§ Mr. O'Neill
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the Soviet navy last carried out a major exercise in the Atlantic which demonstrated a threat to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sea lines of communication.
§ Mr. Stanley
The Soviet Navy last demonstrated its ability to deploy a wide range of naval forces into the Atlantic on a large scale in July 1985, when surface ships, submarines, and aircraft of the Soviet Northern Fleet operated in the Atlantic as part of a major naval exercise. Aspects of this exercise demonstrated the intention to carry out operations in an area through which NATO sea lines of communication pass. A significant Soviet submarine deployment in the western Atlantic is in progress.