Starting in 2015, the At Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield training exercises have significantly enhanced the ability of NATO forces and international allies to defend against future threats. Formidable Shield 2023 will build on previous events, offering increased complexity in live weapons scenarios to assist forces to train as they fight.
The exercise will feature a significant increase in multi-nation participation, with more than 20 ships and 35 aircraft and nearly 4000 Allied military personnel from 13 nations taking part in live weapons and defence rehearsal scenarios.
The first portion of the exercise was on Andoya in Norway, the focus now moves to MOD Hebrides, which will play host to the majority of the three week event. Managed by QinetiQ as part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) agreement with the Ministry of Defence, MOD Hebrides provides ample space for the allies to test and evaluate their capabilities in a real- world setting. FS23 will occupy 115,000km² of sanitised airspace with unlimited altitude. To further support this endeavour, QinetiQ will be launching a number of targets developed by QinetiQ Target Systems, including the Banshee Jet80+. These and other targets will offer participants the opportunity to run integrated air and missile defence scenarios with ballistic missiles, supersonic sea skimming missiles and aggressor jets.
QinetiQ’s test and evaluation expertise will support the safe delivery of the Formidable Shield exercise, allowing the participants to gain quality insights from this highly complex event. QinetiQ will be supporting fundamental test and evaluation on radar systems, communications systems and allowing assurance of tactics across NATO led operations.
Jim Graham, Managing Director, Air, at QinetiQ commented: “MOD Hebrides is one of our key air ranges and a perfect location to facilitate this crucial U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO led mission rehearsal event. QinetiQ’s Trials, Test, Training & Evaluation work has proved crucial in the delivery of several important training and analysis exercises for allied forces, improving national security. We are also proud to provide logistical and safety planning support for Formidable Shield 2023 and believe it will deliver a wealth of valuable insights for all NATO allies in attendance.
“We believe Formidable Shield 2023 represents another opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of collaboration between allied naval and air forces against emerging threats. We are looking forward to supporting allied forces in testing the capability of both missile attacks, anti-missile defence systems and implementing the insights gained to strengthen NATO defence.”