On October 6, vessels from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom participating in the inaugural Formidable Shield 2017 (FS17) exercise tested the ships’ ballistic and cruise missile defense capabilities. Designed to improve NATO allied interoperability in an integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) environment, FS17 tested participants’ self-defense capabilities against three subsonic antiship cruise missile targets. During the exercise, Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) fired Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and the U.S. Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) launched Standard Missile-2 at target cruise missiles, successfully intercepting their targets.
The USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and ships from Italy, France, and Spain also participated in tracking a short-range ballistic missile launch from the Scottish Hebrides Range, and simulated a coordinated engagement to defeat the missile. Vice Adm Christopher Grady, Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and the U.S. 6th fleet, commented, “By training at the highest end of warfare, we are building and maintaining a credible, capable force. We are stronger together, and know that if we are called upon to fight alongside our allies and partners, we will be ready.”
FS17 began September 24, and will conclude on October 18, 2017.