The UK has deployed its Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft to take part in the Nato’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Dynamic Manta 2023.
The annual exercise, which started on 27 February, is underway in Italy’s Sicilian coast.
The two Poseidon aircraft have already reached Sicily and will be operating out of the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy.
The aircraft belong to Royal Air Force (RAF) Lossiemouth-based CXX Squadron. Besides, associated engineering and communications staff have also accompanied Poseidon aircrew to deliver required specialist support.
During their two-week long deployment, the maritime aircraft will work in coordination with participating forces from nine allied nations to support Nato’s ASW and anti-surface warfare training.
Dynamic Manta has been designed to put the participating personnel and assets under complex warfare scenarios to hone their skills to conduct maritime patrol operations.
Under the ongoing iteration, maritime patrol aircraft will be deployed together with submarines and surface vessels in a multi-threat scenario in the Central Mediterranean Sea, after which each surface combatant will take turns to hunt the submarines.
Similarly, submarines will also hunt the surface ships.
The squadron’s part of work during such missions will be to coordinate with ships and submarines in searching and locating the targeted platform.
CXX Squadron detachment commander squadron leader Birchall said: “The high-end training and complex exercise environment offered by Dynamic Manta combined with opportunity to share best practise with so many other partners and allies is invaluable. Our presence here also demonstrates the UK’s commitment to maritime security and deepening cooperation with our Nato allies.”
The RAF’s Poseidon force is also operating in the North Atlantic region from RAF Lossiemouth. This has demonstrated the force’s capabilities to simultaneously operate in homeland and abroad.