Royal Navy’s HMS Northumberland tests submarine hunting skills

17 September 2019 (Last Updated September 17th, 2019 14:22)

The British Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland is showcasing its submarine-hunting skills alongside Nato allies during the Cutlass Fury 2019 exercise off the east coast of Canada.

Royal Navy’s HMS Northumberland tests submarine hunting skills
Cutlass Fury is a Canada-led naval exercise taking place in the waters east of North America. Credit: UK Royal Navy.

The British Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland is showcasing its submarine-hunting skills alongside Nato allies during the Cutlass Fury 2019 exercise off the east coast of Canada.

Touted as the largest Canada-led naval war games, Cutlass Fury 2019 is an 11-day exercise intended to boost ties between the eight participating nations of Canada, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the US and the UK.

The multinational force consists of 20 ships and 36 aircraft from Canada, the US, the UK, Spain, France and Germany.

During the exercise, the task group is demonstrating air defence and the ability to tackle attacks from other navies. Other elements include air-to-air combat and defence against submarines.

The vessels were put through their paces to act as a combined multinational task force.

The exercise began on 9 September and involves Nato’s Standing Naval Maritime Group 1. Around 2,800 sailors and airmen are taking part in Cutlass Fury.

Northumberland located submarines and planned attacks during the exercise, protecting the task group from threats. The ships employed towed array sonar, torpedoes and the Merlin MK2 helicopter.

HMS Northumberland weapons engineering officer lieutenant commander Markus Adcock said: “There is nowhere to hide really from a warship like Northumberland. We will find that submarine.”

“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 exercise allows the vessel to prepare ahead of joining the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on its Westlant 19 deployment off the US coast.

As part of Westlant 19, Northumberland will operate as part of a Carrier Strike Group that will also include Type-45 destroyer HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce to support the aircraft carrier during deployment.