Dynamic Mongoose: The state of NATO’s ASW

This summer saw NATO embark on its second anti-submarine warfare (ASW) event named Exercise Dynamic Mongoose.

Dynamic Mongoose? Nope, me neither. After reading the Wikipedia page on the mongoose (mongeese?) I’m not sure how it relates to ASW. If you have any ideas, comment below.

Anyway, NATO recently released this video in which the participants can be seen showcasing their capabilities off the coast of Iceland.

Naval forces from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States participated.

The use of submarines by NATO’s adversaries has been hitting the headlines and many nations looking at enhancing, adding to or upgrading their ASW capabilities. Really the exercise as much as pracitising interoperability between nations as a show of force.

Earlier this year I went to the Underwater Defence Technology event held in Bremen, Germany, where ASW was mentioned as a key focus for allied nations going forward.

The capability has been somewhat on the back-burner following ‘negligence after the cost-cutting post-cold war’, according to one German Navy commander.

Outdated MPAs, submarines and helicopter equipment are all in the firing line for replacement or significant upgrade.

Obviously a prime example of the neglect ASW capabilities has seen comes in the UK where the nation is still without a sovereign MPA asset until the P-8 Poseidon enters service.

The US equipment used during Dynamic Mongoose included a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, a P-8A Poseidon and two P-3C Orions.

In total five submarines, 11 surface ships and eight MPAs participated in the exercises including Norwegian submarine HNoMS UTSIRA (S301), Spanish frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez and German frigate FGS Schleswig Holstein (F216).

Overall the exercise is set to increase NATO’s readiness and effectiveness but individual nations must continue to update their individual ASW capabilities in order to be an effective partner in an increasingly hostile environment.

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