Danish Armed Forces press release – Translation by Naval News
“Shooting is in progress!” shouts out of the loudspeaker system of the frigate Absalon. It is the voice of the operations officer that can be heard all over the ship, where it is otherwise so quiet that you can hear a pin drop. A few seconds later, the silence is broken by the characteristic sound of a missile being fired. It is flying toward an incoming aircraft.
After the launch, there is silence again and the seconds feel long as the missile flies toward its target. Finally comes the redeeming message, “Threat defeated.” The missile has completed its task, allowing the ship and crew to continue the fight and complete their missions.
Although it sounds like a scene from a movie, this and similar scenarios were the reality for the crews of the frigates Absalon and Niels Juel, which participated in Exercise Mjølner 2022 in northern Norway last week. In addition to Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany also participated in the exercise with ships. As the host country, Norway provided a training area and facilities that allow for the use of both missiles and cannons. During the exercise, the ships were in a fleet formation led by Flotilla Admiral Dan B. Termansen, supported by a staff in which all five participating nations were represented.
The scenario for the exercise was a conflict between two countries in which naval forces were tasked under the UN mandate to support one of the two parties by penetrating a littoral area while countering threats from the air, sea, and land to maintain freedom of action for force operations.
For the first time, an air defense battery from the Norwegian Army also participated in the exercise. The air and land threats consisted of a large number of high-speed remotely piloted drones and ships.
“From my point of view, Operation Mjølner 2022 was a great success. It has been impressive to witness the high level of professionalism we have seen among the ships and their crews. It is always a pleasure to see ships from different countries come together in a naval unit and after only a short time work together as if they had sailed together for months.”
Dan B. Termansen, Commander of the Second Naval Squadron
Dan B. Termansen, as commander of the naval forces during Operation Mjølner 2022, has thus had the opportunity to see his ships in action from the second floor.
“I am very pleased with how the frigates Absalon and Niels Juel performed their tasks during Operation Mjølner 2022,” he said. “In the week leading up to the exercise, the Niels Juel conducted the first launches of the long-range air-to-surface missile SM -2, and during Operation Mjølner itself, both the Absalon and the Niels Juel successfully conducted firing exercises with air and sea target missiles and guns, demonstrating that both systems and procedures work. The Navy today is capable of conducting even very advanced operations such as coordinated attacks with missiles, which we have shown here in the exercise,” says Dan B. Termansen.
In addition to testing the systems and procedures in use today, a very important element of Operation Mjølner is the collection of a great deal of data and observations that will allow optimization of the use of weapon systems.
“Operation Mjølner 2022 has clearly shown that we are capable of delivering the required services. At the same time, we have also taken home a large amount of experience and technical measurements that now need to be analyzed so that we can become even better and work in a targeted manner toward the new capabilities – not least the surface-to-air missile with the SM -2 missile,” concludes Dan B. Termansen.