in Defence

HMS Queen Elizabeth makes historic first visit to Canada

Posted 16 September 2019 · Add Comment

The UK’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, last Thursday morning in an historic first visit.


Courtesy Royal Navy


The 65,000-tonne warship, the biggest ever built for the Royal Navy, will be joined in harbour by other ships from the UK Carrier Strike Group who are on a deployment called ‘Westlant 19’. The main purpose of the deployment is to conduct Operational Tests with UK F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets for the first time, off the east coast of the USA.

The carrier has made Canada her first port of call, since crossing the Atlantic from her home port of Portsmouth, in a demonstration of the high regard in which the UK holds its close relationship with its fellow Commonwealth nation.

Welcoming the carrier as she prepares to anchor south-east of George’s Island in Halifax Harbour, Commander of the Maritime Forces Atlantic (COMMARLANT), Rear Admiral Craig Baines, Royal Canadian Navy said: “The Royal Canadian Navy and the sailors of Maritime Forces Atlantic are pleased to welcome and host one of our oldest allies to our home station of Halifax. We recognise that our city has a unique place in the heart of the Royal Navy and this week’s visit represents a meeting of the old and the new – emphasising the Royal Navy’s historical ties to one of Canada’s oldest ports and providing the opportunity for the Royal Navy to showcase their newest capability.

“Our Navies have been operating side-by-side for over a hundred years and this visit highlights our unique relationship as well as our continued cooperation and interoperability.”

The HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group includes destroyer HMS Dragon and the tanker RFA Tideforce, both of whom also arrive in Halifax today. They will be joined when they return to sea, by frigate HMS Northumberland which is currently taking part in Exercise Cutlass Fury, a Canadian forces-led multi-national, joint maritime exercise designed to promote and enhance regional cooperation in the Atlantic, involving 20 ships and 36 aircraft.



                  

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