UK,US and France sign deal to boost ASW cooperation

The UK, US and France have signed a new trilateral agreement to strengthen cooperation regarding their anti-submarine warfare activities.

The three navies are currently operating in the 5th Fleet area of operations and this latest agreement followed the signing of a document in March, which outlined plans for the nations' Chiefs of Navy to reinforce their commitment to improving interoperability.

US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) commander vice-admiral Kevin M. Donegan has signed the submarine agreement with French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces (ALFOST) commander vice-admiral Louis-Michel Guillaume and Operations of the Royal Navy commander rear admiral Robert K. Tarrant.

Donegan said: This agreement expands upon the 2017 trilateral maritime talks between the leaders of our respective navies, and codifies a practical framework on how we will operate in the 5th Fleet area of operations when it comes to coordinating anti-submarine warfare operations.

“This agreement lays the groundwork for executing more operations together and enhancing cooperation in the undersea domain. The end result is safer, more effective operations that work in the best interest of all three countries.”

The US 5th Fleet's area of operations covers approximately 2.5 million square miles of water, and includes the Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The area comprises 20 nations and involves “three critical choke points” at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.