In July, NATO navies conducted exercise Dynamic Mongoose, testing the abilities of their ships, subs, and aircraft to hunt enemy submarines.
The US and its allies are increasingly focused on anti-submarine warfare, but countering all the subs a country like Russia or China could field in a war would still present a challenge.
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NATO navies converged in the North Sea in late June for this year’s Dynamic Mongoose anti-submarine-warfare exercise, reflecting a growing focus on countering enemy submarines amid “great-power competition” with Russia and China.
US Navy destroyer USS Roosevelt and four other ships took turns hunting and being hunted by Navy fast-attack sub USS Indiana and four other subs in the waters off Iceland.
“It was fantastic because we would have such a small, confined area that it forced interaction between the submarine and the surface ships,” Cmdr. Ryan Kendall, commanding officer of the Roosevelt, said in an interview.
The surface ships brought helicopters, and five maritime patrol aircraft, including a US Navy P-8 Poseidon, took part.
“We’d all take turns controlling the aircraft and controlling the helicopters in the air. So we would have the P-8 come out, drop some sonobuoys, and help us localize” the sub, Kendall said. “Surface ships would come in to get closer to see if we could get our towed array or our whole active sonar on the submarines.”
The Roosevelt’s AN/SQQ 89A(V) 15 sonar “is one of the most advanced in the Navy,” Kendall said. “We have an MH-60R helicopter with an active dipper, so we’re able to use the tag team of Roosevelt and our active sonar and passive sonar, as well as our multifunctional towed array, to localize the submarine and then use our helicopter to pounce.”
Subs like Indiana “mesh with the other parts of the team who can provide fast response and broad area coverage,” said Cmdr. David Grogan, commanding officer of USS Indiana.
“We represent the persistent, in-stratum asset who can effectively use the underwater environment to maximize detection and engagement possibilities of an adversary submarine,” Grogan added.
Dynamic Mongoose allows ships and subs to exercise in real-world conditions for an extended period, Kendall said.
US and French aircraft operated out of Iceland while British planes flew from Scotland. Ships dealt with rough seas, and helicopters practiced staying aloft for extended periods.
“Normally when they execute a training scenario, it could be anywhere from two to three hours,” Kendall said. “In this case, we were doing it for 12 or 22 hours straight, and you’d have watch-team turnovers.”
Coordinating with aircraft and ships “can be complicated for a number of reasons,” Grogan said. “Exposing my team to that, as well as learning to best employ each submarine, surface, and air asset … was vital to expanding my team’s ability within the greater ASW effort.”
Subs were also able to use “the environment and … water temperature, salinity, depth, [and] bottom contours to evade us or to hide so that they can into an …read more
Source:: Business Insider