HMS Audacious has conducted NATO maritime security patrols in the Mediterranean on her maiden operational deployment.
Before deploying, HMS Audacious carried out operational sea training off the coast of Scotland. Following her operations in the Arctic, HMS Ambush joined her sister HMS Audacious in the waters off Scotland to conduct head-to-head underwater tactical training in a range of warfare scenarios. During this period several of the boats’ crew also earned their dolphins. This involves an intense period of development and tests for trainees as they learn how to safely operate hundreds of valves and pieces of equipment on board in order to qualify as submariners.
After loading Tomahawk missiles in Gibraltar, the boat headed into the Mediterranean and participated in NATO exercise Dynamic Manta with Greek, Turkish and US allies testing the submarine’s ability to evade, track and engage surface and subsurface targets. It also provided a rare opportunity for NATO navies to test themselves against an Astute-class boat.
The Commanding Officer, Cdr Jim Howard said: “These exercises helped HMS Audacious to demonstrate her prowess as the newest, most capable SSN that the UK has to offer while also strengthening NATO capability and interoperability and demonstrating our resolve towards NATO Missions”
Following the exercises, Audacious then was deployed on what the RN describes as “a period of NATO operations to provide security to the region”. This likely means an exciting patrol closely monitoring Russian submarine and warship activity in the Eastern Mediterranean during a period of increasing tensions.