UK: HMS York Fires More than 200 Rounds
The gunners of HMS York fired more than 200 rounds from the destroyer’s main gun as they let rip against the ranges at Cape Wrath in Scotland. The ship built on the lessons of the Libya campaign – where three Royal Navy warships pummelled targets ashore – to train spotters, gun crews and warfare officers.
This is the main gun of HMS York firing for effect towards the range at Cape Wrath – the northwesternmost tip of the British mainland.
The Portsmouth-based destroyer let rip on Exercise Spring Wrath, several days of pummelling targets on land at sea around the British Isles, testing spotters, gunnery liaison officers, trainee warfare officers – as well as the ship’s own gun crew.
After two days of practice shooting off the Dorset coast, York headed north to Cape Wrath to work alongside 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery, naval gunfire liaison officers and the Lynx of 847 NAS.
York was called on to conduct various fire missions with six to eight rounds of high explosive 4.5in shell – 88lb of steel and thunder – hurtling towards their targets at twice the speed of sound.
“This period on York has been the perfect end to our principal warfare officer’s course,” said Lt Cdr Jason White, one of the warfare students aboard the destroyers.
“The new simulator is great for teaching but it is nothing like a real ship’s ops room.
“Naval fire support has always been a core skill, however, Operation Ellamy has reinvigorated it and shown its continued importance in modern conflicts.”
By the time Spring Wrath came to an end, 239 shells had left the barrel of York’s ‘Kryten’ gun – a nickname it owes to its angular shape, similar to the Red Dwarf character’s head.
The highlight of the shoot was the coordinated illumination missions where the ship fired star shell and high explosive rounds.
“As proven recently off Libya, gunfire support from Royal Navy warships is as valid today as ever,” said York’s Commanding Officer Cdr Rex Cox.
“But it’s also a perishable skill and one which we need to exercise regularly if we are to be ready when called upon.
“Exercise Spring Wrath has been a cracking opportunity to put York’s team and equipment through their paces as well as endorsing new principal warfare officers for the front line.”
Naval Today Staff , April 05, 2012; Image: royalnavy