HMS Queen Elizabeth’s 1st Operational Mission ‘Not Provocative’ Toward China, UK Defence Sec. Says

During the 28-week deployment, ships from Britain’s carrier strike group are expected to call at ports of more than 40 countries and conduct over 70 engagements, including sailing alongside the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle in the Mediterranean Sea.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has touted the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment, slated for May and will see the aircraft carrier with eight stealth fighter jets on board depart for a mission in the Indo-Pacific.

“When our Carrier Strike Group sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain – projecting our influence, signalling our power, engaging with our friends, and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow”, Wallace underscored on Monday.

The strike group he referred to includes at least six Royal Navy ships, an Astute-class submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, 14 naval helicopters, and a company of Royal Marines.

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