UK takes part in ballistic missile defence exercise

Exercise Formidable Shield, a US-led multinational maritime integrated air and ballistic missile defence exercise, has begun off the West Coast of Scotland.

Ships from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States all took part in the complex air and missile exercises, with a Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer and two Type 23 Frigates playing a leading role in events.

Over the period of a month, 13 ships will fire on 12 live missile targets, working to improve how allies collaborate in an air and missile defence environment, detecting, tracking and shooting down both anti-ship and ballistic missile targets.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “North Korean tests have shown the danger of rogue states developing longer range missiles. By hosting this cutting-edge exercise in anti-missile defence with allied navies Britain is at the forefront of developing a more effective response to this growing threat.”

Rear Admiral Paul Bennett, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, added: “Formidable Shield is a terrific example of the leading role that the UK plays in development of maritime air and missile defence – protecting our people and working with our allies.”

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