The Carrier Strike Group taking part in quad-carrier operations with US and Japanese navies (Picture: Commander UK Carrier Strike Group/Twitter).
CSG21

CSG21: Strike Group Set For Busy Second Half Of Deployment

Past the midway point of the deployment, the Strike Group is now preparing for engagements with Singapore, India and Oman.

The Carrier Strike Group taking part in quad-carrier operations with US and Japanese navies (Picture: Commander UK Carrier Strike Group/Twitter).

The UK's Carrier Strike Group is set for a busy autumn as it prepares for the return journey of the deployment through the Indo-Pacific, Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) is due to visit India for joint maritime exercises and other engagements before heading to the Gulf.

Led by the £3.3bn aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the group will then carry out F-35 figher aircraft exercises with Oman and UAE air forces and maritime training alongside the Royal Navy of Oman.

Create your own user feedback survey

At the same time, the British Army will take part in exercises with the Royal Army of Oman – linking back to the ship – demonstrating interoperability between land and sea forces.

Over the next two weeks, the Carrier Strike Group will also navigate the disputed South China Sea with both ships and aircraft from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond will also participate in Exercise Bersama Gold, marking the 50th anniversary of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, alongside Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Strike Group "continues to demonstrate our enduring commitment to global security and international alliances".

"Our engagement with our allies and partners will endure long after the CSG's visits and exercises end, with the permanent deployment of HMS Tamar and HMS Spey to the Indo-Pacific and close co-operation with our Five Powers Defence partners around the world," he said. 

"Exercising and co-operation with like-minded allies is vital to tackle the common threats we face, contributing to a safer and more secure world."

Since May, the Carrier Strike Group has sailed more than 32,000 nautical miles from the UK to Japan, carrying out numerous air and maritime operations along the way.

And as the UK continues its tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, the group has conducted engagements with regional partners, including Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, over the last three months.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain is "committed to strengthening our ties across the Indo-Pacific".

"By visiting, working and exercising alongside our partners we are standing up for our mutual interests, supporting regional stability, boosting our ties and promoting new trading opportunities," she said.

Alongside military engagements, the UK also became a Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in August – the first new country to join in 25 years.

This comes as the UK and Japan announced formal negotiations will begin this month to increase bilateral defence co-operation.