HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier group sails north for NATO training
The huge British warship sails into the area in the “near future”, says Norwegian navy spokesperson Thomas Gjesdal in a phone interview with the Barents Observer.
He will not elaborate on exact area of activities.
The “HMS Queen Elizabeth” will train together with the Norwegian frigate “KNM Otto Sverdrup” and logistic supply vessel “KNM Maud”, as well as warships of Germany, Belgium and France. The carrier group brings along other UK Navy vessels and a navy ship from the Netherlands as part of NATO’s Joint Expeditionary Force.
Combat training scenario is not known, but in addition to aircraft from onboard the “HMS Queen Elizabeth” will planes from Norway, USA, Finland and Sweden participate, a public statement reads.
“We can’t provide details on positions and time-schedule for the carrier group for security reasons,” the statement makes clear.
This will be the second time this year a carrier group sails north along the coast of Norway for allied training. In June, the “USS Ford” trained with the Norwegian Air Force off the coast of Lofoten islands inside the Arctic Circle simultaneously as the Nordic fighter jet exercise Arctic Challenge took place in the skies above mid- and northern Norway, north Sweden and Finnish airspace.
Earlier in September, two American B-2 strategic bombers visited Ørland air base in Norway, and last week the giant cruise missile-carrying submarine “USS Florida” made port call to Tromsø.
Today, September 21, the same port got another submarine sailing in, the French nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Rubis-class, local newspaper Nordlys reports (paywall).
The 280-meter-long carrier brings helicopters and a fleet of F-35 fighter jets She has a crew of approximately 700, increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when all aircraft are embarked.