Military tests anti-submarine warfare


SLt Zachary Jackson, HMCS Calgary ~

Last month, HMCS Calgary along with HMCS Whitehorse, Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre, 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, and 19 Wing Comox took part in Optest Stargazer. The goal of the two-week exercise was to test anti-submarine warfare equipment and doctrine in order to improve how warships conduct anti-submarine operations.

One of the highlights of the exercise was a series of Mk 46 Torpedo firings. The Mk 46 Lightweight Torpedo is the primary weapon used by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force against submarine threats. The rounds were Exercise Torpedoes (EXTORPS). This meant the torpedo was able to be fired, move through the water, tracked, and finally target a submarine without having any explosive payload embarked.

Using an EXTORP allows the military to employ the weapon in a realistic way and collect relevant data without any undue costs or risk. Personnel can then analyze the data and see why the weapon was either successful or unsuccessful. This is crucial in determining how to improve both the way the military fights and the weapons used.

Calgary’s Under Water Warfare Officer, Lt (N) Samantha Bayne commented on the importance of this exercise. “Calgary’s participation in Optest Stargazer enabled the RCN to enhance underwater warfare tactics. Calgary contributed to the exercise’s effectiveness in providing a focused opportunity to demonstrate potential new equipment and procedures.”

The exercise was the culmination of weeks of work by both the Operations Department and the Combat Systems Engineering Department.

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