The UK and Norway have reinforced their commitment to joint anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic, say the MoD.

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted Norwegian State Secretary Tone Skogen (pictured above) to discuss NATO and the UK’s role in the North Atlantic.

The UK is purchasing in nine new Boeing Poseidon P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, with Norway committing to a further five. The aircraft are sophisticated submarine-hunters designed to scout complex undersea threats.

The aircraft will work together, and with NATO allies, to combat a range of intensifying threats in the North Atlantic, including increased hostile submarine activity.

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“The UK’s maritime patrol aircraft programme demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working with international allies in the North Atlantic, strengthening our alliances with valued partners such as Norway. Our two nations share basing facilities, undergo cold weather training together and patrol the seas and skies side-by-side allowing us to successfully face down the growing threats from adversaries in the North Atlantic region.”

During the visit, the defence ministers experienced a demonstration flight in a US Navy Poseidon P-8A aircraft.

Norwegian State Secretary Tone Skogen said:

“The UK and Norway have a long history of cooperation on maritime surveillance and operations. This close relationship will only improve now that we will operate the same type of MPA, the P-8 Poseidon. UK and Norwegian priorities are aligned in the North Atlantic, and we look forward to a close and integrated partnership in meeting common challenges within the realm of maritime security.”

The entire nine-strong UK Poseidon P-8A fleet will be based at RAF Lossiemouth. The first aircraft has been built and has just completed its first test flight. It will be handed over to the RAF in the United States later this year and arrive in Scotland early in 2020.

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Herodotus
2 years ago

Nice looking aircraft…though I always thought that the Nimrod looked absolutely menacing. As did the Victor!

Rob
Rob
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I’m not sure the submariners would notice the difference underwater ?

Good plan to work closely together. Will hopefully mean our 9 are enough for our needs.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

You are, of course, absolutely right! Especially when the depth charges started going off around you. Or the hydrophones picked up the fizz of a homing torpedo. Who’d be a submariner?

Rob
Rob
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

A special breed indeed. Probably why we don’t build more subs, I imagine crewing them is difficult.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

A mate of mine used to be on subs…diesel electric jobs…he said he did it because he got better pay. The downside was smelling of sweat, diesel and battery acid. I’ve been on a nuke….just to install some equipment….can’t say I would want to go to sea in one. Though the standard of crew accommodation on the Astute class these days is supposed to be 4 star!

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I’ve always been led to believe that being a submariner attracted an extra 1/3 pay over normal rates. Not 100% if this is true.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Yeah…I think that is about right. I would want twice as much!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

A point, I’m unsure of. Do we even use depth charges now? Thought the ordnance dropped from Nimrod was just Stingray and Sonarbouys?

Herodotus
2 years ago

Not sure myself….did they ever carry nuclear depth charges?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Escorts did, that’s well known.

Wasn’t sure on the conventional type.

Unsure without looking but wasn’t the Ikara ( remember that ? ) carried by Leander’s similar?

Herodotus
2 years ago

Yes I do…all looks terribly old fashioned these days what with multiple vertical launchers!

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yes they did. US ones were in use for years (with US Marines guarding storage areas at St Mawgan and Kinloss). The UK WE.177 was used in later years.

Robert Crutchlow
Robert Crutchlow
2 years ago

Harpoon and AIM9 air to air were also in the inventory. No. Depth charges went out in the 1950s

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
2 years ago

Mk.11’s are still around and are in use on RN helos. Nimrod 1 and 2 were never cleared (all the focus was on torps and nuclear depth charges), but Nimrod MRA.4 did have them mentioned. Not sure if that was as a result of the switch to litoral warfare or not in the 90’s.
I suspect for the P-8 if we want any we’ll have to buy from the US as its just not worth integrating a UK weapon for what is a marginal capability at best.

Russ
Russ
2 years ago

Ooh ! That’s going to upset the anti euro types amongst us.

Rob
Rob
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

I’m not an anti EU type but Norway aren’t in it.

HF
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

No, but they have a trade agreement so they have a strong relationship with the EU.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

Cobblers. The EU and Europe are different things. Leaving one still keeps the UK very much part of the other, and rightly so. I’m pro leave and delighted we are working with Norway, a long term close ally, who send us a tree from the Oslo area every Christmas in recognition of our help during WW2. So what you say is nonsense isn’t it. I’m sick of the sniping so I didn’t get involved in the farcial exchanges on the Steel thread. As for the topic, I note the mention of a “Growing threat” in the North Atlantic. So how… Read more »

Herodotus
2 years ago

Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’d hoped that the MOD would convert the short body C130s to KC130/maritime reconnaissance standard. Missed opportunity of maximising assets for a relatively small sum…especially as the work could have been carried out by Marshalls’. I think that you agreed with this at the time Danielle!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yes, and I still like the idea given the state of the Mod finances!

But that’s a suggestion on your part, not yet reality from HMG.

Are any short bodied hercs even left?

Ideally of course extra P8 are preferable.

Herodotus
2 years ago

Well, one went to the US aerobatics team and three..or was it four went to Bangladesh…one is retained for special forces. So I reckon their should be four to five in storage!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Perfect! A small squadron then.

Herodotus
2 years ago

One or perhaps 2 to the south Atlantic and the rest to uk/med. I’’m sure that they would get significant usage if the RAF and RN developed helicopter refuelling.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

There’s only 1 short body C-130J left. A couple have been lost in accidents. 13 long fuselage, 1 short. Thats it. All the rest sold or lost.

julian1
julian1
2 years ago

you were missed…you should have done. Old Chris H must have RSI his rants were so long…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

Yes I read them, and as usual I agree with them. Not rants to me, just facts.

As said, I’m deeply saddened by what is happening and how a wish for independence has torn the nation apart. A large part of me wishes Cameron never agreed to the 2016 vote.

There we are.

And I’m sure I was not missed but that made me chuckle anyway!

Your view on lack of P8’s, and the Herc suggestion from Herodotus?

Chris H
Chris H
2 years ago

@ Daniele Mandelli – The only part with which i would disagree is that you were missed. But you were wise to keep out of it and yes its a shame how this country has turned in on itself rather than look outward.

Anyway its been great sharing time with you and many others. But I think I am done on this site. Sometimes I just have to walk away or the Black Dog gets the better of me.

All the best and good luck with South Western’s new Aventras although Class 442s aren’t looking good!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris H

They’re not! I’m STILL waiting for one.

My respect. As always.

Always believe.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

Tell me about it….dementia if you ask me. I’d laugh if the issue weren’t so important. I can’t stomach the idea of this country becoming a supplicant state of the USA. If we do, I’m going to seek political asylum in France.

HF
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Too right. I wonder which bits of the UK Trump will insist on buying ?

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  HF

Have you seen that he has considered buying Greenland from Denmark. The bastard thinks that the world is for sale.

HF
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yep – that’s what prompted the comment

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Well Herodotus if you go into exile in France remind them to start paying their Ww1 UK war debt. At least 3bn USD’s worth in the late 1920’s – a hell of a lot more now in todays terms btw. Unpaid since 1934. As allies i’ll take the Norweigns anyday (and our American friends too) over the Frogs !

Here endeth the lesson.

Chris H
Chris H
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – Only you would use mental health as an insult and think its ‘really clever’. I guess you have never seen a parent drift away into the hell that is dementia and Alzheimers. I have and thousands of others have. It is no joke Pal. This says more about you and your values than it does about me. The issue is VERY important and yet you trivialise it all by reducing it to personal abuse (as you just did) and point scoring.

And our children are taught by you? God help them.

Chris H
Chris H
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

@ Julian1 – No RSI but you will no doubt have a severe case of wankers cramp. So apparently giving detailed replies is now ‘ranting’. Well you stick to one liner smartarsed crap I won’t. If my replies are too long I apologise to everyone (except you and your best mate Herodatus) and will now take very little part in further Threads. Sorry each. As I have placed on record before when we discussed mental health I am happy to admit I have Depression (which I manage just fine). Admitting it is the first barrier to recovery or at least… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris H

Chris. Respect. You’re detailed replies are always well received by me for one, and no doubt others.

I hope you remain on the forum. And do not rise to the bait.

Pete Boland
Pete Boland
2 years ago

Well said Daniele. We need informed comments and discussion.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris H

That is a very sad missive Chris. Whilst I sympathise with your condition, you must realise that social media has its downsides and is probably not suitable for people that suffer from depression. I have suffered from depression for the last 30 years…I agree once I admitted to it, it was a lot easier to deal with. I have found that social media is not really helpful in maintaining a good balance…it is all too easy to take offence when your views are trivialised. Most people’s posts are quite reactionary and there is a sort of compulsion to come out… Read more »

Robert Crutchlow
Robert Crutchlow
2 years ago

Very true. We Ex MPA Operators hope the Government whatever colour, wake up to realisation that the threat which was present in the North Atlantic in the 20th Century, exist today in the 21st Century

Robert blay
Robert blay
2 years ago

At least it’s 9 more then we have had for the last 9 years. Which has been zero assets. And they will be incredibly capable aircraft. Think positive ?

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

Now now Russ….let’s stick to military matters as auntie Martin requested. Even if it is the most important issue facing us since WW2. Actually Rob …a Norway style relationship with the EU is quite sensible. We ought to be doing more with our Scandinavian partners….sensible people!

julian1
julian1
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

By the way, I watched a great film last week about the Polish 303 SQN during the BoB. It was called “Hurricane” for UK viewers but renamed “Mission of Honor” for US viewers (I have no idea why.) I didn’t realize the Polish airmen were treated so badly after ww2. They were sent back often to Russian torture. Incredible considering they were the most effective Fighter Command SQN during BoB! Seems we were showing some traits even then…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

I’m not totally up on my WW2 squadron number plates but assume 303 was one of the Northolt Wing? I don’t know if that last sentence was a sly Brexit dig, maybe I’m wrong. But just for your info I have a lot of time for the Poles, full stop, for what they suffered at the hands of both Germany and the USSR, and their betrayal when the home army rose and was left to rot. I’m only saying that as many peddle the Brexiteer foaming at the mouth image at everything continental European, and it really is not true.… Read more »

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

I think we did the same thing with our Russian allies…sent back to a certain death under Stalin. We’ve done some lousy stuff in our time….they should all have been given automatic citizenship.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

The treatment of the Cossacks in Italy and the Tyrol springs to mind.

Ulya
Ulya
2 years ago

The treatment of Cossacks is a very interesting discussion Daniele if you ever get the chance to talk to them, it is the same for Tatars, both during civil war and patriotic war. It makes very heated argument even among family on right or wrong

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Ulya

Hi Ulya.

Oh of course, I recall you mentioned a direct Tatar connection.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
2 years ago
Reply to  Herodotus

They weren’t our Allies. They were fighting on the German side. They’d also been involved in some very unpleasant things.
They were essentially Soviet citizens who had chosen to fight with the Nazi’s. No-one wanted them and the terms at the end of the war necessitated them going back to the Soviets. In realpolitik terms it wasn’t worth upsetting the Soviets (who were our allies at the time) over some collaborators with very bloody hands that no-one wanted to feed, house or re-settle.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

They weren’t sent back. They had the option of remaining in the UK, going to other Empire countries or anywhere else they chose. But many wanted to return to Poland. And they did so at their own volition. Their treatment afterwards by the Communists was not the UK’s fault, if they managed to escape they were welcome back. 303 squadrons BoB record is certainly good. But…they were not the top scoring. They ‘Claimed’ the most. But claims don’t make real kills. Post war analysis of Luftwaffe losses shows that 303 were very good, but they were actually 4th in terms… Read more »

Robert Crutchlow
Robert Crutchlow
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

Think NATO Not Europe !

Lewis
Lewis
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

A delusional view of remainers who think that people who want to leave the EU don’t want to continue to cooperate with it when it benefits all.

Oh and Norway aren’t in the EU. Might want to do some bas9c research before you comment and embarrass yourself.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  Lewis

Actually a Norway style deal would suit as a compromise!

Airborne
Airborne
2 years ago
Reply to  Russ

Silly silly silly child like comment. Rather embarrassing one at that.

Robert Crutchlow
Robert Crutchlow
2 years ago

The combined force of Norway’s 5 and the UK’s 9 is not sufficient to conduct North Atlantic ASW and Surveillance operations in today’s maritime environments. A further purchase of 12 P8s would be a more realistic UK approach to the problem created by the increased incursion of Russian Units into the North Atlantic over the past months and which are likely to increase over the next decade. The P8 and its capabilities over the Nimrod MR2 are indeed a force multiplier but range and endurance are still the overriding factors. The task and the area of cover for the MPA… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 years ago

The P8 may be a step change compared to the Nimrod, but they are to blooming expensive. Secondly, the Airforce hasn’t the manpower to field another squadron. They are having to get contractors in for the existing squadron build up.
As Herodotus mentioned thew short bodied Herc’s would be ideal, especially as they wouldn’t be carrying the load of a transporter. Failing that the next best would be to employ a couple of drones controlled by the P8 to expand its search area. Not sure how that would work for submerged threats though.

Robert Crutchlow
Robert Crutchlow
2 years ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Two Squadrons equates to approximately 200 aircrew. Centralised servicing means a small increase in support staff. There are still many MPA trained aircrew serving but in other roles. The initial experience is there and aircrew recruiting is still a popular career choice to make up the deficiencies in the other roles. As for Herodotus’s view on Hercules in the role. They have been used for SAR tasks in the past effectively, but they are not fitted with ASW equipment nor ordnance delivery which is the major cost implications in replacing the Maritime fleet.

Herodotus
2 years ago

Yes, I had visualised them in an SAR role with seaspray radar and a KC130 fit for helicopter refuelling!

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 years ago

Off topic but for those ringing their hands over the UK’s treatment of Polish servicemen after WW2. Wiki Polish Resettlement Act 1947. Not perfect but many were in fact offered citizenship and settled in UK, Australia or Canada etc.

Herodotus
2 years ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Yes, I met one in Grenada back in 1974. He owned a bar called the Red Crab. He had been part of the Polish Squadron during the Battle of Britain. Had some fun evenings at the Red Crab…but not such fun mornings. Got invited to a party at one of his customers villas….kept a bloody enormous barracuda in his swimming pool!