HMS Queen Elizabeth and France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier 030621 CREDIT NATO
Exercises

British And French Flagships Join Forces For War Games

HMS Queen Elizabeth has been working with the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, after deploying on Carrier Strike Group 21.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier 030621 CREDIT NATO

HMS Queen Elizabeth has taken part in 'cat and mouse' drills with French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, in the Mediterranean.

The two flagships demonstrated naval and air power side by side on Exercise Gallic Strike.

It comes after the Royal Navy's 65,000-tonne flagship set sail for her maiden deployment in May, leading the UK's Carrier Strike Group on its maiden deployment.

War games between the two nations saw both tested for their ability to defend against threats at sea, before embarked F-35 fighters, French Rafale aircraft and a US Marine Corps fighter squadron took on simulated strike missions together.

HMS Queen Elizabeth's Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment has only recently seen it lead a convoy of vessels into international waters, while the French carrier is coming to the end of its task group mission in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf.

Watch: What makes us the UK's Carrier Strike Group?

The rendezvous aimed to build on the Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, which reached Full Operating Capability last year.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said: "Today's trilateral meeting between the Marine Nationale, the United States Navy and Royal Navy; the three NATO nuclear nations, and three carrier navies in the alliance, highlights our shared commitment to NATO, and our bold steps towards ever greater interoperability and interchangeability.

"The Royal Navy's Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment is a clear demonstration of this: a Royal Navy carrier, which will become the NATO carrier, supported by allied fighter jets, frigates and destroyers, working as one."

Royal Navy officials thanked French and American allies for their role in a British 'carrier renaissance', while senior naval staff from all three navies ventured on board each other's vessels to discuss future partnerships ahead of the G7 summit this month.

First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin (centre) was joined on board HMS Queen Elizabeth by the US Navy's Admiral Michael Gilday (right) and the French Navy's Admiral Pierre Vandier (Picture: MOD).

Cover image: NATO.