On 12 February, the “Provence” multi-mission frigate (FREMM) and 13 other NATO frigates sailed from Bergen to intercept a submarine cruising in the North Sea, seeking to infiltrate the Norwegian fjords. It is the objective of exercise TG18.1 which allows to train, as every year, the future commanders of submarines Norwegian, Dutch or British.
TG 18.1 is a large exercise involving nearly 5,000 Norwegian, French, Spanish, Polish, German, Canadian, Australian and Danish sailors. Its “electronic warfare” component (fight field dedicated to the interception, jamming and emission of radar waves to defend itself and / or to deceive the enemy) is coupled with the NATO exercise “Dynamic Guard”.
For 15 days, the crews of frigates deployed in the fjords will face the challenge of conducting their operations in tight waters with complex and tortuous landforms. With the support of its helicopter, day and night, the “Provence” will hunt for hours the submarine, highlighting its unique expertise in wrestling under the sea.
The French frigate also coordinates the action of the Allied naval force. The exercises are linked in three dimensions: under water, on the surface and in the air. This is an opportunity to perfect our interoperability and, for all participants, to prove their ability to respond in a coordinated manner to a high level of international crisis.
The FREMM “Provence” sailed from Brest on January 15th for several months of deployment in the Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Norway. These deployments are generally carried out in coordination with the marine partners, riparian or evolving in the area. They can lead to the integration of French vessels in various multinational and combined exercises, such as TG18.1 and “Dynamic Guard”. These complex naval and military maneuvers, in a demanding environment, contribute directly to NATO’s assurance measures led by France, while enhancing its autonomous capacity to assess the situation.