Speaking to BBC’s Nick Robinson as part of the new series Small Island or Global Britain? which considers Britain’s role in the world post-Brexit, commander of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Commodore Steve Morehouse, stressed how the lead aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy will play a central role in “Global Britain’s” future. He also stressed how the ship, which was commissioned in 2017, proves Britain is a “global navy” and “wanting to be back out there” as it takes part in a NATO operation across the globe.
Presenter Nick Robinson asked the naval commander if the ship represents “Global Britain”.
Commodore Steve Morehouse replied: “I absolutely think this is Global Britain and the deployment itself will show you.”
He added: “I think the Navy has had a long tradition of this, that we are ambassadors for the country as much as we are military officers.”
The commander was then asked whether aircraft carriers are of a bygone era following comments from the Russian government who called the ship a “large convenient target”.
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The commander replied: “Well for something that is supposedly last century it is very interesting that the Chinese are building them as quickly as they possibly can.
“As are the Indians, the Japanese and the Korans are very interested in large decks.
“So we are not alone in this.
“Which I think is slightly reassuring.”
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The maritime group included submarines, destroyers and frigates and was backed by air support from the RAF’s F-35B Lightning stealth fighters, Portuguese F-16 Fighting Falcons and Spanish F-18 Hornets.
The exercise, which involved 5,000 troops, is part of NATO’s Operation Steadfast Defender that seeks to make sure NATO allies are properly trained for warfare.
Despite claims from onlookers, NATO leaders insist the war games were not a show of strength to Russia who conducted similar exercises in the Black Sea in April.
The aircraft carrier, which cost £3 billion to build, will visit 40 countries over a six month period in order to put Britain on the world stage post-Brexit.