The UK’s largest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth and its strike task group have sailed into the Indian Ocean and will carry out a mega wargame with the Indian Navy as the aircraft carrier began a 40-nation tour aimed at demonstrating Britain’s commitment for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the deployment of the carrier strike group marks the start of “a new era of defence cooperation with allies in India and the Indo-Pacific.” Indian military officials said a series of complex drills will be carried out as part of the wargame that is expected to take place around July 26.
It is HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment. The warship has a fleet of F35B stealth fighter jets onboard and is accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine and 14 naval helicopters.
The warships are expected to visit the South China Sea region as part of the tour.
“By visiting 40 countries and working alongside our partners, the UK is standing up for democratic values, seizing new trading opportunities and tackling the shared threats we face together,” Foreign Secretary Raab said.
The British high commission in India said the carrier strike group (CSG) 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, has sailed into the Indian Ocean Region after transiting the Suez Canal.