On April 28, after carrying out a logistical movement in the cove of Bertheaume, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Bretagne sailed to join the combined exercise FORMIDABLE SHIELD 23, off the Scottish coast.
The 2023 edition, organized by the command of the US Navy ‘s Sixth Fleet (C6F) and led by NATO (STRIKFORNATO – SFN), is being held from May 8 to 26 in the Atlantic and in the Norwegian Sea. Ten nations take part in this major biannual event to test their anti-missile capabilities against subsonic, supersonic and ballistic threats. The scenario, complex and realistic, requires the participating units to cooperate to carry out numerous joint training sessions aimed at developing their interoperability in the face of high-end threats. France is committing the FREMM Bretagne and the Air Defense Frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul to this NATO system .
Before joining the exercise, Brittany joined NATO’s multinational naval force in the North Sea. The unit and its embarked detachment of the 33F flotilla then made a logistical stopover in Belfast from May 2 to 6: a few days of operational break which notably made it possible to carry out an intervention on the Caiman marine, to restore its availability. The Chevalier Paul ‘s sailors docked in Edinburgh for a routine stopover from May 3 to 8, marked by official visits and participation in the FORMIDABLE SHIELD 23 Pre Sail Conference , in Faslane on May 6. The two units then rejoined their NATO partners and headed west to Scotland.
For its part, it was off the Hebrides that Brittany found the Italian FREMM Carlo Margottini and the Burke-type frigate USS Porter to carry out the first training sessions with a view to their participation in FORMIDABLE SHIELD 23: cross aviation maneuvers, tactical developments, air defense exercises… These basic exercises allow units to maintain their interoperability before conducting exercises to test the limits of the capabilities of the participating frigates. All of this maneuver must contribute to improving the collective defense capability of the Alliance and to demonstrating its ability to defend itself against any potential aggressor.
This defense exercise against conventional missiles allows Bretagne and Chevalier Paul to maintain a high level of interoperability within a formed force and to demonstrate the high level of maturity of their air defense capabilities in a complex environment.