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Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 participates in British Navy Exercise Joint Warrior 20-2


According to information released by the NATO website on October 12, 2020, North Sea – Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is currently participating in British Royal Navy Exercise Joint Warrior 20-2, off the coast of the United Kingdom as part of its regular deployment in the North Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The flagship of SNMG 1 NRP Corte-real vessel F332 of the Portuguese Navy. (Picture source Portuguese Navy Twitter account)


From October 04 to 15, SNMG1 (Standing NATO Maritime Group 1) composed of the flagship NRP Corte Real, the Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto, the Belgian frigate Leopold I and the Netherlands frigate Evertson, is participating in Royal Navy exercise Joint Warrior 20-2.

Joint Warrior is the biggest exercise hosted by the UK, designed to test a wide range of skills across land, sea and air units in joint operations. The exercise consists of several classic warfare exercises conducted by warships, submarines and aircrafts in coastal and offshore waters to the north, north-west and west of Scotland.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) is one of NATO's standing naval maritime immediate reaction forces. SNMG1 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability.

The SNMG1 is under the command of the Commodore José, Antonio Mirones from the Portuguese Navy with the Flagship NRP Corte-real vessel F332,  a Vasco da Gama class frigate of the Portuguese Navy. She was laid down by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft on 20 October 1989, launched on 22 November 1991, and commissioned on 1 February 1992.

The Vasco da Gama is a class of frigates of the Portuguese Navy which are based on the German MEKO 200 design and are Portugal's major surface ships. Portugal operates three ships of this class including the F330 Vasco Da Gama, F331 Alvares Cabral and Corte-Real, which were built in Hamburg by Blohm + Voss (B&V) and by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel, using modular construction techniques.

The Vasco da Gama class frigate is armed with one 100 mm Mod68 CADAM polyvalent artillery piece, one Phalanx CIWS 20 mm Vulcan anti-ship missile defense system, six 12.75-inch Mk32 torpedo tubes in triple mountings, two Mk 141 quad-pack Launcher for a maximum of 8 RGM-84 Harpoon and one MK 21 Guided Missile Launching System for 8 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. 

The propulsion of the Vasco da Gama class frigate includes two shaft CODOG, controllable pitch propellers, two MTU 20V 956 TB92 diesel-engines, 8.14MW each and two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 38MW each. She has an hangar and flight deck to operate two Super Lynx Mk 95 naval helicopters.