UK's Queen Elizabeth visits new aircraft carrier before Asia voyage

Reuters
Britain, United Kingdom Published: May 22, 2021, 07:42 PM(IST)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II signs the visitors' book during her visit to the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The ships will also stop in India and Singapore

Britain's Queen Elizabeth visited the country's new aircraft carrier on Saturday, named in her honour before it leads a flotilla of Royal Navy ships to Asian waters on its maiden operational voyage.

The queen, aged 95, stepped aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth, seven years after she named the vessel alongside her late husband Prince Philip who died last month.

The 65,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth will carry eight British F-35B fighter jets and 10 US F-35s as well as 250 US marines as part of a 1,700-strong crew.

Also Read | Britain's Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to visit Japan, South Korea on maiden deployment

It will lead the flotilla alongside two destroyers, two frigates, a submarine and two support ships on its journey of 26,000 nautical miles over 28 weeks. The group will be joined by a US destroyer and a frigate from the Dutch navy.

The group will sail through the contested South China Sea, parts of which are claimed by China and South-East Asian countries, on its way to the Philippine Sea. The ships will also stop in India and Singapore.

Also Read | UK's largest naval ship to sail to India next month

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the deployment will help to project British soft power such as a belief in democracy and the rule of law.

Read in App