Britsh Navy Queen Elizabeth aircrat carrier with its Carrier Strike Group deployed in the North Sea

According to a press release published by the British Royal Navy on October 5, 2020, the Britsh Royal Navy’s new Carrier Strike Group is fully operational and assembled for the first time. HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in the North Sea, as part of NATO’s largest annual exercise, Joint Warrior.  
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 British Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and her Carrier Strike Group (Picture source British Royal Navy)

Nine ships, 15 fighter jets, 11 helicopters and 3,000 personnel from the UK, US and the Netherlands are now carrying out exercises in the North Sea.

Under current plans, a British Royal Navy carrier strike group will typically comprise a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, two surface escorts, a submarine and a fleet tanker, however, the composition varies depending on the operational tasking. The strike group is the largest and most powerful European-led maritime force in almost 20 years.

The Carrier Strike Group includes NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers – the Royal Navy’s Type 45s HMS Diamond and HMS Defender air-defence destroyers and US Navy Arleigh Burke-class USS The Sullivans guided missile destroyer as well as frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent from the UK and the Dutch Navy’s frigate HNLMS Evertsen.

They will not only protect the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers from enemy ships, submarines, aircraft and missiles, but are also capable of conducting a range of supporting missions, from maritime security to disaster relief.

Meanwhile, two British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, RFA Tideforce and RFA Fort Victoria, will supply fuel, food, spares and ammunition, to enabled sustained operations from the sea without host nation support.

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