Submarine HMS Trenchant Calls at the North Pole


By Royal Navy News 04-20-2018 08:23:00

Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant has broken through the ice of the North Pole with two U.S. Navy submarines to bring Ice Exercise 2018 to an end. A few weeks after punching through the ice off Alaska, the hunter-killer submarine emerged at the top of the world some 2,750 miles from her home base of Plymouth, UK.

Trenchant joined the USS Connecticut and USS Hartford for the ICEX 2018 drills, co-ordinated by the US Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory, and broke through the ice at the North Pole five times. The demanding trials are designed to test submariners’ skills in operating in the frigid climate of the Arctic Circle.

The ice exercise allows the submariners to test a range of equipment against live 'targets' and to practice tracking and simulating attacks against other submarines. Exercises such as this are vital in maintaining the operational readiness of the Royal Navy's submarine fleet and in maintaining the security of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

And while professional cricketers in the UK bemoaned the weather which stalled the opening of the county championship, the crew of HMS Trenchant even had chance to grab bat and ball for a few overs at the North Pole.

Commander David Burrell, the Commanding Officer of HMS Trenchant, said: “This ice exercise has been excellent and very well conducted. The Royal Navy operates all across the globe acting on behalf of Britain’s interests. That includes being able to successfully operate and conduct warfighting beneath the ice cap. It’s a vital skill which we have been honing over these last few weeks and I couldn’t be more proud of my sailors for their excellent work.”

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The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.