Sun, 28 Nov 2021

New Delhi [India] October 21 (ANI): India and the UK will be having a busy calendar of engagements starting with the UK's Carrier Strike Group (CSG) led by 65,000 tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth entering Indian water and one of the ship dockings at Mumbai Port.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most powerful surface vessel in the Royal Navy's history, taller than Niagara Falls. Her propellers generate the power of 50 high-speed trains, and she is the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK.

The vessel leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation.

The vessel is equipped with the fifth-generation F-35B lightning multi-role aircraft. They are being jointly crewed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the US Marine Corps.

British foreign secretary Liz Truss and Chief of defence staff Gen Nick Carter will also be on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.

UK foreign secretary will later hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and also meet business leaders in Mumbai.

Visiting HNE Queen Elizabeth will do the first tri-service exercise Konkan Shakti, which is the first triservice exercise between the two nations. Another army exercise, Ajeya Warrior is ongoing in Uttarakhand where around 120 British soldiers are participating.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also keen to visit India. Earlier, two of his visits to India were cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime minister Johnson will have an opportunity to meet on the sidelines of COP 26 in Glasgow.

India and UK are also expected to begin talks on a free trade agreement.

Both countries are proponents of freedom of movement and navigation. In fact, HMS Queen Elizabeth was earlier in the South China Sea in a non-provocation position. (ANI)

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