The UK’s Carrier Strike Group will visit Japan as part of the flagship 2025 Indo-Pacific deployment, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today.

The group, comprised of an aircraft carrier, her escorts and her aircraft, will work alongside the Japanese Self Defence Forces and other partners to help defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

On a visit to Japan’s Yokosuka Naval Base, the Defence Secretary highlighted the importance of the UK exercising the best capabilities our Armed Forces have to offer alongside partners in the region.

Following the inaugural deployment in 2021, the Carrier Strike Group 2025 highlights the strength of the UK’s leadership in seeking to uphold stability in the Indo-Pacific. This has been bolstered by the Royal Navy’s persistent presence in the region through HMS Spey and HMS Tamar, as well as the landmark Global Combat Air Programme collaboration.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:

The strength and global reach of the UK’s Armed Forces should never be underestimated. The Carrier Strike Group 2025 is another tangible example of our ability to deploy globally.

Such deployments send a strong deterrence message while presenting important opportunities for engagements with key partners. Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and the task group’s visit to the country will only serve to strengthen our military and diplomatic ties.

A Carrier Strike Group is a versatile and lethal resource that few countries possess. Always led by an aircraft carrier embarked with F-35B Lightning jets, the rest of the UK formation can be made up of submarines, warships and support vessels, including from other allied navies.

The Carrier Strike Group offers cutting-edge air, surface and underwater defence, but it is also a focal point for the worldwide democratic activity. HMS Queen Elizabeth led the 2021 task group on a journey of 55,000 nautical miles, stretching from the Eastern Atlantic to Japan and back, with the deployment seeing UK military and diplomatic engagement with more than forty nations.

Photo credit: Royal Navy / MOD news licence.

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