HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group has sailed into the Indian Ocean Region having recently transited the Suez Canal.

According to the Ministry of Defence here, following a series of successful engagements and operations in the Mediterranean it is now sailing East across the Indian Ocean towards India. It will then meet with ships from the Indian Navy to conduct routine maritime exercises.

The group recently met with some American vessels.

HMS Queen Elizabeth joins USS Ronald Reagan, USS Iwo Jima

The Ministry of Defence also say that HMS Queen Elizabeth leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation.

It is equipped with the fifth generation F-35B Lightning multi-role aircrafts. They are being jointly crewed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the US Marine Corps.

Currently however, HMS Diamond isn’t with the group after suffering a defect. You can read more about that here.

HMS Diamond suffers serious defect during Carrier Strike Group deployment

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a news release:

“The UK Carrier Strike Group deployment is a major moment for UK defence as we develop this cutting edge capability across the globe. The group is sailing the Indian Ocean and will shortly conduct exercises with the Indian Navy, building on our already strong partnership with an important ally and friend. The deployment illustrates the UK’s enduring commitment to global defence and security, strengthening our existing alliances and forging new partnerships with like-minded countries as we face up to the challenges of the 21st century.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“The Carrier Strike Group deployment marks the start of a new era of defence cooperation with allies in India and the Indo-Pacific. By visiting 40 countries and working alongside our partners, the UK is standing up for democratic values, seizing new trading opportunities and tackling the shared threats we face together. The deployment will interact with India, strengthening our already deep ties for the benefit of both our peoples’ security and prosperity.”

British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said:

“The Carrier Strike Group is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to the security of India and the Indo-Pacific. Its arrival follows the UK’s first International Liaison Officer joining the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region in Gurugram. Today marks another step towards delivering the ambition set out jointly by our Prime Ministers in the 2030 Roadmap, bringing our countries, economies and people closer together.”

What is the UK Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back. The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps as well as air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

CSG21 will see the carrier along with her Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.

Recently, the Strike Group joined coalition operations in the Eastern Mediterranean; an historic milestone as British and American F-35B strike fighters flew the first operational missions from a Queen Elizabeth-class carrier, as they stood ready to strike at Daesh.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said:

“The Carrier Strike Group’s period working with our NATO partners in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas offers unmistakable proof that the United Kingdom’s most important overseas defence commitment remains the security of the Euro-Atlantic region. While HMS Queen Elizabeth launched counter-Daesh missions over Iraq and Syria from the Eastern Mediterranean, HMS Defender and HNLMS Evertsen were conducting concurrent operations 1600 miles away in the Black Sea – true strategic reach.

Meanwhile, our programme of defence engagement involved a huge amount of work in support of British Embassies and High Commissions, but from Alicante to Alexandria and Bar to Batumi, the message was the same: Britain’s friends and allies are delighted to see the Royal Navy back in town. Now we head east, towards the rising economies of the Indo-Pacific. From the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Malacca, CSG21 offers unprecedented influence and engagement in support of Global Britain.”

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Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 months ago

What’s the latest with HMS Diamond, was she engaged in this exercise? Last I heard she was still laid up in Cyprus awaiting repairs

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

No, she is not part of it.
HMS Diamond is going to Italian Navy installations of Taranto to be repaired.
Will arrive there 19 July.
https://www.jotv.it/2021/07/16/marina-militare-apertura-ordinaria-del-ponte-girevole-per-transito-unita-straniera-hms-diamond/

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

https://bari.repubblica.it/cronaca/2021/07/18/news/covid_nave_marina_inglese_a_taranto_positivi_in_isolamento-310747777/

Helicopter will also be landed to nearby Grottaglie Air Base to retain crew qualification and maintenance.
some of the crew have covid.

Last edited 3 months ago by AlexS
Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago

Perhaps you would like to read the attached and calm down a bit!

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2021/07/hardly-debacle-business-as-usual-for.html

Richard
Richard
3 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Thank you Jacko, that was an interesting read. Part of doing such a ‘live’ deployment must be to test the support infrastructure. Only when things break can lessons be learned. As you said it’s not unusual for complex systems to go bang. I know I have trouble enough getting my laptop to behave.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

If you don’t test things until they break then you won’t have a fully tested plan for fixing them and learning how to do that better. Far better things break in peacetime than in wartime. I’d be looking at Invincible’s gearbox, for instance, if it still existed….. GT’s do blow up, not quite like the old Spey’s and Olympus ones did as things are more reliable. It is very possible that RN didn’t want to send T45 into a threat zone with one GT down so that it was limping around and crippled if the other GT failed. Safety margins… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I have no doubts in the Royal Navy but as you so presciently link to Jim30’s blog perhaps scroll abit and find an article posted in May/June which called out poor MoD press releases which were factually incorrect.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago

Why would we have to Turn Around? Surely it’s nothing unusual for ships to require minor maintenance when deployed/alongside? Could another type 45 not be tasked to replace Diamond if it was required?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

They would if we are heading to war, but not for an exercise.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago

We would still have 3 escorts available for the tasking even without the Americans and Dutch. They would not turn for home. Vessels break down, these things happen. Same for the American task groups. And we do not keep Vessels sat in Portsmouth ready to deploy incase one breaks down. Even if we had 12 T45’s, they would all have tasking or be In refit/maintenance. Only in all out conflict would we re-task Vessels already at sea or available to deploy at short notice.

Paul C
Paul C
3 months ago

Remember the major gearbox fire on Illustrious at the start of the Global ’86 deployment I believe? Almost damaged the ship beyond economic repair so this relatively minor hiccup needs to be kept in perspective. Things can and do go wrong, all part and parcel of being a Navy with a high tempo of operations that deploys globally.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago

I put this on the CSG Covid post, but just to repeat. Yesterday, Dan Collins, an auto executive who lived & worked in China for 20 years & who has a good idea of the official Chinese mindset, said on RTs Keiser Report, that “Wolf Diplomacy” is looking to send a message by sinking a carrier sailing near China. They will not risk sinking a USN ship, but think they can avoid starting WW3, if they sink an Australian, Japanese , Indian or British flat top. HMG needs to be careful where it sends CSG & work out what its… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

In a simple statement…

BOLLOCKS.

The PLAN is not stupid enough to kick off over a FONOps with a US MC Squadron embarked They would be creamed in short order…. It would be open season on anything in SCS.

NATO 5 Still applies, an attack against one is an attack against all.

Last edited 3 months ago by Gunbuster
John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Xi made a very bellicose speech lately. The Chinese may want to back it up with an action short of war, to send a message. It may or may not, be aimed at the UK. It could be Japan, Australia or India that takes the hit. I think it is dangerous to be complacent, as Xi & those around him, seem to think it is time for China to throw its new military might around. We had better not assume that nothing will happen if we sail too close to China.

Nemesis
Nemesis
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Sinking a British aircraft carrier wouldn’t be an act of war?

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  Nemesis

No the rest of the group would sail on as if nothing had happened 🙄

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Agree Gunbuster. PLAN vs NATO PLAN lose. There is currently zero chance China would win a naval conflict vs NATO. 15 years time if current PLAN warship construction rates continue then potentially yes.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gun, I don’t think article 5 would apply to anything that happened in the South China Sea, it’s outside its geographical boundaries, as the falklands were.

Argee the whole thing is bollox, who would buy all their stuff if they did that.

I could see them doing something nasty to a minnow nation with few close friends.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Geographical boundaries?
Like NATO being in Afghan?
Or Article 5 being applied on 9/11 against a stateless enemy?

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The Charter (section 6) states collective defence above the Tropic of Cancer…. So to invoke article 5 in the South China Sea, I think would have to involve the consent of all NATO parties as it’s out-with the agreement. We were in Afghanistan as the attack on the USA mainland (within the agreement) was from operators outwith the area, so article 5 could be invoked. So similar, but opposite to the reason the UK couldn’t invoke article 5 in the South Atlantic in 1982. Article 61 “For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Well as it’s a multi nation force in the unlikely event of China being incredibly stupid it stands to reason more than one ship in the group would just be attacked.
I wouldn’t give China’s carrier long to live afterwards either!

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yes what you just said. What really fascinates me (because I like playing what ifs) is what would happen if Spain ever for some bizarre reasoning annexed Gibraltar. Legally speaking it would be obligated to invoke article 5 on itself.

Bob2
Bob2
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, but they only need to offer “such action as it deems necessary” to the attacked country. Legally They do not need go to war with themselves.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Have a read at the conditions required before you can become a NATO member, that’ll answer all your what ifs! But a very shortened answer is all NATO Applicant countries have to have resolved all territory/border disputes before joining…

Bob2
Bob2
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Does that mean if Russia had attacked HMS defender it would have been geographically outside the areas listed in article 6? The only seas listed are the med and Atlantic north of Tropic of Cancer.

Should article 6 be updated due to the newer NATO Black Sea countries and Turkey?

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

The purpose of Article5 was driven by the USA, they wanted to make sure the European powers Colonial territories were excluded. That was the intent of the charter, so I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t cover the South China Sea, but as to the Black Sea, not sure, you’ll need to read up on agreement/documents in place with Turkey/Bulgaria and Romania.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

All semantics about article 5 and Tropic of Cancer aside, should the PLAN decide to sink QE with its embarked USMC personnel and F35 aircraft, not to mention probably attacking USN The Sullivans in the process, then all bets are off . It would be open season on anything and everything Chinese in the SCS.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago

But why would China? It makes absolutely no sense…your swallowing all the propaganda…

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

With respect, I’m not. I don’t believe that China would attempt to sink any part of the carrier group, I was just pointing out that if such a scenario did take place, the US wouldn’t need to invoke article 5. Dead US marines and sailors would be sufficient casus belli to retaliate.

Lionel
Lionel
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Yesterday, Swiss Tony, a second-hand car salesman with 20 years’ experience, uncovered a plot by Xi Jingpeng to infiltrate Love Island with a Manchurian Candidate. HM Government need to be aware of the real threat to British ‘Hot Boy Summer’ morale posed by this Machiavellian manoeuvre.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Lionel

Shit, love island is a security risk…..

Dave12
Dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Considering you are taking a statement off RT news seriously says it all, we have gunbuster on here to give you a reality check as per usual.

Karl
Karl
3 months ago
Reply to  Dave12

Its true but its going to be sunk by a death ray from outer space.

Nemesis
Nemesis
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Think the Chinese have started to realize that wolf diplomacy causes more problems then it solves.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Nemesis

Agree first they gave the world covid.? Deliberately to weaken the West with a genetically tampered with disease then they pursue their territorial claims against every one of their neighbours. Coincidence?

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Mr Bell, I don’t think there is any proof of that………quick hide the gene sequencer the WHO inspectors are on the way.

Paul C
Paul C
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Collins is a financial analyst, not an expert in geopolitics or military strategy. I take his spurious comments with the packet of salt they deserve. Xi can beat his chest as much as he likes, making threats and carrying them out are completely different. They are not foolish enough to risk offering up the PLAN as a sacrifice in order to make their pathetic protest, not to mention the inevitable political and economic consequences.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

WW2 started because Hitler thought France & Britain were not serious about defending Poland. That led to the destruction of many German cities & invasion by the allies in 1945. Japan thought attacking Pearl Harbor would lead to peace talks with America & the US removing sanctions. Instead it led to the firebombing of Tokyo & nukes on Hiroshima & Japan. More recently, post 911, the US & the West thought they would end up with “mini-me” liberal democracies if they took military action against Afghanistan, Iraq & Libya. In other words, politicians who believe their own hype, can start… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Unfortunately your right, history does show that unless geopolitical lines are very clear (as in the Cold War), those with power are just as able to make catastrophic large mistakes as small mistakes the rest of us make all the time. Making mistakes is hard wired into people.

Paul C
Paul C
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Xi is an intelligent, intuitive leader. I am not convinced that he does believe his own hype. One of the main issues with Collins is that he trumpets the strengths of China but does not appear to recognise their limitations and weaknesses to anything like the same degree.

My impression is that Xi is realistic enough to understand what China can and cannot do and the damage conflict with the West would do to his country. Anyway, as CSG21 heads towards the SCS (minus HMS Diamond) we will not have long to wait for China to reveal her response.

dan
dan
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Never fear Sleepy Joe is in charge now. lmao!

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Not so sure they will aim to sink a major western asset but the rhetoric and the economic warfare against those that criticise Chinese policy on a raft of issues has certainly ramped up in recent months… several trade issues with Australia, several incidents on the border with India followed by more troop movements on both sides and Xi does appear to be making some very bold statements (appear non-reversable) on Taiwan. I suspect the need for caution is right as there may well be multiple attempts to provoke a reaction that triggers a justified escalation. Calm professionalism will be… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

I hope the CSG is truly stocked up just in case something hit breaks out in the SCS. The group is one ship down with HMS Defender out for now so hope there’s a replacement around that can slot in if needed. Let’s hope nothing hot happens but the freer nations of the world do need to make and take a stand up to the Chinese leadership. It’s a fine line, being strong without being provocative even if others are threatening to be or being exactly that.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*hit…hot

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Indeed Quentin. Not easy. China has been increasingly testing the tolerance limits with its neighbours since the mid 90s. With some serious internal economic problems the communist party appear to now be increasingly diverting attention onto external matters and highlighting the importance of the communist party in keeping China safe I agree…I wonder if another T45 / 23 or Astute is making its way East or if discussions are underway for another ally vessel to join the CSG. Interesting days. P

James
James
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

China has been pushing outwards for years and continues to do so unhindered in many ways, it will continue to do so in the ways it has without repercussions until someone reacts against them. Only then would the Chinese risk military action.

Is more chance of them starting a land war with India or Russia than them attacking an aircraft carrier of another nation.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
3 months ago
Reply to  James

Why would China want to invade India? I’m sure they would like to see a political party or government in their back pocket. Thats hegemony. Defending against hegemony is why things like the CS fleet and the 7th Fleet are there.

James
James
3 months ago

I never mentioned about an invasion?

My point was simply its highly unlikely that an attack on a western aircraft carrier would happen as much as any form of land war with India or Russia. Considering the skirmishes along the India/Chinese border it highlights the fact that any sort of action against the west is not going to happen.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Sorry John, think your just soaking up the Propaganda…. The ramifications of China attacking any Western Power are unimaginable…

the main weapon the west has against the Chinese is economic, as opposed to military…. The Chinese can’t afford an economic embargo of their goods and services…

Last edited 3 months ago by Andrew
Sean
Sean
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

You do realise that RT is simply an arm of Putin’s propaganda apparatus. Watching it is on par with listening to Lord Haw Haw and it’s narrative as reliable as Goebels.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Very True! Spot on!

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

An auto executive… a tame auto executive .

Jeffrey Edwards
Jeffrey Edwards
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Neither Japan or Australia have operational aircraft carriers at the moment and India has one.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I can’t bring myself to believe that at all. Even setting aside there’s a USMC VFA squadron and a Burke along for the ride, I would imagine the USN is fairly happy about two allied carriers capable of operating around the SCS and just sitting by as they’re attacked and possibly sunk. The JMSDF aren’t lacking in hefty ships and if there’s an Indian carrier cutting about it’s probably going under heavy escort to really slam the point home.

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 months ago

A FINE SIGHT NOT SEEN SINCE 1982

dan
dan
3 months ago

Why is it so hard to build a reliable ship these days???

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

I think it’s more to do with the internet age and instant reporting of every minor event, which then becomes a major issue! I’m sure ships have broken down since the advent of steam and will continue to break sow long after I’m gone…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

Reliable ships these days?

I take it you never worked on a Leander,DLGs, Bristol, Ocean, CVS, LPDs, Bays, T22 or T42s…

All ships break down and have maintenance issues. Some are class defects that affect every vessel. Some are Equipment defects that affect specific kit accross all vessels in the fleet irrespective of class of vessel and most are just stuff that breaks.

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

Do you see a deep sea tug with the group? Unlike a nation I can think of that ALWAYS have one on a major deployment I reckon our ships are very reliable!

Duane
Duane
3 months ago

What if ? … The Chinese are Baiting the entire fleet into one area, and what would be the outcome if they managed to drown the entire fleet ? What advantage will Russia have over England if the naval fleet gets obliterated? Just as Afghanistan is the land where armies go to die , the SCS is where Navies go to drown? War is already begun, there is more than saber rattling happening . I admire your courage and bravery .. reminder.. remember the naval games that a certain Norwegian sub took down the entire US FLEET and it’s Carriers… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  Duane

At a guess,I would say WW3

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago
Reply to  Duane

Someone needs to switch to decaf  😀 

Duane
Duane
3 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

…i mix my coffee with monster… But .. interesting that Russian and Iranian ships are headed for England Channel..and England has just deployed anti submarine ops around the carrier… Tell me you are not sipping
tea 😉