Thirteen NATO countries are taking part in simulated air and missile defence drills off the United Kingdom’s southern coast from Thursday (31 October 2019). The 6-day Naval Electro Magnetic Operations – or “NEMO” – trials will test how allied navies can defend themselves against anti-ship cruise and hypersonic missiles using state-of-the-art electronic defences.

“NEMO 19 shows how Allies are working together to protect NATO forces from the threat of cruise and hypersonic missiles,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “This is NATO’s largest maritime electronic warfare exercise and a great example of how Allies are developing new defensive technology to meet emerging security challenges.”

As part of the drill, Allies will seek to jam enemy missiles or divert them away from their targets, using state-of-the-art electronic defences. NEMO 19 will also see the use of infrared and radar measurements to reduce the susceptibility of ships to enemy radars and missiles. Tactical data exchanges between participating ships as well as voice procedures if data links are jammed or tampered with will also be put to the test.

The technology is meant to counter the growing threat of ever more complex anti-ship missile systems proliferating around the globe. “NEMO 19 is taking so-called anti-access area-denial capabilities into account as we continue to adapt our deterrence and defence posture,” the NATO Spokesperson said, adding that reinforcing the Alliance’s maritime posture is essential for ensuring the Alliance’s continued freedom of movement at sea.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States will participate by sending ships, aircraft, measurement equipment and sailors. About 1,500 personnel, six ships and eight aircraft are involved in NEMO 19, which will run until 5 November 2019.