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British Navy HMS Kent frigate and HMS Ramsey minehunter join BALTOP 2020 naval exercise

According to information released by the British Government on June 8, 2020, over the next week, HMS Kent frigate and minehunter HMS Ramsey will sail alongside 26 other vessels and 29 aircraft as 3,000 personnel from 17 NATO nations and two NATO partner nations strengthen their combined maritime capabilities and demonstrate their collective resolve to safeguard security in the Baltic Sea Region.
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British Navy HMS Kent frigate and HMS Ramsey minehunter join BALTOP 2020 naval exercise 925 001 The British Type-23 Duke-class frigate HMS Kent F78. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

British HMS Ramsey will join the exercise as part of her five-week deployment with the NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1. The NATO force is dedicated to eliminating the threat of historic mines in waters of northern Europe, practising dealing with present-day mines and promoting the alliance and freedom of the seas.

BALTOPS will see Allies train together on a variety of maritime exercises including air defence, anti-submarine warfare and mine-hunting.

The UK is committed to the independence of the Baltic Sea Region and this exercise along with a range of other UK military activity helps to deters threats and defends our interests in the region. With HMS Kent exercising on BALTOPS, the UK will contribute to the region’s security in the sea, the sky and on land.

There are currently over 800 British Army personnel deployed in Estonia, where they lead a multinational battlegroup as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. Elsewhere, RAF Typhoons are in Lithuania this summer to contribute to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.

HMS Kent’s participation in BALTOPS represents a return to the Baltic Sea Region for the ship and her crew after she took part in the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) deployment Baltic Protector last year. The JEF is a UK-led high-readiness force of nine north European nations that helps to uphold security in the region.

The British Navy HMS Kent is a Type 23 Duke class frigate of the British Royal Navy, was launched on 28 May 1998 and commissioned on 8 June 2000. The Type 23 frigate or Duke class is a class of frigates built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.

The Type 23 frigate is armed with eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles in two four-cell launchers and vertical-launch Seawolf (GWS 26 Mod 1 VLS). Harpoon is a medium-range (90 km) anti-ship missile using inertial and active radar guidance. VLS Seawolf is a surface-to-air missile with command to line of sight (CLOS) guidance and radar and electro-optic tracking. It has a range of 6 km.

The HMS Ramsey is a Sandown-class minehunter of the British Royal Navy. Like other vessels of the Sandown class, Ramsey is built of glass-reinforced plastic and other non-magnetic materials so that her hull does not trigger mines as easily as standard warships. These ships clear the way of mines to allow safe passage for larger forces, swiftly detecting and destroying any hidden dangers.

A single mounting carrying an Oerlikon 30mm gun, it was designed as a ship-protection system to defend Royal Navy frigates from various short-range missiles, rockets, grenades and explosives. The gun is controlled from a remote operator console elsewhere on the ship.