The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond has joined with 820 Naval Air Squadron Merlin Mk 2 helicopters as part of training exercises in the Indian Ocean.
A part of a package designed to advance anti submarine warfare (ASW) tactics, the exercise saw HMS Richmond leveraging its advanced specialist equipment to hunt and track simulated submarines.
HMS Richmond commanding officer commander Mark Anderson said: "HMS Richmond has some of the most advanced anti-submarine warfare equipment in the world; conducting training in the unique environment of the Indian Ocean allows us to understand that environment better and demonstrate that we can utilise this capability globally."
The 133m-long Duke-class frigate, which is capable of accommodating 185 crew members, has been designed to provide ASW and anti-surface warfare capabilities.
The vessel’s task in the region is part of Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 150 and the crew is responsible for counter terrorist activity, as well as other illegal activities, in order to promote maritime security.
Commenting on the latest exercise, petty officer Lindsey Hallam said: "The interaction with 820 Naval Air Squadron was a useful training opportunity for the sonar and operation room crews.
"It was great to be using a live asset, such as the Merlin MK2, to test our anti-submarine warfare capabilities."
Having entered service in 2014, the UK Navy’s Merlin Mk2 helicopters feature cockpits with improved night-vision capability for pilots and a modernised combat system with touch screen display.
It is responsible for the UK’s maritime force protection and airborne ASW capability.
Image: HMS Richmond’s exercise with Merlin Mk 2 helicopters is part of advance anti submarine warfare tactics. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.