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UK service Queen Elizabeth holds maiden drill with Japan’s SDF


British plane service HMS Queen Elizabeth has held its first drill with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces off the south of Okinawa, an indication of the Royal Navy’s growing presence within the Indo-Pacific.

Japan’s Defense Ministry stated Wednesday that the SDF carried out a drill with the British service strike group the day past. U.S. and Dutch forces additionally participated, in a present of drive meant to counter China’s rising navy presence within the Pacific.

A key aspect of the drill was the deployment of U.S. and U.Okay. F-35B fighter jets, which might execute brief takeoffs and vertical landings. Japan is buying these plane to bolster its defenses within the Nansei Islands. These islands — only a stone’s throw from Taiwan — have few runways lengthy sufficient for extra typical fighter jets.

The exercise closed with the allied ships crusing in formation — led by the Queen Elizabeth and flanked by Japanese Hyuda-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise and amphibious assault ship USS America.

The three ships have been adopted by the HMS Defender, HMS Kent, USS The Sullivans, USS New Orleans, Dutch ship HNLMS Evertsen and Japanese destroyer JS Asahi. – Nikkei