Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, arrived in the port of Limassol on Wednesday, a week after a maritime incident with Russia.
The Royal Navy’s 65,000-ton aircraft carrier is currently on her first operational deployment along with the Carrier Strike Group 21, having departed from Portsmouth on May 22 to lead a fleet of nine ships on a 26,000-mile voyage in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and East Asia.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the fleet will participate in joint exercises with the British forces in Cyprus.
On Thursday officials from the Cypriot government and the National Guard, along with members of the press will visit the aircraft carrier, CNA also reported.
In a Twitter message on Wednesday, CSG21 wrote it was stopping in Limassol “for some stores, sustenance and a little bit of rest!”
CSG21 is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the United Kingdom in a generation and this is its first operational deployment, which is joint between the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.Last week Russian fighter jets, warships and submarines launched military exercises in the Mediterranean while tracking Britain’s aircraft carrier.
Reports said Russian fighter jets armed with a new hypersonic “aircraft carrier killer missile” have been sent to a base in Syria to monitor the strike force while sailing in the eastern Mediterranean.
The drills came days after Moscow said that one of its patrol ships had fired warning shots and a jet dropped bombs in the path of the Royal Navy’s HMS Defender as it sailed about 12 miles off the coast of Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia.