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UK Foreign Secretary to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth in Mumbai UK | India
Image Credit: UNI

UK Foreign Secretary to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth in Mumbai

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Oct 2021, 12:35 pm

New Delhi/UNI: UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will be visiting HMS Queen Elizabeth that is the spearhead of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) during her visit to Mumbai today.

The ship is a symbol of the UK’s world-leading defence capability, whose visit to Mumbai is a clear sign of the growing defence and maritime cooperation with India, said a UK High Commission press statement.

The UK Foreign Secretary will join the Queen Elizabeth Carrier at sea to tour the vessel and observe live exercises involving UK and US F35B fighter jets.

Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter is also visiting Mumbai to see the Carrier Strike Group in action.

He joined his Indian counterpart General Bipin Rawat in Delhi to discuss regional security and laid a commemorative wreath at the National War Museum.

Truss said: “Closer defence and security partnerships between the UK and India underpin deeper economic ties and make both countries, as well as the wider region, safer. We need to protect our sea and trade routes and, operating from a position of strength, be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices.

“The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in India this weekend represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action. This is a true symbol of Global Britain, working closely with like-minded partners like India.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “A strengthened partnership with India is a key pillar of the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific. Our Carrier Strike group visit represents an important step towards our goal of establishing a maritime partnership with India in support of mutual security objectives in the Indian Ocean.”

The UK Foreign Secretary will also visit the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai today to lay a wreath at the memorial for those killed in the 2008 terrorist attacks.

In the evening, she will welcome senior business leaders and guests from the world of education, film, sport and politics onto HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, where the UK will showcase its world-leading tech and innovation in defence, healthcare, science and climate.

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Mumbai follows a two-day maritime exercise in the Bay of Bengal with the Indian Navy in July and two days of flying exercises with the Indian Air Force this week.

The CSG is taking part in the most demanding exercise ever undertaken between the UK and India, involving all three military services.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most powerful surface vessel in the Royal Navy’s history.

At 65,000 tonnes, it is the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK. It leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the Carrier Strike Group, the largest concentration of maritime and air power to sail from the UK in a generation.