Insight Online News
New Delhi, Apr 27 : The UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, will sail to India in the autumn on its maiden operational deployment, signalling the “Indo-Pacific tilt” in the country’s foreign policy.
The Carrier will visit West Coast ports where it will engage in a series of events to maximise bilateral relations benefitting both countries’ trade and political alliances.
The ship will conduct a series of joint exercises with Indian Military Forces in the Indian Ocean, expanding interoperability and enhancing the capabilities to defend against shared threats and protect the democratic values.
“The UK and India are natural defence partners, particularly in world class research, development and training. The Carrier Strike Group’s collaboration with India will build the foundations for this relationship to flourish even further,” said Secretrary of State for Defence Ben Wallace.
“The deployment is a symbol of Global Britain in action, and powerfully demonstrates our commitment to India, the Indo-Pacific region, and confronting threats to international order.”
Throughout the deployment, the UK will support freedom of passage through vital global trading routes and demonstrate commitment to a recognised international system of norms and behaviours that benefit all countries.
It will also help to establish a maritime partnership with India to support our mutual security objectives in the Indian Ocean.
The UK Government’s landmark review of foreign, defence, development and security policy, published last month, committed the UK to becoming the European country with the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific in support of trade, shared security and values.
Last December, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi to make progress towards agreeing a landmark UK-India roadmap for greater joint cooperation, including on defence and security, trade, health and climate change.
The UK and India have a bi-annual exercise programme across all the services where Indian and British forces undertake joint exercises: Exercise Ajeya Warrior for the Army, Exercise Konkan for the Navy, and Exercise Indra Dhanush for the Air Force.
The Carrier Strike Group – the largest ship ever built by the Royal Navy – will also sail to Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the wider region.