WATCH: HMS Ocean departs for BALTOPS 2016

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Fleet Flagship HMS Ocean makes her way out of Devonport to take part in a huge multinational NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea.

BALTOPS is an annual exercise which tests the 16 allied and partner maritime nations taking part. The helicopter carrier will be taking part in one of the largest exercises in northern Europe, which aims to assure nations of NATO’s commitment to the security and stability of the region.

The 21,000 tonne vessel is an amphibious assault ship and landing platform helicopter. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.

Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon said the move “sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies”.

The Navy is also deploying three mine sweepers with around 130 personnel for NATO operations in the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic, North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

HMS Ocean became the Royal Navy Fleet Flagship in June 2015.

BALTOPS has run for more than 40 years and includes anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and mine countermeasures warfare as well as amphibious landings.

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Stephen Priestley
5 years ago

Ocean is an awesome asset, it’ll be a sad day indeed when she is decommissioned…

Paul Jones
5 years ago

.. then returning home to be scrapped. .

Stephen Priestley
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Indeed, sad to see her go, she certainly put the hours in.

Kieran Locke
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

She goes 2018 so no

Paul Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

It’s only 18 months off..

UK Defence Journal
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Why wouldn’t she be? She’s reaching the end of her hull life.

Paul Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

So was hms hermes 30 years ago when we sold her to India.. surprisingly shes still in service.. along with the Sea Harriers

UK Defence Journal
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

You may not be aware that Ocean was built to much lower commercial standards. It’s not a fair comparison.

Paul Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Yes I know.. she was built to similar standards to a commercial ferry/container ship

David Anthony Simpson
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

And 18 months further service is not “returning home to be scrapped”. Emotive claptrap is unhelpful.

Stephen Priestley
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Her poor hull must be creaking at the joints. She did sterling work for the Navy over the years, but, alas, it’s time to say goodbye to the old girl.

David Anthony Simpson
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

The shame is she is not being directly replaced. I remain sceptical as to the flexible and cost effective utility of the QE class in the LPH/LPD role especially in some littoral or high threat scenarios.

Stephen Priestley
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Indeed David, I was quite surprised that both the previous 2 governments and this one didn’t take the opportunity to replace like for like, only built with navy/military specs? Was it simply to do with money?

Paul Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

Ready made direct replacement sitting in a dock in france. Mistral class assault ship..

UK Defence Journal
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

There are no spare Mistral class vessels.

Stephen Priestley
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

From what I know of the Mistrals, they where fitted out to Russian spec – simply no good for us.

UK Defence Journal
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Jones

They’ve also been sold.

Alan Fraser Gordon
5 years ago

It’s a heap

David Anthony Simpson
5 years ago

Have you served on her?

Alan Fraser Gordon
5 years ago

No. I know several that have and there verdict is it’s a heap with the wrong engines .