HMS Northumberland Sets Sail For Carrier Strike Group Deployment

The vessel will work alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth as the aircraft carrier undergoes further flight trials.

HMS Northumberland has set sail to escort the Royal Navy's Carrier Strike Task Group across the north Atlantic.

The Type 23 frigate will first take part in NATO's Cutlass Fury - a Canadian-led exercise focusing on anti-submarine warfare, before joining HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the Carrier Strike Task Group.

It will travel to the east coast of the United States to continue sea trials on Westlant 19.

“Everyone on board HMS Northumberland is very keen to be going on this deployment,” said Commander Alexandra Pollard, Commanding Officer HMS Northumberland.

"Working as part of the Carrier Strike Group for the first time and alongside the other UK units is a real privilege.

"I spent a lot of my time on the old Type 42 Destroyers working with Harriers and to witness that progression to the F-35 jets is a real honour for me."

HMS Queen Elizabeth visits New York
HMS Queen Elizabeth visited New York as it underwent flight trials off the coast of the US last year (Picture: MOD).

F-35B fighter jets will be landing and taking off the HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck as the ship and her crew enters the Operational Testing phase.

The deployment is aimed at putting the jets, aircraft carrier and supporting units through realistic warfighting scenarios ahead of their first operational deployment in 2021.

Joining HMS Northumberland and HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Strike Group is HMS Dragon, supported by Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

Meanwhile, RFA Tideforce will provide tanker support to the Strike Group, in addition to ships and air assets from other nations throughout the deployment.