Ministry of Defence
Royal Navy warship sails into Arctic Circle for High North operation
HMS Lancaster has completed three days of operations in the High North, marking the second time the Royal Navy has sailed into the Arctic Circle in two months.
Once again demonstrating the UK’s commitment to the High North after leading a multi-national task group into the region in September, the Royal Navy has sailed above the Scandinavian countries into the North Cape.
By successfully operating in the challenging sub-zero conditions, the warship gained valuable experience of operating in the icy High North environment and further enhanced the UK’s cold weather capability.
Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey yesterday said:
The High North and Arctic region is vitally important to our security of the UK, as well as some of our closest Allies in Scandinavia, the Baltic Region and northern Europe.
Deployments such as this, as well as our active engagement in the Northern Group and leadership of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), demonstrate to our allies and adversaries alike that the UK will be forward-leaning in supporting the security and stability of the region.
On approach to the Arctic Circle, Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster took the opportunity to gain valuable training experience alongside the Norwegian Navy – one of the UK’s closest partners in the region. The Norwegian warship HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen joined HMS Lancaster for a passing exercise that allowed both NATO navies to further boost their cooperation capability, following previous shared activity in the region earlier this year.
The operation, entirely conducted in international waters and in a responsible manner, demonstrated the freedom of navigation on the high seas provided by the rules-based international system. This was also the case in September, when Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland, supported by RFA Tidespring, commanded a task group comprising Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl and the United States Navy’s destroyer USS Ross.
Norway is a fellow member of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF); the UK-led high-readiness force of northern European nations that is capable of countering hybrid and conventional threats, as well as the Northern Group; a UK initiative formed of 12 nations aimed at providing effective defence and security cooperation in the region.
Commander William Blackett, the Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster, yesterday said:
For HMS Lancaster, this short operation was a great way to close out a challenging year of trials and training. The Queen’s Frigate and her fine company have come a long way since emerging from refit - we are back where we belong on the front line and ready for the next task.
Through such groups, the UK is committed to working with Allies to upholding the security of the High North and Arctic and recent deployments ensure that our ships and people are ready and able to operate in the region. Changes to the Arctic landscape wrought by declining sea ice levels open up new trade routes and raise the risk of economic competition and states looking to monopolise the region – sharpening the need for the UK’s Armed Forces to remain ready to respond to any potential instability.
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
Defence Secretary visits Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories to explore options to boost humanitarian aid07/12/2023 13:10:00
As part of ongoing diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, the Defence Secretary travels to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) and Israel this week.
Member appointed to the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody06/12/2023 12:25:00
The Lord Chancellor has approved the appointment of Professor Seena Fazel as member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody.
Government statement: The UK condemns attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea05/12/2023 14:12:00
FCDO-MOD joint statement in response to the attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants.
New deep space radar will transform UK security05/12/2023 10:15:00
A new landmark radar initiative will increase UK security by being able to better detect, track and identify objects in deep space.
UK military activity in the Eastern Mediterranean05/12/2023 09:14:00
Statement on UK military activity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
UK powers up partnership with US and Australia to strengthen security04/12/2023 13:15:00
A landmark security partnership entered a new phase recently (02 December 2023) as the Defence Ministers of the UK, Australia and United States met in California.
Minister for Armed Forces calls out Russian aggression during OSCE Ministerial Council01/12/2023 14:20:00
Minister for Armed Forces attends OSCE Ministerial Council in North Macedonia to call out Russian aggression across Europe.
Royal Navy task force to deploy with JEF partners to defend undersea cables01/12/2023 13:15:00
Six Royal Navy warships, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, and a Royal Air Force maritime patrol aircraft will form the UK’s contribution to the JEF deployment.