UK Carrier Strike Group conducts exercise with Republic of Singapore Navy

From left: HMS Queen Elizabeth, HNLMS Evertsen, USS The Sullivans, and HMS Kent. © UK MoD Crown Copyright 2021

The UK Carrier Strike Group 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, has transited through Singapore waters and will return later this year.

Ships from the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, performed an exercise with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) yesterday (26 July).

The exercise, to advance interoperability and coordination between the two navies, builds on the deep and long-standing defence partnership between the UK and Singapore.

It was also the first time that ships from the Royal Navy’s 5th generation Carrier Strike Group exercised alongside the RSN.

Eight ships were involved in yesterday’s exercise:

  • HMS Queen Elizabeth, aircraft carrier
  • HMS Kent, Type 23 anti-submarine frigate
  • HNLMS Evertsen, De Zeven Provicien-class frigate (Royal Netherlands Navy)
  • USS The Sullivans, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (US Navy)
  • RFA Tidespring, Fast Fleet Tanker
  • RSS Intrepid Formidable-class frigate (Republic of Singapore Navy)
  • RSS Unity Independence-class littoral mission vessel (Republic of Singapore Navy)
  • RSS Resolution Endurance-class landing ship tank (Republic of Singapore Navy)

The Strike Group, which set off on its maiden deployment in May this year and has successfully conducted operations and engagements in the Mediterranean, is now in the Indo-Pacific.

The purpose-built aircraft carrier replenishment ship, RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Tidespring broke away from the main group on Friday (23 July) for a quick and contactless replenishment pit-stop in Singapore. She will now sustain the group as it proceeds further east.

The Group will next undertake a series of multinational exercises with global allies in the Philippine Sea. Later in the year, the Carrier Strike Group will return to Singapore.

A ship from the Group will also take part in Exercise Bersama Gold – with Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand – this will mark the 50th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said:

The Royal Navy has huge affection for Singapore based on our history together, but Singapore is also a beacon of enterprise in a region that is growing in strategic importance. The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in Southeast Asia is a clear sign that the United Kingdom is ready to work with friends and partners, new and old, to strengthen the security and freedoms upon which we mutually depend.

We are grateful to Singapore for supporting an important logistics stop for RFA Tidespring as the Carrier Strike Group continues our programme at sea. We look forward to working with Singapore again in the autumn for Exercise Bersama Gold, which marks the 50th Anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

Her Excellency, Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore, said:

The Carrier Strike Group’s presence is another element of our strategic approach to the Southeast Asia region, alongside our engagement with ASEAN and our activity in support of trade and economic development.

We welcome Singapore’s support for the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment to the region. Our joint exercise showcases our navies’ ability to operate effectively together, underscoring the deep and strong defence and security partnership.

© UK MoD Crown Copyright 2021


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