The UK’s largest warship, the plane service HMS Queen Elizabeth, and its strike job group has sailed into the Indian Ocean area, the place it would conduct joint workouts with the Indian Navy as a part of Britain’s efforts to boost its profile within the Indo-Pacific.
Britain has described the maiden voyage of HMS Queen Elizabeth and its job group because the nation’s most formidable naval deployment for twenty years, and the warships can even sail to the South China Sea for navy drills with the US Navy and Japan’s Maritime Self-Protection Power.
UK overseas secretary Dominic Raab mentioned on Friday the service group’s deployment “marks the beginning of a brand new period of defence cooperation with allies in India and the Indo-Pacific”. He added, “By visiting 40 international locations and dealing alongside our companions, the UK is standing up for democratic values, seizing new buying and selling alternatives and tackling the shared threats we face collectively.”
“This deployment will present tangible reassurance and safety to the UK’s pals and a reputable deterrence to those that search to undermine international safety,” the British excessive fee mentioned in a press release.
The service group entered the Indian Ocean area after a sequence of engagements and operations within the Mediterranean. The 65,000-tonne service will take part within the Konkan train with warships of the Indian Navy within the Bay of Bengal. The drills are anticipated to be carried out across the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the involvement of Indian destroyers, submarines and P8I anti-submarine warfare plane.
On its manner again to the UK later within the 12 months, the service group is predicted to hitch one other tri-services train with the Indian navy within the Arabian Sea in October. All three providers are anticipated to take part on this three-day warfare recreation.
Britain mentioned HMS Queen Elizabeth’s deployment represents the nation’s dedication to deeper diplomatic, financial and safety ties with India and within the Indo-Pacific area, and likewise demonstrates the UK’s help for freedom of passage via important buying and selling routes and for a free, open and inclusive order within the Indo-Pacific.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace mentioned: “The UK service strike group deployment is a serious second for UK defence as we develop this innovative functionality throughout the globe. The group is crusing the Indian Ocean and can shortly conduct workouts with the Indian Navy, constructing on our already robust partnership with an necessary ally and good friend.”
The deployment displays the UK’s dedication to strengthening present alliances and forging new partnerships with like-minded international locations to face the challenges of the twenty first century, he added.
The service group sailed into the Indian Ocean shortly after the UK’s posted its first worldwide liaison officer on the Indian Navy’s Data Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Area (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram. The US, Australia, France and Japan even have a presence on the centre, which tracks transport and screens threats similar to maritime terrorism and piracy in regional waters.
Lieutenant Commander Stephen Smith, who was posted on the centre final month, works with India’s armed forces and liaison officers from the opposite nations to boost maritime area consciousness within the area.
As a part of its maiden operational deployment, the UK service group will sail greater than 26,000 nautical miles and have interaction with 40 international locations from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and again once more.
The service group’s presence in Indian waters will give the Indian navy a possibility to evaluate first-hand the capabilities of its fifth era F-35B Lightning multi-role plane, that are collectively manned by the Royal Air Power, Royal Navy and US Marine Corps.
The service group additionally serves because the spearhead of the UK’s joint expeditionary functionality and a cornerstone of the nation’s typical navy deterrent. The group consists of six Royal Navy ships and a submarine, a US Navy destroyer, a frigate from the Netherlands and 32 plane, and is manned by 3,700 sailors, aviators and marines from the mixed forces of the UK, US and the Netherlands.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest floor vessel constructed within the UK. Taller than the Niagara Falls, her propellers generate the facility of fifty high-speed trains.
Among the many international locations with which the UK service group can have engagements within the area are Singapore, South Korea and Japan, and these interactions will construct on different efforts by Britain to boost its profile within the Indo-Pacific. These efforts embrace looking for Asean dialogue accomplice standing, negotiations to hitch the Complete and Progressive Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and commerce talks with Australia, New Zealand and India.