The UK Royal Navy and allies from NATO have undertaken a mock submarine hunt as part of the Cutlass Fury naval exercise which is currently underway, ending 20 September.

The hunt off the coast of Canada tested the ability of NATO navies to deal with the security risks presented by adversary’s submarines.

Taking part in the submarine hunt was the HMS Northumberland, a Type 23 Frigate, a ship originally designed for the Royal Navy with the express purpose of hunting submarines.

Before the mission, Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Markus Adcock said: “There is nowhere to hide really from a warship like Northumberland. We will find that submarine.”

He added: “It has been hugely exciting learning to operate and fight within this task group. There has been no greater challenge in my career so far and it is a privilege to be updating the rule book as Northumberland partakes in Cutlass Fury and operates as part of the Carrier Strike Group.”

The Cutlass Fury exercise is designed to test NATO’s ability to respond to aerial and naval threats as part of a push for increased security in the North Atlantic. NATO  is setting up a new Atlantic Command, and navies from across the alliance are increasing their presence in the region to safeguard communication lines between the US and Europe.

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Exercise Cutlass Fury is one of the largest NATO naval war games in decades, involving around 2,800 sailors, 20 ships and 36 aircraft from Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK and the US.

The Royal Navy says the exercise will help HMS Northumberland prepare for Westlant 19 which will see the ship operate as part of a Carrier Strike group alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier, HMS Dragon Type 45 Destroyer and the RFA Tideforce tanker ship.

Westlant 19 will see the F-35B take off and land from HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time with HMS Northumberland acting as the group’s submarine shield.

Royal Navy Commander Alexandra Pollard said: “HMS Northumberland’s anti-submarine warfare capability will enhance the task group’s ability to project maritime power – and it’s a clear demonstration of the role that Devonport-based Type 23 frigates will have in supporting carrier operations.”