Sailing for Exercise Noble Manta

February 16, 2009 -- NATO has laid on a major Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise called Noble Manta. With 5 allied diesel-electric submarines, and one British Nuclear submarine ‘playing’ against us. Our Task Force has been added to with another 3 German and Italian ships joining us. Now 8 ships in total we will not be short of small, quiet, nimble and dangerous adversaries, against which to prove our ASW skills in the sea areas to the East of Sicily. In addition there will be a number of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and helicopters, from a variety of nations also contributing to the battle against the submarines.

This will be one of the largest ASW exercises to which many of us on St Albans have been exposed. St Albans was originally designed for Anti-Submarine Warfare and with the addition of our “new” Sonar we are all looking forward to this opportunity to train in what many consider to be our primary role. This exercise will be a great chance to test our new and reputedly super-effective Low Frequency sonar, and to see just what this brings to the party. If it is as good as it is said to be, there is every chance the submarines will be doing everything they can to avoid being detected by us.

All in all it would be fair to say that we are all pretty excited about what the next two weeks will hold – and dead keen to get stuck in…(

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