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Britain To Send Largest Warship, Carrier To Indian Ocean Next Year

The UK is sending its largest warship, aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, and its strike task group to the Indian Ocean early next year for its maiden voyage, with London describing the move as the country’s most ambitious deployment for two decades.

The deployment comes against the backdrop of growing interest in the Indo-Pacific in Europe amid concerns over China’s increased assertiveness, and the UK’s own concerns over Chinese actions in its former colony of Hong Kong, which London says have undermined the agreement on leaving the region unchanged until 2047.

Next year, HMS Queen Elizabeth will lead a British and allied task group on the UK’s most ambitious deployment for two decades, its route will encompass the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and East Asia

It is a natural choice for the inaugural deployment of the carrier strike task group to include a visit to the Indian Ocean and East Asia. The deployment is a sign of the UK’s commitment to regional security.

France, Germany and the Netherlands have unveiled their strategies for the Indo-Pacific, which dovetail with India’s commitment to freedom of navigation and a rules-based order and some experts see the deployment of Britain’s carrier task group as an effort to reinforce its relevance amid Brexit.

The British mission’s spokesperson described the Indo-Pacific as increasingly important for the UK, as it is at the centre of global economic growth and a region of increasing geostrategic importance.

The UK and India as natural partners in defence that already have high levels of interoperability as is evident from bi-annual exercises involving all three services and their joint work on the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

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Hindustan times

YATISH MAHAJAN

I am Yatish Mahajan. Defence aspirant, want to wear stars on shoulders. At present pursuing BE in mechanical engineering.

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