The British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan has performed anti-submarine and air defence training in Mare Aperto, the Italian Navy-led multinational maritime warfare exercise.

Exercise Mare Aperto was conducted off the coast of Italy between 29 April and 10 May to promote interoperability and proficiency.

The Royal Navy warship joined 57 vessels, helicopters and aircraft from eight other countries carried out six anti-submarine and 11 air defence exercises.

As Exercise Mare Aperto moved through the Messina Straits, HMS Duncan provided air and surface defences.

In the scenario, Italy and Sicily played the role of allied nations while Sardinia acted as a hostile nation.

The allies sent an amphibious taskforce to Sardinia to regain control of the region. The Italian ship San Guisto and Spanish ship Galicia landed two battalions of marines on shore in order to achieve the task.

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Duncan was tasked with providing protection against surface, sub-surface and air threats all through the ‘invasion’.

Exercise Mare Aperto principal warfare officer lieutenant commander Ben Dorrington said: “In an ever-unpredictable world, exercises such as this provide allied countries a key opportunity to develop their war-fighting capabilities.

“Most importantly, they demonstrate their resolve against an increasing range of threats.

“It is an ideal opportunity to align tactics and procedures within a task group in anticipation of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth carrier strike deployment in 2021.”

“In an ever-unpredictable world, exercises such as this provide allied countries a key opportunity to develop their war-fighting capabilities.”

Before taking part in this exercise, HMS Duncan joined Standing Nato Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), which is one of four Standing Maritime Groups responsible for providing Nato with an immediate operational response capability.

The British warship is set to re-join SNMG2 later this month.

Britain has six Type 45 Destroyers that are designed to perform a range of tasks, from handling threats from pirates to defending the fleet from air attack or providing humanitarian aid.