The United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed into the Indian Ocean Region having recently transited the Suez Canal.
Following a series of successful engagements and operations in the Mediterranean it is now sailing East across the Indian Ocean towards India. It will then meet with ships from the Indian Navy to conduct routine maritime exercises.
The deployment represents the UK’s commitment to deepening diplomatic, economic and security ties with India and in the Indo-Pacific region. It demonstrates both the UK’s support for the freedom of passage through vital trading routes and for a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “The UK Carrier Strike Group deployment is a major moment for UK defence as we develop this cutting-edge capability across the globe. The group is sailing the Indian Ocean and will shortly conduct exercises with the Indian Navy, building on our already strong partnership with an important ally and friend.”
He added, “The deployment illustrates the UK’s enduring commitment to global defence and security, strengthening our existing alliances and forging new partnerships with like-minded countries as we face up to the challenges of the 21st century.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “The Carrier Strike Group deployment marks the start of a new era of defence cooperation with allies in India and the Indo-Pacific. By visiting 40 countries and working alongside our partners, the UK is standing up for democratic values, seizing new trading opportunities and tackling the shared threats we face together.
He added, “The deployment will interact with India, strengthening our already deep ties for the benefit of both our peoples’ security and prosperity.”
British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said: “The Carrier Strike Group is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to the security of India and the Indo-Pacific. Its arrival follows the UK’s first International Liaison Officer joining the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region in Gurugram.
Ellis added, “Today marks another step towards delivering the ambition set out jointly by our Prime Ministers in the 2030 Roadmap, bringing our countries, economies and people closer together.”