A fleet of British warships and military aircraft heralded as the ‘largest concentration of sea and air power to leave the UK in a generation’, will depart next month for visit India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, in a sample of the british ambition to have a much stronger presence in Asia. The mission will be led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the flagship of the British Navy.
The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the most powerful surface ship in the history of the Royal Navy, will set sail next month for Asia with eight RAF F35 stealth fighter jets on board. The € 3.4 billion vessel will be accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, 14 naval helicopters and a Royal Marines company.
The Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace, said Monday that the mission aims to show that the UK “is not regressing, but navigating to play an active role in shaping the international system.” A part of the carrier group will go to the Black Sea to assist in the mission of the OTAN to contain Russia in its expansionist ambitions.
Accompanying HMS Queen Elizabeth will be a surface fleet comprised of Type 45 destroyers HMS Defender and HMS Diamond, the Type 23 anti-submarine frigates HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring.
The four Wildcat maritime attack helicopters, the siete Merlin Mk2 antisubmarine helicopters and the three Merlin Mk4 commando helicopters will be the most helicopters assigned to a single UK task force in a decade.
This naval accompaniment group can also carry out not only escort tasks for the aircraft carrier but also a wide variety of operations, such as surveillance and attack operations.
“When our Carrier Strike Group sailing next month, it will fly the flag of the global UK, projecting our influence, signaling our power, interacting with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow, ”said Wallace.
The deployment is expected to last about six months and visit more than 40 countries. Wallace will reveal more details to Parliament on Monday afternoon. Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Indo-Pacific region will become the focus of Britain’s foreign and defense policy as the UK reconsiders its place in the world order after leaving the Union. European.
Johnson had planned to visit India to boost trade and investment ties as part of that plan, but was forced to cancel the trip as the coronavirus pandemic worsened in India. The Ministry of Defence He said the military deployment will help deepen political and security ties and support Britain’s exports and international trade.
“The entire nation can be proud of the dedicated men and women who for more than six months will demonstrate to the world that the UK is not regressing, but navigating to play an active role in shaping the international system of the 21st century,” said the Minister of Defense.
The UK also has another aircraft carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales, the most modern of the British Navy, 280 meters long and cost 3,800 million dollars. It weighs 65,000 tons and has the capacity to transport 36 aircraft and 4 helicopters. In December last year, this warship suffered a flood that destroyed electrical systems, leaving it stranded in Portsmouth.
The passage of HMS Queen Elizabeth will be joined by ships from the United States and a frigate from the Netherlands to carry out exercises with forces from Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Israel, India, Oman and South Korea.
Other foreign ships currently in Asian waters are a French amphibious aircraft carrier and two United States Navy aircraft carriers, one of which, the USS Ronald Reagan, It is based in Japan, a close ally of Washington in the region. Japan is home to the largest concentration of US military forces outside the US, including warships, aircraft, and thousands of Marines.