JFD participates in simulated submarine rescue operations as part of Exercise Northern Sun 2017. 

Integral to the UK's submarine rescue provision since 1985, JFD has also been at the centre of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) since it came into service in 2008. Involved in the build of the system, JFD is also responsible for maintaining it in a permanent state of readiness for the UK government so that it can be deployed anywhere in the world at any time.

As part of Exercise Northern Sun 2017, which took place between 16 January and 24 February 217, the system [which comprises a submarine rescue vehicle (SRV) and a Transfer Under Pressure System (TUP) ] underwent its most challenging test to date, being subjected to average temperatures in the Arctic Circle of between -10° and -15°C.

Mobilised from NSRS HQ in HMNB Clyde to Prestwick Airport, the equipment was then flown to Evenes Airport in Norway before being transported by road to Bogen jetty for embarkation to the MOSHIP Norwegian Coastguard Vessel (NOCGV) Sortland. On completion of mobilisation, the MOSHIP transited to the Exercise DISSUB datum and conducted simulated rescue operations with a live Norwegian submarine.

Benefits of the exercise:

  • Demonstrated the portability of the NSRS Rescue Assets by land, sea and air
  • Allowed for the provision of training and demonstration of the logistics / administrative chain involved in mobilisation
  • Confirmed the ability to commission the NSRS Rescue System in a timescale representative of the MOSHIP transit time to a distressed submarine
  • Showcased the embarkation and operation of the NSRS in extreme environmental conditions
  • Provided the opportunity for continued personnel training with mating to a live submarine and SRV deep dive and target mating

The exercise concluded satisfactorily, having achieved all of the objectives allocated by the partner nations of the UK, France and Norway.

To see video footage from the Exercise Northern Sun 2017, please click on the videos below:

Submarine rescue vehicle deployment

Submarine mating

Transfer of submariner to Transfer Under Pressure System