A massive multinational military exercise will be held off the west coast and around the Hebrides next month when Exercise Joint Warrior 142 begins.
The exercise, which is held each year in the spring and autumn, will involve 22 naval units and around 52 fixed wing aircraft with many operating on the seas and in the skies around the Hebrides.
It gets underway on October 7 and countries taking part in the maritime part of Joint Warrior are the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.
The US Navy’s Commander Destroyer Squadron 26 assumes overall command of the task group.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The two-week exercise provides all three of the UK Armed Services, and invited allied nations, with the opportunity to hone the vital skills needed to fight and win on today’s battlefield.”
Joint Warrior will simulate a broad range of realistic scenarios encountered in modern day conflicts and peace keeping missions.
Military skills practiced will include anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; mine countermeasures; live firing; counter-smuggling and counter-insurgency; electronic warfare; and logistics support.
Vessels taking part include Royal Navy mine hunters HMS Blyth, HMS Pembroke, HMS Brocklesby and HMS Middleton.
The RN spokesman added: “In the run-up to Joint Warrior, exercise staff have engaged with local communities, key stakeholders and landowners in order to minimise the impact of military activity on the environment.
“As in previous exercises, GPS denial operations will be practiced during Joint Warrior 142. Temporary radar and communications jamming is a part of modern warfare and training for this an essential part of preparation for operations.
“GPS jamming during Joint Warrior will be limited to a confined area in North West Scotland at specific times. Maritime, fishing, aviation and hill walking organisations have been consulted and made aware of GPS jamming.”
During the exercise, RAF Lossiemouth in Moray will also operate both Typhoon and Tornado GR4 aircraft and host fighter planes from Sweden, Belgium and Germany.
“Meanwhile, around 150 additional military personnel, many of them reservists, will coordinate events from HM Naval Base Clyde during the fortnight.”