HMS Queen Elizabeth’s crew are ‘getting their sea legs back’ after a Capability Insertion Period alongside in Portsmouth.

What’s next for HMS Queen Elizabeth?

The Ministry of Defence say that HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group’s capabilities will be on show during Exercise ‘Strike Warrior’, which will take place off the coast of Scotland in May.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (and 15 F-35B jets) sailing with HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Northumberland, HMS Kent, RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tideforce in addition to the USS The Sullivans and Dutch vessel HNLMS Evertsen.

The UK-led war-fighting exercise, including several other NATO navies, will be the final test for the Carrier Strike Group before it undertakes its maiden deployment.

F-35B jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Ministry of Defence say that the deployment is expected to include two Type 45 Destroyers, two Type 23 Frigates, two Royal Fleet Auxiliary logistics vessels and a submarine in addition to an American destroyer and potentially other allied vessels.

“The task of protecting an aircraft carrier involves many ships, submarines and people. A Carrier Strike Group has an escort in the form of Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 destroyers, giving the strike group the ability to defend against above and below the sea threats. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary also play a vital role, keeping the strike group replenished with food and armament. The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will be deployed with up to two operational Lightning squadrons and 24 F-35Bs on board, with a maximum capacity allowing for up to 36.”

You can read more about the specifics of the Carrier Strike Group here.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said:

“The new UK Carrier Strike Group is the embodiment of British maritime power, and sits at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy. Protected by a ring of advanced destroyers, frigates, helicopters and submarines, and equipped with fifth generation fighters, HMS Queen Elizabeth is able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing; and with our NATO allies at our side, we will be ready to fight and win in the most demanding circumstances. Carrier Strike offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea.

After the work-up trial off the west Hebrides range, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group will head to the Pacific.

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David Barry

Subjective use of the word ‘ring’ of…

The Press releases really do over-egg the cake sometimes.


Nice to have a U.S. Burke Class destroyer in the ground to provide a bunch of TLAMs for any potential use of force.


Lets hope there have no trouble went there get into South China sea

Robert Blay

Our Astute class boats also provide TLAM capability.


Love the carriers ,but seems we are scarifying every thing to fund them and this gov like all of them have lost the plot.


What do you propose the government does with them then?


This govt have put a new 16billion into the defence budget
We can argue that the inept management of the army has wasted billions.


Odd really we may be putting 16billion in yet it looks like there cutting Amry numbers ,tonight s news China have increased there defence budget and Boris said last November the time of cutting ends.


We can increase boots and wheels and tracks, but the real cost is the ever increasing sophistication of the equipment. There is little point in having boots if the airspace above it cannot be controlled and no point taking soldiers anywhere if we cannot control or manage the seas around us.


IT would of been interesting to see if there was no COVID if Boris would have put more money into Defence but guess we will never know .Just don’t think we should cut Troops it gives me a real chill in the current climate.

Daniele Mandelli

Agreed. RN / RAF first.

The reported cut of army to 72000 or so seems small considering we are already way below the 82000 strength.

I personally think the army gets a big increase in its equipment budget for nice new toys as long as it reduces manpower.

Meirion X

You are right, the Army can’t go most places, without the Royal Navy!
And reliant on the Point Class ships to move tanks.

Matt C

“Capability Insertion”? Oo-er, miss…


That picture has been used before and it still looks great. Well done to whoever took it. Wonderful.

I guess this is the start of a very busy time for all CSG team members and those supporting them.

Good luck to all, stay safe and hopefully there’ll be some enjoyable memories to bring home.

Cheers CR


The beginning of a busy time for the CSG.

Good luck to everyone invloved.

Cheers CR