The UK Armed Forces is participating in Europe’s biggest tri-service military exercise, code-named Joint Warrior 2014, off the coast of Scotland.

The exercise, which started on 25 March, involves more than 35 warships, 25 different types of aircraft, and approximately 13,000 personnel from the various nations taking part, including Turkey, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland, Denmark, and the US.

All participating ships, submarines, aircraft and ground troops from the UK, US and other allies are battling each other at sea, in the air and on land in an area that stretches from the Irish Sea, north to Cape Wrath and east to the Moray Firth.

UK International Security Strategy Minister Dr Andrew Murrison said Joint Warrior continues to provide realistic training platforms for the UK Armed Forces, testing the vast capabilities of all three services.

"This exercise sees us working with our international allies, including the US, Netherlands, France, Turkey, Norway and Nato, and will be the largest live, tactically-focused exercise held in Europe this year," Murrison said.

The Royal Navy has deployed 12 ships, including amphibious vessels, destroyers, frigates and mine countermeasures vessels, which will be used by the crews to prepare for their imminent deployments to the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Middle East.

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The UK Army is represented by 16 Air Assault Brigade personnel, who will be joined by the Royal Air Force (RAF), army and Commando Helicopter Forces, as well as Apache, Chinook, Sea King, Lynx, Merlin and Puma helicopters for the provision of critical attack support and reconnaissance capabilities.

"Joint Warrior will be the largest live, tactically-focused exercise held in Europe this year."

As well as supplying fast jet aircraft such as Hawks, Tornados and Typhoons, the RAF will also simulate enemy aircraft and missiles, and provide conventional air warfare capability.

In addition to this, RAF surveillance aircraft will provide a detailed picture of enemy movements and positions to the Royal Navy, while the Tactical Supply Wing will supply logistic support to air assets.

Joint Warrior provides a valuable opportunity to demonstrate the range of capabilities available for contingency operations, while providing excellent training that tests the high-readiness capabilities of the armed forces.

Image: UK Army personnel patrolling with Scimitar vehicles during a previous Exercise Joint Warrior. Photo: Mark Owens, Crown copyright.

Defence Technology