Seven Royal Navy warships will conduct a huge military exercise around the UK

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Britain’s biggest military exercise has begun as more than 11,000 sailors, soldiers and crew wage a 12-day ‘war’ around the British Isles.

More than 20 ships and a handful of submarines, led by seven Royal Navy warships, including the destroyer HMS Diamond and three frigates (Kent, Northumberland and Somerset), along with some tankers from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, are taking part in this year’s Exercise Joint Warrior.

They are joined by ships from the United States, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, France and Latvia.

More than 30 aircraft, including RAF Typhoon fighters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft, will be engaged, along with drone technology and exercise planners intend to use ‘virtual’ air assets alongside real means to test participants’ response.

Anti-submarine ships, planes and helicopters will hunt down live submarines, while ground forces facing the enemy will include gunners from 29th Royal Commando and elements of the US Marine Corps.

Joint Warrior is generally run from Clyde Naval Base, with the action mainly concentrated in the North West of Scotland and adjacent waters.

This latest exercise, however, casts its net across the British Isles. Naval Task Forces will clash in both the North Sea off the coast of Scotland and the northeast coast of England, then again in the Western Channel off Cornwall and Devon .

Accordingly, the exercise – due to end on October 12 – will be run from RAF St Mawgan, near Newquay in Cornwall.

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