The UK’s Royal Navy will send one of its new aircraft carriers to join an extended multi-national task force deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
The 65,000 tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth will embark eight RAF F-35Bs, 10 US Marine Corps F-35Bs, and four Wildcat and 10 Merlin helicopters for the six month deployment from late May.
Other RN vessels deploying with Task Force CSG21 will include two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, two logistics/replenishment vessels, a nuclear attack submarine, and at least one River class offshore patrol vessel. Also joining the task force will be a US Navy Arleigh-Burke destroyer and a Dutch frigate.
“When our carrier strike group sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain – projecting our influence, signalling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow,” UK Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace in a statement.
The task force will participate in NATO exercises in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and will interact with various other warships on its deployment including the French carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean, Indian, Singaporean, and other US Navy vessels in the Indian Ocean, and Australian, New Zealand, Japanese, Canadian, and US vessels in the Pacific.