Anti-Submarine Warfare unites navies

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Adam Cooper (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercises, HMAS Perth (F157)

HMAS Perth breaks away after a Replenishment at Sea with RFA Fort Victoria in the Arabian Gulf during Perth's deployment for Operation Manitou. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
HMAS Perth breaks away after a Replenishment at Sea with RFA Fort Victoria in the Arabian Gulf during Perth's deployment for Operation Manitou.

In late August HMAS Perth joined US and Royal Navy warships as well as French and US Maritime Patrol Aircraft for a US-led anti-submarine warfare exercise in the north Arabian Sea.

On exchange from the Royal Navy, Perth’s Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Oliver Nokes said anti-submarine warfare was a complex warfare area, proficiency at which only develops through extensive training.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to train and optimise our skills in a multi-national environment,” Lieutenant Commander Nokes said. 

“We have shared our knowledge and tactics with our partners whilst gaining a deeper understanding of the new sensors and capabilities provided by the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.”

Perth worked with USS Nitze and USS Mason which also had MH-60R flights embarked.

The presence of multiple 'Romeo' aircraft afforded an opportunity for the aviation teams to co-ordinate and combine efforts said Perth's Flight Commander, Lieutenant Commander Josh Carey.

"It was a great experience to operate with the other units and work towards a shared objective,” he said.

Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ivan Ingham said the exercise allowed coalition partners to assess their responsiveness to a submarine threat in the Middle East.

“It is vital that while we operate in increasingly contested regions our interoperability is practised, maintained and, where we can, progressed,” Captain Ingham said.

“The Ship Anti-submarine warfare Readiness/Effectiveness Measurement (or SHAREM) exercise was extremely important to all units involved and important for Navy, the Australian Defence Force and Australia.”

Also involved were the Los Angeles class nuclear powered Submarine, USS Dallas, the Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment, RFA Fort Victoria, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and their embarked helicopters.

Participating ships were able to hone their skills in anti-submarine warfare procedures against Dallas who acted as the opposing force during the conduct of the exercise..

The force was bolstered by the capabilities of HMS Portland, a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate fitted with an advanced sonar suite including passive towed array sonar.

Portland’s towed array was complemented by other towed sensors employed by US Ships Mason and Nitze as well as sonobuoys from fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

During the exercise Perth conducted replenishments with Fort Victoria before returning to counter terrorism and maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman.