Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Fjord focus as Norwegian and UK navies develop fast boat tactics

13 April 2023
The fjords of Norway turn into a battleground between helicopters and fast boats for the next ten days as the Royal and Norwegian Navies introduce a new annual exercise.

Tamber Shield – hosted in the inlets and narrow waters around Bergen – will help both navies develop tactics for fighting in confined waters… including simulated strikes against fast-attack craft by Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters and Norwegian missile boats.

The many bays and jagged coast around fjords are perfect for hiding such craft – played for the sake of the exercise by Royal Navy P2000 and Norwegian Skjold-class patrol boats. Both types are fast and highly-manoeuvrable, making them ideal ‘enemies’… but also perfect targets for the Wildcat, armed with the potent Martlet missile and the heavier, longer-range Sea Venom missile.

Four Wildcats have been dispatched with air and ground crew from 815 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, to Haakonsvern air base, southwest of Bergen, from where they will scour the fjords in search of the boats. The focus is on tactics – no live missiles are being fired on this particular exercise.

Tamber Shield offers an outstanding opportunity for the squadron to enhance its warfighting capability and build upon the already devastating lethality of the Wildcat.

Commander Stu Crombie

“Tamber Shield offers an outstanding opportunity for the squadron to enhance its warfighting capability and build upon the already devastating lethality of the Wildcat,” said 815 NAS’ Commanding Officer Commander Stu Crombie.

“Our personnel are all held at very high readiness to counter emergent threats, which makes exercises such as these vital in ensuring we can deliver the strike required by the Royal Navy, when it is required’.

The small Royal Navy patrol boats participating – HMS Archer and Pursuer – have spent several weeks in Norwegian waters, including venturing into the Arctic Circle for the first time, supporting annual Anglo-Norwegian and NATO winter exercises in the High North.

Tamber Shield is being staged under the auspices of the Joint Expeditionary Force, ten northern European nations committed to regional security by working together, with the goal of honing cooperation between participants – in this particular case the UK and Norway in waters close to shore.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.