UKCSG21 performs exercises with Singapore Defence

The UK Carrier Strike Group (UKCSG) led by flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth conducted exercises with both the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Navy over the weekend, and will dock in Changi, Singapore, on October 11.   

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II’s operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth performed flights with RSAF Block 52/52+ F-16C/D Fighting Falcons on October 9. The F-35s and F-16s performed exercises such as, simulated air combat training and formation flying in the international waters of the South China Sea.

RSAF F-16 and UK F-35B
 F-35B Lightning II from the UK Carrier Strike Group, seen from a Republic of Singapore Air Force's F-16. RSAF photo

During the time that the UKCSG air assets were integrating with RSAF fighter jets, the ships from the UKCSG and the Republic of Singapore Navy conducted a maneuvering exercise in a similar location within the South China Sea.

Amanda Milling, UK Minister for Asia, and Royal Air Force (RAF) Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston will meet with senior military officials from Singapore onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on October 11. Wigston will also receive an operational update from 617 squadron explaining how the F-35B Lightning fleet has operated and integrated throughout the deployment. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth
RSS Vigour and RSS Formidable from the Republic of Singapore Navy and the UK Carrier Strike Group's HMS Queen Elizabeth exercising together on 9 October 2021. Royal Navy Photo

Cdre Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said: “The Carrier Strike Group’s deployment has been designed to recognise the importance of the region globally. The Group’s presence also demonstrates our support for the freedom of navigation passage through vital trading routes and our commitment to an international system of norms that benefits all countries.”

“So, thank you Singapore for your support to the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment, for contributing to air exercises alongside our jets and supporting HMS Queen Elizabeth’s pit stop at Changi. We are proud to play our part in continuing to grow and deepen the Singapore-UK relationship,” Moorhouse concluded.