Britannia rules the waves! Stunning new images of Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth

Russian Navy ship sends 'warning shots' in Royal Navy encounter

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The Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship was launched in 2014, and was first commissioned in 2017. On Wednesday, the aircraft carrier joined Indian Navy vessels for a maritime exercise for three days of interactions.

Photos published on the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Twitter showed it flanked by three Indian ships.

On the carrier’s starboard are the INS Satpura, INS Ranvir and INS Jyoti.

Other ships from the UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021 neighboured the flagship on its port side.

In a statement from the British High Commission New Delhi, they said: “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 in the statement the exercises showed the strong and significant relationship between the UK and India.

He said: “This is a month that will see the Royal Navy and Indian Navy meet and work together in two oceans – beginning in the Indian Ocean as the UK Carrier Strike Group arrives for the first of multiple UK-India exercises and events.

“Later this summer, both will participate in a separate exercise in the Atlantic Ocean. The deployment is proof of the strength, energy and significance of the growing relationship between our navies.”

Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key added: “The UK and India are key defence partners and the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment is a symbol of Global Britain in action, showcasing our commitment to India, the Indo-Pacific region, and confronting threats to international order.”

In August, a HMS Queen Elizabeth led Strike Group will operate with a US Carrier Strike Group in the Philippine Sea.

Joining the UK and US are naval and air forces from Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said of the planned exercise: “As we witness a tilt in power towards the Indo-Pacific region, we are committed to working with our partners here to defend democratic values, tackle shared threats and keep our nations safe.

“The involvement of the UK’s fifth generation Carrier Strike Group in this significant series of exercises right across the Indo-Pacific region highlights the renewed importance we place on the UK’s long-standing defence and security relationships with our valued partners and allies in the region.”

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Mr Wallace also announced on Tuesday the UK will permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after HMS Queen Elizabeth and its escort ships sail to Japan in September.

Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said after their arrival in Japan, HMS Queen Elizabeth and its escort ships would split up for separate port calls to US and Japanese naval bases along the Japanese archipelago.

The UK’s carrier, which is carrying F-35B stealth jets on its maiden voyage, will dock at Yokosuka, the home of Japan’s fleet command and the USS Ronald Reagan, the only forward deployed US aircraft carrier.

A spokesperson at the British Embassy in Tokyo told CNN the ships will not have a permanent base.

It comes after China expressed anger over Britain’s planned deployments in the South China Sea.

In January, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said: “The Chinese side believes that the South China Sea should not become a sea of great power rivalry dominated by weapons and warships.

“The Chinese military will take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interest as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
During a visit to Tokyo, where he met with Mr Kishi, Mr Wallace said: “It’s no secret that China shadows and challenges ships transiting international waters on very legitimate routes.

“We will respect China and we hope that China respects us … we will sail where international law allows.”

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