Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will soon sail with a task group of nine vessels, including a nuclear submarine.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail with HMS Kent, HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Northumberland, RFA Tideforce, RFA Fort Victoria, Dutch Frigate HNLMS Evertsen, American Destroyer USS The Sullivans and an unnamed British nuclear submarines.

The vessels will participate in the UK’s Carrier Strike Group exercise (GROUPEX) and Joint Warrior 20-2 (JW202).

Why is this happening? – Some background information

This is in preparation for next year when HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy with two frigates, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine and support vessels.

Commodore Michael Utley, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, is reported by Save The Royal Navy here as saying that HMS Queen Elizabeth will be escorted on her ’round the world deployment’ by two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, a nuclear submarine, a Tide-class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria.

Earlier in the year, HMS Queen Elizabeth cleared her penultimate hurdle for front-line duties after ten weeks around the UK, preparing for her maiden deployment in the new year.

“A final package of training in the autumn – working alongside NATO and US allies – will confirm her ability to act as a task group flagship, so that she can lead a potent carrier strike force on front-line operations anywhere in the world.”

The Royal Navy said at the time that in view of the size and complexity of the carrier, she received a dedicated training package, initially off the south coast, to test the ability of all 1,100 men and women on board to deal with everything they might expect to face in peace and war. The training package reached its climax with 18 fictional fire and flood incidents raging simultaneously – with the ship expected to continue flying operations while damage control teams toiled in the carrier’s depths.

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Farouk yes they are, plenty of lashing points all over the deck



Ian M

12, 13, 14…………….hang on! Where’s 15? Plane overboard!!!


It could be the one taking the picture……..?


Who needs a ski jump if you are taking off into that wind? Probably could take off backwards although landing will be a tad tricky…

It’s often not commented upon but the SHARs in the Falklands war managed to get on and off the little deck of Invincible in some truly atrocious weather – brave indeed.

John Clark

Absolutely Rob, imagine landing a Sea Harrier in near zero visibility on the small Invincible deck pitching about like a bucking bronco … With violent wind turbulence added to the mix!

Brave dosent come close!


Hi Chaps,

I years ago I read a report about some research done during the Vietnam on US carrier pilots. They were fitted with ECG kit to measure their stress levels during a mission. Turned out that even if they had contact with the enemy in combat the highest stress levels were recorded landing back on the carrier!

Cheers CR

Stevo H

That’s very true, naval aviation is extremely dangerous for pilots and the US Navy still lose a few pilots every year during training and operations.
That proves how many dangers there are when flying from and landing on carriers when, despite of all the technology they have, aircrew are still being lost on advanced modern carriers.


And in good old Blue Peter fashion here is one they made before:


Woops a daisy Sir. What have you done to my aircraft young man?

Supportive Bloke


Also the other upside of VSTOL – they can operate in higher sea states than CATOBAR…

Stevo H

True mate, if you have seen footage of some of the mountainous seas that Royal Navy Harrier pilots took off and landed in, it would leave CATOBAR carrier captain’s speechless. The South Atlantic ocean is probably the most unforgiving place in the World to conduct a military campaign in, truly horrific conditions.

Stevo H

Not sure the F-35 is going to be as durable as the phenomenal Harrier…… although they have more fancy technology to help the pilots in difficult conditions so it’ll be interesting.


Must be a nightmare for the deck crews too.

Harry Bulpit

Interesting to see three type 45 out at once. Although I would have thought it would have been more Frigate oriented for ASW work.


Have I misread the article? I thought it was 2 x T45 (Defender & Diamond) & 2 x T23 (Kent & Northumberland)?

Levi Goldsteinberg

There’s a 45 out with the amphib strike group of Lyme Bay and Albion somewhere between Gibraltar and the Black Sea

Harry Bulpit

Yeah was refairing to the one with the littoral strike group.


No… that cannot be correct. 3 at sea …

They are all broken…the engines don’t work if the temp is above 5 deg C, they have no crew’s to man them and so are always tied up on Fountain lake, no point going to sea on a T45 because it doesnt have strike length launchers for tomahawk,LRASM, ASROC, Standard 6, quad packed sea ceptor or a 5″, 6″ 16″ ( Delete as applicable) Gun … 😉


But… the Daily Mail said the engines don’t work?

Stevo H

According to the crappy MSM, everything we have is broken, rubbish, out of date, has no crew, blah blah blah blah blah…..

Stevo H

It’s a shame that the MSM constantly poo poo our fine Armed Forces, when I was a soldier some 30 years ago nobody read or took notice of the media but ever since the media has become a disinformation factory, service personnel can’t get away from the utter B.S….. it’s everywhere.
In my opinion, it undermines the confidence and saps the morale of our fantastic men and women in uniform.

Robert Blay

Aircraft can be storm lashed to the deck, but if the weather is really really bad, they will get as many aircraft into the hangar as they can. Aircraft can also be moved in very rough weather, using rolling lashings, and ‘chocks in hand’, though it’s pretty time-consuming. Most aircraft movements will be completed before the worst of the weather hits.

Ian M

My grandchildren always seem to have “chocs in hand”! 🙂

Robert Blay


barry white

Why is this comment “awaiting moderation”?

Stevo H

I remember last year when the word started going round the media of a first CSG tour in 2021 and it seemed so far away, now we’re in the home straight of 2020 and it’s almost upon us. It’s a really exciting time for the RN and RAF, now we can show off to the World the power of our fancy new CSG…… I imagine the Chinese will be keeping tabs on our mini armada as they navigate around in their backyard, better not get too close though, one (maybe even 2) of our Astute Class submarines will be watching… Read more »