New Zealand Navy will join the United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group in a tour of the Indo-Pacific, including passing through the contested South China Sea, New Zealand Defence Minister says.
Defence Minister Peeni Henare said it was his expectation that New Zealand would “most definitely” join the carrier group in its travels through the Pacific and East Asia. New Zealand may join the flotilla in visits to Japan and South Korea.
“When I spoke with my counterpart in the UK we had indicated, despite the Covid restrictions, our willingness to play our part,” he said.
UK Carrier Strike Group 21
The HMS Queen Elizebeth, with eight RAF F35B stealth fighter jets on board, will depart this month for Asia accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines. The Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which will carry out visits to India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, will include the US destroyer USS The Sullivans and the Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen.
To prepare her global deployment, HMS Queen Elizabeth left its homeport at Portsmouth on the south coast of England on May 1, accompanied by Type 45 destroyers Defender and Diamond, and Type 23 frigate Kent. Another Type 23, Richmond, sailed from its base at Devonport, and the CSG is to be joined by the U.S. destroyer The Sullivans, the Dutch frigate Evertsen and an Astute-class submarine. Two Royal Fleet Auxiliaries, Fort Victoria and Tidespring, are with the CSG to supply fuel, food, and ammunition.
Following a two-week exercise with NATO forces the CSG will head for the Mediterranean and further east on its first operational cruise. This will be the first time that the Royal Navy has undertaken an operational carrier deployment since 2010.
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. The fleet currently consists of nine ships. The Combat Force consists of two Anzac-class frigates: HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana. Both ships are based at the Devonport Naval Base on Auckland’s North Shore.
The Patrol Force consists of two offshore and two inshore patrol vessels.2 Protector-class offshore patrol vessels (HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington) and 2 Lake-class inshore patrol vessels (HMNZS Hawea and HMNZS Taupo)
The support vessels are HMNZS Canterbury, HMNZS Manawanui and HMNZS Aotearoa.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the UK Carrier Strike Group Assets.