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Royal Navy’s anti-submarine heavyweights link up  

30 November 2018
Two of the Royal Navy’s heavyweight anti-submarine weapons have pitted their wits against each other.

Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans and hunter-killer sub HMS Astute have been operating alongside each other, honing their Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) skills.

But it was also an opportunity for them to go up against each other, testing their ability to deal with the threat one another brings to the battlefield.

“To be the best at what we do, it is essential that we train both against and alongside the very best,” Commander John Cromie, Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, said. 

“HMS Astute provides that partner with whom we can polish our skills to the highest level.”

This latest training exercise took place in a Scottish loch and was a chance to sharpen and refine procedures necessary to coordinate activity when dealing with a potential submarine threat. 

St Albans and Astute are two of the vessels that form the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine capability.

To be the best at what we do, it is essential that we train both against and alongside the very best

Commander John Cromie

The Astute class – of which Clyde-based HMS Astute was the first in the line – is the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Equipped with Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles, it is a powerful and versatile craft capable of dealing with surface and sub-surface threats.

Coming up against Astute is an excellent challenge for the ship’s company of St Albans. 

The Type 23 is equipped with specialist sonar and torpedoes designed to counter submarines and that makes her a challenging adversary for Astute.

Following these exercises, HMS St Albans will return to her primary role as one of the Royal Navy’s highest readiness warships. 

The frigate is regularly on duty protecting the integrity of UK waters. 

Most recently, St Albans shadowed a Russian warship through the English Channel.

The Slava-class cruiser, the Marshall Ustinov, was escorted by allied French naval vessels through the Bay of Biscay before Portsmouth-based St Albans took over the watch.

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