Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ships of Exercise Cutlass Fury

Ships and submarines began arriving yesterday for Exercise Cutlass Fury (no doubt named after the feeling one felt after buying an Oldsmobile), which is being hosted by the RCN out of Halifax.

HMC Ships ATHABASKAN, FREDERICTON, MONTREAL, GOOSE BAY, SUMMERSIDE, and WINDSOR will be joined by personnel, ships, and aircraft from the navies of the United States, France, Great Britain, Spain, and Germany. The exercise will run from September 9 through 26, and will involve 11 ships, 3 submarines, and 26 aircraft.

HMCS ATHABASKAN alongside this morning.

A recent shot of HMCS MONTREAL.

Tonnerre headed up the harbour from her base at Shearwater.

Arrivals began yesterday with the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS MONMOUTH and a submarine that headed over to Shearwater (suggesting she is a nuclear submarine).  

HMS MONMOUTH with HMCS WINDSOR to the right.
Today saw the arrival of several more ships including SPS PATINO, FS LANGUEDOC, a USN nuclear submarine that headed to Shearwater, and two USN destroyers USS GONZALEZ and USS BULKELEY. 


PATINO went alongside HMCS PRESERVER, presumably to take on fuel, before heading to another berth within the Dockyard..

PATINO coming alongside PRESERVER.

PATINO coming alongside PRESERVER.
PATINO already has a "P" name, too bad we couldn't just get her crew drunk and pull a quick switcheroo one night this weekend. I figure all it would take is an all-night repainting session and no one would be the wiser.

FS LANGUEDOC is brand new, having only been commissioned in March 2016, and is the third AQUITAINE class destroyer to enter service with the French Navy. The design is reportedly a contender for the RCN's Canadian Surface Combatant program. Although the French seem to be classifying these ships as destroyers (as indicated by the D in front of their pennant numbers), the FREMM ships are elsewhere referred to as frigates.

My first sight of LANGUEDOC emerging from behind George's Island.






HMS MONMOUTH (left) and FS LANGUEDOC (right).
I often think that the AQUITAINE class ships look a bit on the small side, but seeing LANGUEDOC alongside the Type 23 MONMOUTH, she starts to look a bit bigger.

The arrival of the two earlier ships luckily coincided with my morning ferry trip to Halifax, but I wasn't so lucky with the two USN destroyers.

USS GONZALEZ (left) and USS BULKELEY (right).

USS GONZALEZ (left) and USS BULKELEY (right).
GONZALEZ is one of the original Flight I ships, and as a result only has a helicopter landing pad with no hangar. BULKELEY, on the other hand, is a member of the more recent Flight IIA ships, incorporating a hangar for two helicopters as well as the new 5"/62 gun on the bow. Apart from the hangar, a key visual distinction between these ships is that the aft SPY radar panels are one deck higher on the Flight IIA ships.

A late arrival was USNS Robert E Peary, a dry stores vessel.

USNS Robert E. Peary and SPS PATINO. There's no getting around this - she's huge!

USNS Robert E Peary.

USNS Robert E. Peary.

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