LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II made a fast go to Saturday to the Royal Navy’s flagship plane service that bears the identify of her eponymous Sixteenth- century predecessor, forward of its maiden operational deployment.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth, the newest Royal Navy ship to honor the Tudor-era monarch who vanquished the Spanish Armada in 1588, can be main a 28-week deployment to Asia that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted is just not confrontational towards China.
The three billion-pound ($4.2 billion) ship, which has eight RAF F35B stealth fighter jets on board, is scheduled to depart from Portsmouth Naval Base in southern England, accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and an organization of Royal Marines.
Arriving by helicopter, the 95-year-old monarch was greeted by the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh, and Commodore Stephen Moorhouse, commander of the U.Ok. Provider Strike Group.
Whereas aboard, she was given a briefing on the upcoming deployment and had an opportunity to talk with a few of the 1,700 personnel. The queen wore a scarab brooch that had been a present from her late husband, Prince Philip, a former high-ranking naval officer who died final month at age 99.
The service group will journey via the Mediterranean Sea to the Crimson Sea, then from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to the Philippine Sea.
It’ll perform visits to 40 international locations together with India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore with greater than 70 engagements, together with crusing alongside the French service Charles De Gaulle within the Mediterranean. A complete of three,700 sailors, aviators and marines are concerned within the deployment which can cowl 25,000 nautical miles.
Protection Secretary Ben Wallace has mentioned the deployment “can be flying the flag for International Britain — projecting our affect, signaling our energy, partaking with our associates and reaffirming our dedication to addressing the safety challenges of as we speak and tomorrow.”
The journey comes after the British authorities’s overview of protection and international coverage beneficial that the U.Ok. “tilt” its focus in the direction of the Indo-Pacific area, in response to China’s rising affect on the world stage.
“One of many issues we’ll be doing clearly is exhibiting to our associates in China that we consider within the worldwide legislation of the ocean and, in a assured however not a confrontational method, we can be vindicating that time,” Johnson mentioned whereas visiting the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Friday.
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