The UK Royal Navy has deployed its Invincible-class aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal to lead a series of multi-national exercises with France and the US.

An international task group, Auriga 2010, will conduct a series of exercises in the North and West Atlantic between May and August.

The Royal Navy’s Devonport-based Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Fort George will join the 20,000t aircraft carrier in the exercises.

In addition, the Royal Navy will deploy its Portsmouth-based Type 42 destroyer HMS Liverpool to join the task group on 10 May 2010.

The French Navy submarine FS Perle along with the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry are also participating in the naval exercises.

The ships will also undertake a series of goodwill port visits in the region to support international security co-operation initiatives, according to a Royal Navy spokesperson.