Carrier Strike Group Assemble

Carrier Strike Group Assemble

Royal Navy’s new Carrier Strike Group has assembled for the first time, marking the beginning of a new era of operations

HMS Queen Elizabeth is at the centre of the group which is the start of joint carrier operations between the navy and its NATO allies.

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.

The strike group is the largest and most powerful European-led maritime force in almost 20 years.

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

The Carrier Strike Group offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries.

The group includes NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers — the Royal Navy’s Type 45s HMS Diamond and HMS Defender and US Navy Arleigh Burke-class USS The Sullivans as well as frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent from the UK and the Dutch Navy’s 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.

Carrier Strike Group Assemble
How a Carrier Strike Group operates
How a Carrier Strike Group operates

Meanwhile, two 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.

This is the first time that HMS Defender has been involved in the UK-led Carrier Strike Group. Having just successfully completed a period of Basic Operational Sea Training over the summer, the men and women that make up Defender’s crew are motivated and ready to take part in the next stage of training in preparation for deploying with the Carrier Strike Group next year.

How a Carrier Strike Group operates

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.

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here: