YouTube / The Daily Aviation
ICEX is a bi-annual, five-week-long, multinational submarine exercise in the Arctic. The participants are expected to operate from an “ice base” set up by the personnel on a large area of ice.
Before that, however, Raytheon’s DeepSiren is used to communicate with submarines under the thick layer of ice. Meanwhile, crews inside the subs use FLAP analysis (Fractures, Leads, and Polynyas) to find open waters in icy areas.
When it sees the most suitable location, the submarine surfaces to break the ice using its con tower. Usually, submarines can break through three feet of ice, but stronger ones can get through nine feet.
Once it surfaces, the personnel outside clears the ice on top of the vessel’s hatches using chainsaws. When the crew can freely utilize the hatches, the exercises can finally begin.