Obviously, the British authorities as the Royal Navy want make the first long-term operational deployment of their new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, a milestone and symbolic event. Indeed, the carrier strike group which will set sail next month for a 28-week mission in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, will be made up of no less than 8 major British-listed ships, representing a total tonnage of 165.000 tonnes, greater than to the global tonnage of Marines like Turkey or Brazil. Not less than 18 F35B will embark on thee HMS Queen Elizabeth, including 8 belonging to the Royal Air Force and 10 to the US Marines Corps, and 14 Merlin and Wildcat helicopters will complete the British device, also supported by a US Navy destroyer, the USS The Sullivans, and a frigate of the Royal Dutch Navy, the HNLMS Evertse, two ships that had previously escorted the Queen Elizabeth during Exercise Joint Warrior in October 2020.
Concretely, the naval group which will set sail in May from Portsmouth will consist, in addition to the 65.000-ton aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, of which this will be the first operational deployment, of two Type 45 anti-aircraft destroyers of 7500 tons, HMS Diamond and HMS Defender, each armed with 48 Aster 15/30 missiles, of two Modernized Type 23 anti-submarine frigates 5000 tons, HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, the 31.500 ton auxiliary ship RFA Fort Victoria, the new 37.000 ton auxiliary ship RFA Tidespring, as well asan Astute-class nuclear attack submarine. In total, the Royal Navy will therefore deploy 28% of its frigates and destroyers, 20% of its ANS fleet, and 30% of its auxiliary fleet in this single mission, but also 38% of its 21 F35B delivered and to date, and more than 23% of its naval helicopter fleet. This is the largest deployment of British naval forces since the Falklands War in 1982.
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