British carrier strike group launches 6-month Indo-Pacific deployment

Next month, Britain will send a carrier strike group to the Indo-Pacific region in a large-scale show of force aimed at countering the security challenges raised by the Chinese administration.

The carrier strike group, led by the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be “the greatest concentration of maritime and carrier” in the UK, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said. Press release..

New F-35B Lightning Fighter Takes Off
The new F-35B Lightning fighter will take off from the deck of the new British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on September 27, 2018. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

The carrier strike group will visit more than 40 countries during the 28-week deployment period and engage in engagement with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and India as part of Britain’s “Indo-Pacific Dedication”.

Defense Minister Ben Wallace said: “When the carrier strike group departs next month, it will raise the flag of the world, predict its influence, show its power, engage with friends, today and tomorrow.

“The whole country is proud of the devoted men and women who show the world that Britain will set sail for more than six months to play an active role in the formation of the international system of the 21st century, rather than retreating. I can think of it. “

London, United Kingdom-February 13: Defense Minister Ben
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace will leave London’s 10 Downing Street on February 13, 2020. (Leon Neil / Getty Images)

According to MoD, carrier strike groups have achieved the UK’s goal of “deeper involvement in the Indo-Pacific region to support sharing of prosperity and regional stability” set by the government’s recent integrated review of foreign countries. I am aiming. , Defense, security, and development policies.

According to a review released in March, the UK will invest in enhanced “capacity for China” and systematically bring it to “security, prosperity, values, and the security, prosperity and values ​​of allies and partners. Improve response to challenges. ” “

The most powerful surface ship in the history of the Royal Navy, the HMS Queen Elizabeth is the Royal Air Force’s eight F-35B Lightning II high-speed jets, four Wildcat maritime attack helicopters, seven Marlin Mk2 anti-submarine helicopters, and one Marlin Mk43. Equipped with a machine. Command helicopter. The Royal Marines Commandos company is also career based.

The carrier will include the Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender and HMS Diamond, the Type 23 anti-submarine frigate HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fleet RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring surface fleet.

A Royal Navy Astute-class nuclear submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles will be deployed to support the surface fleet.

The US destroyer USS Sullivan’s sails as part of the group, providing air defense and anti-submarine capabilities. The fleet of 10 F-35B Lightning II aircraft from the US Marine Corps will also be integrated into the fleet.

The Dutch Navy’s frigate HNLMS Evertsen offers additional air defense.

Simon Veazey contributed to this report.

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