Top Nato chiefs arrive on Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth to marvel at £3.2bn warship's might

DOZENS of Nato’s most senior officials have visited the flagship of the Royal Navy to marvel at the £3.2bn aircraft carrier’s might.

A total of 30 Nato ambassadors, along with the deputy supreme allied commander of Europe, General Tim Radford, visited HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The delegation of diplomats, from across Italy, the Netherlands, UK and US, were welcomed onto the 65,000-tonne behemoth by defence procurement minister, Jeremy Quin.

The VIPs were given an exclusive tour of the warship’s four-acre flight deck, with visitors watching as some of the British and American F-35B stealth jets launched from the carrier.

Pictured: Italian F-35B Lightning Jet lands on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The visit was one of the last diplomatic events on Queen Elizabeth’s schedule, as she continues with the final leg of her journey back home to Portsmouth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has been spearheading the UK’s carrier strike group on a seven-month mission to the Far East and back, called CSG21.

Read More

Read More
Royal Navy: HMS Queen Elizabeth welcomes Italian fighter jets on board

Mr Quin, who is in charge of buying Britain’s military hardware, said: ’CSG21 has opened the next chapter of the UK’s contribution to Nato

‘The deployment has underlined the breadth, depth and reach of the defence and security partnerships at the heart of the world’s longest enduring alliance.’

Queen Elizabeth set off on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth in May.

Since then, she has travelled more than 40,000 nautical miles to the Indo-Pacific and back.

Ships and aircraft from the carrier strike group – Europe’s most powerful naval fleet – have operated and exercised with more than 40 countries.

This week the aircraft carrier welcomed F-35s from Italy onto the ship – the first time jets from three nations had been embarked on the Royal Navy flagship at the same time.

Dame Sarah MacIntosh, the UK’s permanent representative to Nato, was part of the visit to the carrier. She said: ‘t has been an honour to visit carrier strike group 21 with Nato ambassadors, as HMS Queen Elizabeth returns home.

‘The carrier strike group is allied by design, and has engaged with over 40 allies and partners across the world during this deployment.

‘We are delighted to have demonstrated alliance unity in operation.’

Looking for the latest Royal Navy updates from Portsmouth? Join our new Royal Navy news Facebook group to keep up to date.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, with 70 per cent fewer adverts for less than 20p a day.