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Hebrides News


A major weapons testing exercise is to take place off the Western Isles.

America’s 6th Fleet which is based in the eastern Atlantic is leading the live firing of ballistic missile defence systems using the South Uist rocket range.

During the four weeks of Formidable Shield ships from seven nations will be on manoeuvres at sea off Uist.

From this weekend “operationally realistic” scenarios will be set up with “attacks” from incoming missiles.

The ships are expected to track and destroy three ballistic missile and 14 subsonic or two supersonic anti-ship cruise missile targets.

One element of the exercise involves the Dutch Navy warship, HNLMS De Ruyter, intercepting a missile flying above the Earth’s atmosphere at 12,400mph.

The purpose of Formidable Shield is to “improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures” said an US Navy statement.

The UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are also scheduled to participate in the exercise which starts on 24th September.

The operation overlap with NATO Joint Warrior exercise which gets underway on 30 September.

US Navy in ballistic missile defence exercise off Hebrides

19 Sept 2017

US Naval Forces Europe-Africa