British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is to sail to the Arctic Circle in the coming days to support a multinational air transport mission.
The new 70,600 tonne carrier has not yet entered operational service but it’s understood that she is being hurried into service for this mission, with an MoD spokesperson describing the efforts of the crew as those of ‘good girls and boys’.
According to Foreign Office spokesman Nicholas Kringle:
“We’ve received an urgent request for assistance to support a multi-national air transport mission being launched from a currently undisclosed location within the Arctic Circle. As such, HMS Queen Elizabeth is being urgently deployed to provide emergency provisions and a ‘back up’ option should the cargo aircraft involved need to land and refuel.”
This comes not long after it was announced that the Royal Air Force will reportedly be on high alert in the coming days in order to track cargo flights from the Arctic region.
The move has been prompted by an incident around a year ago in which Typhoon aircraft escorted a Lapland registered aircraft (flying from the Arctic region) over the UK’s major cities, the pilot of the craft was said to be under the influence of alcohol and very “festive”, this is especially dangerous due to the sheer volume of cargo the aircraft was carrying. This is expected to happen again.
An MoD spokesman had this to say:
“Interception is part of what the QRA force do. We have to identify and confirm who or what is flying through our airspace or approaching our airspace and since the craft appears at the same time each year, we have a fairly good idea who will be flying but we don’t take any chances.”
The Ministry of Defence used satellites with infra-red sensors to track the aircraft last time this happened, it is understood that the heat from an animals red nose was clearly visible and it was at this point RAF aircraft began escorting the bright red aircraft over every British city, town and village.
UPDATE: We understand the provisions HMS Queen Elizabeth has been loaded with include Brandy and small biscuits.