunters Cattistock, Hurworth, Grimsby and Ramsey, along with survey ship Enterprise for Trident Juncture 18, say the MoD.

X-Ray Company from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, are also embedded in the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“If all the participating vehicles were placed in a line they would form a continuous link of 92km (57 miles).

Admiral James G Foggo, commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples, is overseeing the exercise, which involves more than 40,000 personnel from all 29 NATO countries plus Finland and Sweden. The largest military exercise in Norway since the 1980s, Trident Juncture 18 aims to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together, and ready to respond to any threat.

The exercise, which takes place over 12 days, will see more than 1.8 million meals served, 4.6 million bottles of water consumed, and 660 tonnes of laundry dealt with. NATO and the Norwegian Armed Forces have signed contracts with Norwegian businesses worth nearly £1.75m.”

Around 150 aircraft, including a Merlin Mk2 from 814 NAS aboard Northumberland, 65 vessels and up to 10,000 vehicles are taking part in the exercise, which is centred around central and eastern Norway, the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Norway.

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Steve Taylor

There was a time, not so long ago, when that wouldn’t have been a headline.


Yup – very sad to see the continuous erosion of both the surface and sub-surface fleets and no-one in office seems to give a damn. I applaud Gavin Williamson for doing his utmost on behalf of the Armed Forces but his cries are simply falling on deaf ears.

Cam Hunter

It’s so frustrating how even South Korea has navy bigger than Britains, it has twice as many destroyers as Britain, 9 more atack submarines, they have the Same number of frigates 13 but they also have 14 corvettes. And our economy is far bigger than South Korea’s. It’s so frustrating that we have cut so many ships from the RN and RFA…


…… ahhhh but do they have the same Overseas Aid Budget as we do???? (… said with a heavy dollop of sarcasm…).

I agree – absolutely pathetic state of affairs……


If we had China and North Korea on our doorstep our Navy would be significantly larger too. There was a lot of money pi$$ed away through delays on the Type 45, hopefully lessons well learned. Another reason we get so little return for our money is investing in our own Radar and Missiles to maintain UK Sovereignty and the defense industry. Sampson and Sea Viper cost more because the R&D is spread over fewer vessels. If we took the Spanish approach with US Missiles, Radar and Combat Management System we likely could have had 8-10 T45’s for the same cost.… Read more »

David E Flandry

Hopefully South Korea will never have SSBNs, but their plans include a 4000 ton SSK with AIP. With all those Type 209s and Type 212s, they still have a potent force.

andy reeves

south korean military is built and mainly retained by donations and gifts from the u.s its not that long ago south Korea acquired the licence to build its own version of the Oliver hazard Perry frigate, building them in their own yards


No mention of any support from the RFA in that piece. With as many tankers as the RN has destroyers these days it would be surprising if there were no support from the RFA in this major exercise. Fair play the Bay’s are all deployed but supporting NATO task groups and operations in European waters was an area where the RFA once had a high profile. New Tides? Waves? Forts?

Kevin Banks

Sad times when a survey vessel has to make up the numbers.

andy reeves



Isn’t there a Type 45 also taking part? No mention of that……. Oh, don’t tell me.