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Tidy up the meaning of NATO’s article 5 and you might be taken seriously: Allies can provide any form of assistance they deem necessary to respond to a situation. This is an individual obligation on each Ally and each Ally is responsible for determining what it deems necessary in the particular circumstances

No demanding.. no obligation to fight…


And yet the one time a NATO country triggered Article 5 much of NATO contributed (and lost) men and equipment to a 20 year war of choice in areas that had little to no effect on them.
A poor thanks that would be, to play the grumpy toddler and hide in the bedroom when help is a matter of national existence…


I understand for 9/11 the US declined the NATO nations offer as it wished to have its own show in Afghanistan
Later involvement came via the benefices of the UN, and for rebuilding , schools for girls, paying off warlords etc


You havent read correctly …I said the US declined Nato forces for Afghanistan originally. Then after Kabul – major cities was occupied and the locals didnt strew opium poppies under their feet US needed nato help after all


So long ago now memorys fade
United Nations Security Council resolution 1386, adopted unanimously on 20 December 2001, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1378 (2001) and 1383 (2001), the Council authorised the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assist the Afghan Interim Authority in the maintenance of security in Kabul and surrounding areas”
ISAF was the name for the Nato led force (plus some other non nato countries) operating under UNSC , not Article 5


Be careful what you wish for.


I don’t think any NATO power would have it any other way..after all you do need an out…I could see theoretically a situation in which a NATO nation caused a conflict and then dragged the others in…

But we do need to remember that NATO membership does not negate a need to a member to be able to defence itself…


Great article with amazing photos illustrating the width and depth of exercises being undertaken by NATO forces at the moment…
and illustrating yet again why Navy Lookout is the best independent website for RN news.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sean

Nice images

Supportive Bloke

I doubt NL was there taking the images.

What it does tell you is that NL is a trusted outlet and so is provided with good primary material by the various forces and in this case, I would guess, NATO’s press office.


Yes. first class images. I find for finer detail to copy image url address and and then post it the browser. larger and sharper as it almost fills my 23 in screen
The two carriers together is a good example .
Thank you NL.



Great coverage – nice to see more coverage of the other units involved, the RFAs, Portland, and 45 Commando doing sterling work out here, when much of the coverage is on POW. Well done NL.


In a funny old way QE being in the sick bay was a very valuable exercise. Proving that POW could be deployed in her place quickly and operate the air group effectively is the very definition of being prepared for any eventuality. Great article. Thank you.

Supportive Bloke

A very valid perspective.

Demonstrates the whole point of having two and that both are crewed and ready to go.


Great pics thanks 🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by Ry@n
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Lovely photos as ever.

Nice to see HMCS Charlottetown. The Halifax class are the most underrated escort of their generation and don’t get the attention they deserve.


Agreed. They are pretty heavily armed and fairly sizable for “frigates”. I would almost call them “light destroyers” as such things go in the present day. I just hope someone is going to properly fund the Canadian military, because it is an emaciated skeleton at present.


Another Navy that prefers the rotating flat plate radar instead of multi fixed faces


Don’t understand the comment of “ There was no time to join the ship in Portsmouth so approximately two hundred 617 Squadron engineers, support staff and aviators were flown out to HMS Prince of Wales.”

Having to walk to a different ship in the same dockyard was not possible. It’s almost like they used the change of ship as an excuse for a jolly.

Of course, they really could be rushed of feet, but looking at flying hours and number of aircraft allocated for the exercise, one has to wonder.

Incidentally, out of 27 aircraft available in U.K., it was an opportunity missed for positive publicity only sending 8. Why the hell could we not manage a photo shoot with 8 (or more) on deck and perhaps 4 flying by (even if pilots not accredited for RN deployment), it would have been a positive act, which forces desperately need. But, perhaps thinking outside the box ….


would not the engineers move with the F35’s more valuable to keep them the planes. and again the planes move to the carrier when needed. f35b navy is more flexible


They allocated 8 because that was the fit required for the role being undertaken in the exercise. Assigning aircraft not needed would have diverted resources from more productive tasks.
All U.K. F35 pilots are certified for carrier landings.


Totally missed the point.
An opportunity missed when so many comments of “no aircraft”, or lack of numbers. Just a detour may have had a very positive effect. But let’s agree incompetence reigns.

Was not aware ALL pilots were certified. I would not be so sure at this stage, but will accept proven correction

Last edited 3 months ago by Degradable

Your ‘point’ is irrelevant.

Even if she put to sea with every single F35 parked on the deck, even if when in port every F35 was left onboard on deck, even if the RN released daily photos of the above, you’d still get idiots and Russian trolls saying they are carriers without aircraft.
Reality isn’t going stop people who have a political agenda pushing their narrative. Look at the anti-vaxers/ climate-change deniers/ flat-earthers, etc.

All F35 pilots will be qualified to land on carriers, if any aren’t, then they haven’t finished their training yet.

Supportive Bloke

And thereby slowed the build up of the joint F35B force?

What is the point other than saying I’ve got more jets than you have. A totally pointless exercise as CSG 25 is slated for that.


hello ? This is an exercise flying from a carrier is a major part of ‘what they do’

Whats is slowing the build-up is the atrocious state of RAF flying training, and since the F-35 doesnt have a ‘trainer version’ as its supposed to be mostly done on a simulator – hence sending a squadron worth away for a real world exercise ( but not war readiness yet) is huge benefit for the F35 force.


Great article, love the photos. Hard to find similar anywhere else online- high quality photos and informed snip bits of information about the exercise and the vessels taking part.
Without wanting to gush too much, this is important stuff to be doing as the world gets a bit less stable. But it’s also why we can be confident in our capability to defend ourselves (without underestimating potential adversaries). Why? Because there is no other military force in the world, let alone a military alliance, that trains as regularly, as hard as NATO does. We do this every year, in addition to the ASW exercises, exercises in the Med, not to mention any national exercises, invitationals (Red Flag) and those carried out as part of other alliances (JEF, for example).

Captain Hector Barbossa

What aircraft is the ITS Giuseppe carrying?


None. It is only operating helicopters.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Do you really think aircraft only means aeroplanes? Really?

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Italian NH90 I think. Perhaps one of them is a RCN Cyclone too.

It is hard to tell isn’t it?


All are the AW101, remember it was a joint venture originally with Italy. Their navy has A/S and AW versions( with a radar dome under the fuselage)

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

It wasn’t me asking.


and who wrote this ….”one of them is a RCN Cyclone too”
You clearly have not known that Italians have ‘Merlins too’ not just UK

This is a RCN Sikorsky Cyclone – with large side sponson
Glad to help your recognition skills
They have AW101s as well but they arent shipborne

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

If you go to the top of the stream Captain Hector Barborsa asked what aircraft are they.


Historically, Aircraft Carriers carried Aeroplanes, Helicopters came along some decades later, Garibaldi now only carries Helicopters so could be called a helicopter Carrier. I know what he meant, you just like to act like a di”k.


The AW101’s in Garibaldi deck are 1 ASW/ASM(Marte) and 2 transport/assault.

Captain Hector Barbossa

Cheers for the info guys. Didn’t realise I was kicking off a huge debate lol

Defence thoughts

I hope one day in the next century, we can find a way to build successor carriers that are double the number that we have now. Yes, fantasy fleet, yes, you may descend to rip me apart for that. “What about the planes/stores/crew/docks for them?” etc etc etc.

With 6 cruiser-esque T-83, 2 CVFs, and maybe possibly 10 SSNs by 2060 or whenever (pleasepleaseplease), we’ll be doing ok. The elite naval vassal of the American Empire- on the same prestige level as early 20th century Mysorean/Rajput cavalry, or the best auxilia the Roman Empire could field.

We just need a little more mass and resilience. 4 CVFs, 12 SSNs, 6 cruiser (or BB) tonnage heavy-destroyers by 2124. That would be lovely.


Good luck with that


Might than not be like a post-WW1 dreamer hoping that the RN right now had sufficient battleships? A lot of tech change can happen in a century.

Defence thoughts

Technology does not always drastically change things- a man in 1600 hoping for more RN ships of the line by 1800 would get his wish and then some. We shall see.


I notice that the Halifax class frigates were first into commission in 1992 -1996, which is same year for T23 Lancaster but last in commission St Albans in 2002

Thats 13 T23 into service same or less time than the 12 Halifaxs, yet only 7 (?) of those Dukes remain ( plus 2 sold)
All the Halifaxes have had their mid life refits


There’s 9 Royal Navy T23s at least remaining, Argyll is still unknown which would make 10.
Certainly Canadas ships are doing well, but they also haven’t been pushed as hard, however have no replacements coming soon.


Yes. I was only considering T23 that same age or younger than Halifaxes.
A few are older are soldiering on


We’ve invested in two 65,000 ton carriers and we’re still only able to generate an Invincible-sized air group – and I suspect that will be the norm.

And for those who say, “it’s still early days for carrier strike”, it really isn’t. HMS QE commissioned over six years ago. HMS Invincible sailed for the Falklands less than two years after commissioning.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

They have an OSD of 2069. I think though it will be earlier as technology will probably render the concept redundant; munition is platform and meshed peer to peer etc.


If I had to guess, either of both of the QE’s will ultimately be sold to Brazil, probably mid-to-late 2040s. By that point in time drone technology should be sufficiently advanced to allow for a return to smaller carriers, of which 2 or (hopefully) 3 will be built next time around. I would imagine that these will still operate manned platforms but will probably have majority drone air wings.


Their needs can be met by Navantia built mid sized carrier. RN has had carriers for almost all the last 100 years – having invented the idea of a strike carrier- and many of modern carriers features. Not saving money selling later just to buy same but different
RN been testing drones launched from ships since 1920s , it’s just another side issue to main show

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)


First of all, a great set of photos / images here on Navy Lookout.

Secondly, the great news is that the RN actually managed to deploy a complete aircraft carrier – with a few aircraft, helicopters and Biggle’s on board – up into the Arctic regions; to train alongside our NATO allies.

As the Arctic Circle is “Russia’s Vulnerable Backyard”, we taxpayers must be asking for this type of exercise to be conducted “more visibly and more frequently please”

However, there are a very large number of points of detail shown in these photos, ones that all collectively suggest to me that “all is not well” within UK’s CSG/LSG.

There are many faults being shown here; all in glorious technicolour:

  1. Firstly, the remarkably small number of F35B on board. As is quite-correctly noted just above: six years into service and still the carrier’s air-group is only “flying at half mast”.
  2. That PoW sailed from Portsmouth without having its Phalanx guns fitted. Not very clever at anytime/anyplace/anywhere = let alone when there is a big war ongoing in Ukraine (two years and counting) and another war in the Red Sea (ship’s are sinking in both…..).
  3. As correctly noted just above, why the RAF aircraft technicians had to be flown on board, rather than just walk onto the ship at Portsmouth, is “something of a mystery”. One rather suspects that this was either a very-serious case of the “computer says No” occurring somewhere in the RAF/RN personnel department OR that the personnel in 617 squadron have not been trained to use a sloping gangplank at high tide……(RAF Marham is, after all, very flat and boring…I hasten to add = the landscape and scenery; not the personnel themselves)
  4. Next, the inside of the “PoW’s bomb preparation room” looks to be a right joke. Did we not used to prepare our own explosive bombs in very-highly-protected spaces called a “magazine”. Me thinks a very severe risk of an “own goal” here….
  5. On the flight deck itself, lots and lots of F35B are stood outdoors, chained down, in very-exposed arctic weather conditions. This is whilst the ship’s main hanger (“downstairs”) is being used for gym, keep fit and (probably) Gwyneth Paltrow inspired yoga classes. Has somebody in Lockheed Martin’s hugely expensive F35 project team not thought to tell the RN/RAF that the surface cleanliness of these low observability airframes is vital. The key function of low observability (aka stealth) aircraft depends on them having spotlessly clean surfaces! This minimises the overall radar signature. (Hint. For the sheer importance of this seemingly innocuous detail: please remember the overdosing of the RAF Harriers, with WD40, during the Falklands War!). Accordingly, routinely keeping the F35B inside the PoW’s hanger should be a very simple operating practice, one to be implemented very quickly! However the RN seems to be addicted to using the same old-fashioned aviation maintenance techniques that have been in the FAA’s rulebook since before their Swordfish’s were flying…
  6. Also, up on the flight deck: no sign whatsoever of any “Red Gear” protecting the F35’s nozzles and intakes from the foul Norwegian weather. So, whatever happened to that series of very expensive recommendations made by the gold braided RAF committee after one of their F35B’s joined the Mediterranean goldfish club a few years back?
  7. Last by not least, the Bootnecks…….. Who organised this training exercise, the DSM (Drill Sergeant Major) from the Brigade of Guards??? The RMC FCF really should know better!!.
  • They are show deploying LCVP’s in daylight on beaches
  • Also lining up their amphibious vehicles, in many neat lines – all without any drivers in sight – on the quayside.
  • If there is to be one lesson to be learnt from the war in Ukraine; it must be that a modern land battlefield is very very transparent.
  • A single enemy drone flying anywhere near this particular RMC landing zone “somewhere in Norway” and spotting this ship and their vehicles would – very quickly – have brought down a hail of small attack drones, artillery shells and/or ballistic missiles. This RMC landing might have, at best, lasted about an hour (note: at night any drone’s visibility is dramatically reduced and also a UAV’s carrying useful infra-red camera(s) for effective night vision require much-larger drones: making the enemy’s nocturnal UAV’s easiest to spot and shoot down).

Points one to seven above are all, as my old boss used to say = “pretty basic stuff”.

One piece of good news. This Chinook has made a “quite long” delivery flight out to the carrier. This thus very strongly suggests to me that the Chinook very-quickly be adopted as “an RN Greyhound”- the carrier’s own on-board aviation delivery service. This well-proven bird has a much greater range and greater payload than the poxy little Quineq UAV’s (tried out on PoW last year).

So; some good news………..but, all in all, this great imagery shows “a very worrying” Grey Funnel Cruise Lines – aka peacetime – mentality.

A senior USN admiral spoke, from his carrier cruising out in the Red Sea, on Radio 4’s 1pm news yesterday lunchtime. He said “This is the most serious situation since World War 2” (his own words, nor mine). He then went on to explain that the Houthi part of the I3H alliance are using drones, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and USV’s.

Accordingly, things really do need to be sharped up, across all the RN’s CSG/LSG’s ship’s and operating departments. Far more emphasis is needed on generating effective warfighting capability – and less on the precise cutlery arrangements for the wardroom’s next dinner-dance when entertaining our Scandinavian allies.

If the CSG is to be properly prepared for war, we need to start by keel-hauling a few Dartmouth trained senior officers.

regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Brow not a gangplank.

It is bad enough having to put with so many here wanting to sink poor subs…….

comment image

Supportive Bloke

WD40 is also used, on an industrial scale, for Chinook as it isn’t marinised.

Last edited 3 months ago by Supportive Bloke
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

The USN has a whole department that works on corrosion prevention with a budget of billion dollars.

Some of the AH-64s have suffered from going to sea.

Boeing missed a lot of sales not offering a marinised CH-47. I hope when they purchase Blackhawk as the Puma replacement somebody thinks about the problem. I doubt it though.

comment image?h=960&la=en&mw=1920&w=1920


CH47 doesnt fit on frigates and destroyers.
AW101/Merlin is the heavy lifter for frigates/destroyers/carriers with up to 24 fully laden troops , according to RM with their HC.4
is the low roof Blackhawk even able to manage 8?…. a few more than the Wildcat

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Why are you talking about frigates and destroyers for CH47?

Why do you always go off on these odd tangents?

Yes Blackhawk is in the competitive tenderering process for the new medium helicopter.

The second weird unwanted and weird replied to me in this thread.

Why not think before posting. Read what others say before commenting.


Boeing missed a lot of sales not offering a marinised CH-47.”
It would only work on the small market for amphibs. Its a niche of a niche. So there arent ‘a lot of sales’
Its a blog , so the answers come whether you like them or not – you should read what I get. I see you not wanting ‘answers’ from others too, maybe this format isnt for you.

Supportive Bloke

Whatever USN spends on anti corossion R&D – It remains fact that Chinook and Apache are not fully marinised.


Having done some short time as a Fleet Air Arm photographer, my answer to most of your critiques are “it’s a photo shoot” !


  1. Dealt with extensively up thread, rather than the number of F35’s we can pull together, the bigger problem is what we would fire from them – laser guided free fall bombs – that is really quite pathetic
  2. Penny pinching as ever – but she was not supposed to be involved in the exercise? Not sure if her sister ship has them fitted either though – oh, and they are also 40 year old tech and somewhat pathetic too…
  3. Not sure why everyone is so vexed about this, perhaps they had to work so late on the other carrier to get stuff ready, that it was decided to transfer them after the ship had sailed, whats the big deal?
  4. Seriously? Also, photoshoot…..
  5. Photo shoot
  6. Photo shoot
  7. Photo shoot


Whale Island Zoo Keeper

You mustn’t say anything bad about Phalanx here. They will start hounding with you posts about the USN uses it and how it has been ‘updated’.


Your favourite – Goalkeeper was introduced in 1979 a few years after Phalanx. Both are ‘senior’
22 countries use Phalanx
better question for you is how many ships in this exercise are using GK ?

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

My favourite is DART from 76mm coupled with a decent PDMS.

I mentioned Goalkeeper that the RN chose it back in the day over Phalanx when the platform had given volume for the system.

22 countries get aid for arms from the US.


The history of the GK buy was it was mostly a contra with the Dutch, as of course having two systems of a similar type is bad contracting practice. Anyway it went out of service.
Now lots more nations have the Phalanx and for various reasons the naval rapid firing cannon has moved to larger calibre than 30mm


You don’t like things being updated/ improved? I assume you think the RAF wasted money then in updating the Spitfire creating 24 different versions over its lifetime. You’d have preferred the entire WW2 to have been fought with Mark Is…


The air-group generated for this exercise matches the carriers role in this exercise. The role defines the mix of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft that are carried. It’s also possible that after examining the results they may decide to tweak the ratio of fixed/rotary for this role in future exercises.

At the time HMS Invincible sailed for the Falkands
• the RN had not gapped fixed-wing carrier operations, the RN is having to regenerate this ability that was lost after the withdrawal of the Harriers
• the Falklands was wartime, things get accelerated in numerous ways under such conditions

You’re comparing apples and oranges. The all-round capabilities and weapons loadout of a F35 far exceeds that of a Harrier. So simply counting numbers isn’t a useful comparison.


India conducting a major naval exercise called Milan 2024: Vietnam US , Iran and Russia vessels included….  
the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Halsey, the Moudge class frigate IRIS Dena, the Slava class cruiser VaryagUdaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, and Boris Chilikin class tanker Boris Butoma respectively.

This is Indias two carrier together, according to Photoshop, as you can see a sub under the bows of the closest carrier

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker

Wow. 8 F-35’s deployed. They didn’t need a massive aircraft carrier for that many


So you’re suggesting different sized carriers for when different sized air-wings are required? Or don’t you know they vary the air-wing size according to the the tasking…

peter lever

Both RN and RFA making a solid contribution – only “weakness” is an old frigate but even she is a capable warship.

Oh dear

Only 8 F35Bs? Hardly a mighty force when the carriers designed to take more than 30 aircraft.
Still, could be worse, when on exercise with the nordic nations the Finnish and Swedish Gripens were flying but from the Prince of Wales-nothing. The flight deck looked deserted too. Not a sign of this supposed 5th gen jet.
And no I am not a russian troll. Wish I was they though. I bet they pay quite well. Though the price of failure is probaly a skydive out of a open window.

David Dodds

Every time I see either POW or QE they have very little stern wake. Compare them the US carriers. Anybody explain ??