The Royal Navy say that ships leaving Faslane on the Clyde faced swarms of attacks from fast boats.
Royal Navy warships negotiating the confined waters of the Clyde on their way to the Joint Warrior exercise practiced with their gunnery teams to fight off massed assaults by fast-moving speed boats.
The Royal Navy said in a statement:
“It’s precisely the sort of attack ships fear – lots of attackers, confined and congested waters – and practise regularly for; gunnery training focuses on this ‘asymmetric threat’, including using laser targeting to improve accuracy against fast-moving, zig-zagging, erratic foes.
Portsmouth minehunter HMS Hurworth followed by frigate HMS Sutherland, based in Plymouth, were first out of Faslane to run the gauntlet as the pair headed for the Cumbrae Gap.”
Warning messages were broadcast over the radio, but when these were ignored, the onus fell on the ship’s protection teams on both ships to fend off the swarms using machine-guns and Mini-guns (hand-held Gatling guns), with Sutherland also able to weigh in with her 30mm automatic cannon, say the Royal Navy.
The Royal Navy added that ‘swarmex’ was the first test of Joint Warrior 19-2 for the participating naval forces.
Run in the spring and autumn, Exercise Joint Warrior – directed from Clyde naval base – tests the ability of British and allied air, sea and land forces to work together.