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March 24, 2022

UK Royal Navy enhances skills in Omani naval exercise Khunjar Hadd

The annual, multilateral exercise aims to enhance cooperation between the participating navies.

The UK Royal Navy’s (RN) warships and minehunters have participated in the 27th iteration of Exercise Khunjar Hadd (Sharp Dagger) in the Gulf.

The annual, multilateral exercise witnessed participation from the navies of four nations, including the UK, the US, France, and Oman.

Led by the Royal Navy of Oman, Khunjar Hadd aims to enhance regional cooperation, interoperability, and mutual capability between the four navies.

The week-long exercise also allowed the participating forces to practise and hone a range of manoeuvring techniques while working together in proximity.

The Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose (F236), minehunters HMS Chiddingfold and Penzance, along with their command ship RFA Lyme Bay, represented the RN during the exercise.

During the exercise, the participating ships and minehunter forces were divided into two task groups, depending on the specific roles of the vessels.

The mine-hunting force included two RN hunters, two US hunters, one Omani survey ship, an Omani-US joint team of divers and an autonomous US mine hunting unit aboard RFA Lyme Bay.

It detected and cleared all the drill mine shapes, which were laid for them to search, as part of the exercise.

RFA Lyme Bay commander Daniel Morris said: “The exercise offered the opportunity to command and operate conventional crewed surface mine countermeasures systems with un-crewed autonomous systems, all in the same water space.”

As the final act of the Khunjar Hadd exercise, the naval forces performed an additional air defence exercise.

In this air defence exercise, the frigates and corvettes were supposed to protect their minehunters from fast jet attacks.

HMS Montrose gunnery officer lieutenant commander Ian McClelland said: “Exercise Khunjar Hadd afforded HMS Montrose the opportunity to train and refine fighting tactics in a multi-threat environment whilst reinforcing partnerships and friendships with Oman, France and the US.”

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