Navy 'Extremely' Confident HMS Queen Elizabeth Can Fend Off Cyber Attack


HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's biggest and most powerful warship (Picture: MOD).

A senior Royal Navy officer has said he is "extremely" confident HMS Queen Elizabeth and the cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighter jets are well protected from Russian hacking.

It follows recent accusations that Russia and its military intelligence unit, the GRU, had conducted a raft of cyber-attacks on targets around the world.

They included an alleged attempt to hack the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which was investigating the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Asked how confident he is the ship and jets are properly protected in light of the allegations made against Russia, the commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, Commodore Mike Utley, said "extremely".

"This is fifth-generation stuff, these things are built with that in mind. We know the threats that are there, and they were built to deal with them."

Cdre Utley added: "That does not mean we can be complacent, because we can't be complacent."

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in New York on Friday. (Picture: MOD)
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in New York on Friday. (Picture: MOD)

Cdre Utley, who took over as the commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group two-and-a-half weeks ago, said they are "absolutely focused in the cyberspace".

He revealed that an information warfare commander now operates within the carrier strike group alongside the traditional sections of anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface.

"It is not just about viruses and attacks, it is also about hybrid information warfare and the sort of shenanigans some nations are prepared to play," Cdre Utley added.

"And we need to be ahead of that narrative."

It comes as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will announce that Britain and the US will sign an accord to ensure the two nations dominate and out-manoeuvre adversaries in the cyber battlefield.

He will confirm the agreement on Saturday during a Trafalgar night dinner on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is currently anchored two miles from Manhattan in New York.

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