H M Submarine Ambush and the Perisher course

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day H M Submarine Ambush and the Perisher course

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  • #12572
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

      The RN nuclear submarine HMS Ambush whilst submerged collided with a merchant vessel off Gibraltar on the 20th July and sustained damage to the conning tower. There were no injuries to the crews of either vessel and the submarine’s nuclear plant was not put at risk. According to the Daily Telegraph of 22 July Ambush was taking part in the Submarine Commanders’ Course known famously as the “Perisher”.
      The R.N. course also takes officers from allied navies including the United States and France. Historic film footage of the Perisher only shows potential submarine commanders under pressure dealing with attacks from surface warships. Ambush is classed as a hunter-killer sub indicating that modern submarine warfare involves mainly submerged combat.
      With submarines such as Ambush costing around £1 billion involving similar “adversaries” in training courses must be very expensive and requiring a lot of ocean. Tracking submarines undetected below the surface has long been part of the “cold war” game. Is there a record as to when the Perisher incorporated this skill test in the curriculum?
      Malcolm Lewis

      #12651
      Ryan Mewett
      Participant

        Malcolm,

        It’s been part of the course for several years, though I can’t give a precise answer for when it started. Since 2013 at least, the January-April course has been run in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy SMCCs, including an antisubmarine warfare exercise with submarines from each of the navies as participants. My impression is that this has happened at least on and off since the RNLN course began in 1995.

        Cheers,
        Ryan Mewett
        RNLN SMCC 2014

        #12668
        Malcolm Lewis
        Participant

          Thank you Ryan.From the initials below your signature do I gather you attended the Perisher? The recent collision was close to Gibraltar so the exercise area is now not just off the Clyde. Presumably the latest faster submarines need more sea room to test the candidates.

          #12743
          Ryan Mewett
          Participant

            Yes sir, I did indeed – I’m a USN submariner and attended the Dutch course a couple of years ago.

            I understand from discussion with RN friends that the move to conduct some courses in the Med comes from scheduling challenges. Using a boat that’s already deployed (to the Med) allows one boat to check two boxes, i.e. deployment and SMCC support, rather than having to come up with two. At least half the courses (those ordinarily running from January to April) are still conducted in the Clyde and other UK operating areas, in conjunction with the Dutch and the Norwegians.

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