Beyond drills, there are increasingly frequent real life opportunities to hone the alliance’s ASW skills by tracking Russian submarine patrols.
While much attention was given to the recently concluded NATO Summit, the alliance has quietly been busying trying to hunt its own submarines.
From June 25 to July 6, 2018, seven NATO members participated in the annual Dynamic Mongoose exercise. Held off the coast of Norway, the exercise seeks to sharpen the alliance’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities at a time when Russia is replenishing its undersea fleet.
Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, and the United States were the members that took part in the exercise, according to a NATO press release. The drill consisted of two Norwegian submarines trying to evade the combined capabilities of the eight participants. Norway’s only submarines are its six Ula-class diesel electric boats.
Among those hunting the Ula subs were seven surface ships from Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Turkey operating under the command of Standing Maritime Group One (SNGM61). Although the press release did not identify the ships that participated, Naval Today said the fleet consisted of two Dutch frigates, one frigate each from the four other countries, as well as a Polish tanker.
Recommended: How China Plans to Win a War Against the U.S. Navy