The UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth has met up with the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal, for three days of complex maritime interactions.
The maritime partnership exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy will see the two navies conducting a range of multi-ship, air, sea and sub-surface maritime evolutions, as well as, close quarter manoeuvring. This enables both forces to advance their interoperability and cooperation ahead of further exercises when the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returns to the Indian Ocean in the autumn. The combined forces equate to ten ships, two submarines, approximately 20 aircraft and almost 4,000 personnel.
Both the UK and India are in the midst of a carrier renaissance, with the CSG spearheading the UK’s Joint Expeditionary capability. The joint endeavour provides tangible security to our friends and a credible deterrence to those who seek to undermine global security. An Indian warship will also exercise with the Royal Navy off the coast of the UK in August.
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said:
Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said:
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said:
The joint exercises between the Carrier Strike Group and the Indian Navy are being conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 21-23 July.
As part of its maiden operational deployment, the CSG will sail over 26,000 nautical miles, engaging with 40 countries from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and back again.
The fifth generation HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, at 65,000 tonnes, is the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK. Taller than Niagara Falls, her propellers generate the power of 50 high-speed trains. She leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation. It is equipped with the fifth generation F-35B Lightning multi-role aircrafts. They are being jointly crewed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the US Marine Corps.
From defending democratic values and tackling shared threats, to seizing new trade opportunities through engagements with Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India and others, the deployment marks a step-change in UK engagement in the region. The UK is already investing significantly in the region by seeking ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, kicking off negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and rapidly progressing trade talks with Australia, New Zealand and India.