The British Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is undergoing one of its two final assessments in preparation of its maiden mission.
The assessments are Virtual Warrior and Strike Warrior. HMS Queen Elizabeth recently assumed the role of the ‘Fleet Flagship’.
During the Virtual Warrior, the crew and battle staff’s abilities of the 65,000t Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier will be tested in a simulated crisis.
The two-week-long Virtual Warrior will involve various scenarios that will be created using a combined computer training suite at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.
Carrier Strike Group staff lieutenant commander Jeremy Olver said: “Virtual Warrior is about command and control. It may not be as exciting as being at sea, but it’s just as important.
“The carrier group will consist of numerous ships and squadrons, some operating at considerable range. It’s crucial that they are all thinking and operating in the same way and information is shared around them.
“Each one of the ‘warrior’ exercises is more sophisticated and demanding with Strike Warrior the final ‘tick in the box’ before we sail.”
The UK Navy noted that the Virtual Warrior exercise runs until 12 February.
The Carrier Strike Group will finally be tested in a live-action assessment during this spring’s Joint Warrior war game ‘Strike Warrior’.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently undergoing maintenance in Portsmouth Naval Base to get prepared for its mission.
In October last year, the Royal Navy’s new Carrier Strike Group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth assembled for the first time, marking the service’s return to carrier operations.
The Carrier Strike Group also includes the HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, and USS The Sullivans, along with HMS Kent, HMS Northumberland, HNLMS Evertsen, RFA Tideforce, and RFA Fort Victoria.