From left, Britain's Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi attend a meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: Franck Robichon/Pool via AP
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British carrier strike group to make port calls in Japan in September

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Only an alliance like NATO will send the strongest message to China. The situation requires more than stacking up warships in ports.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

“Thanks!” for the show of support ‘mates but unfortunately, and most probably, there will be NO ‘shore leave’.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

anythings worth trying though I doubt it will make any impact, as they seem to think they own the whole region regardless of what anyone else in the world says

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Royal Navy making a port call to Japan reminds me of when I was 7 and my Dad called me when his Royal Navy ship was docked in Yokosuka back in 1997.

He was able to enjoy shore leave and took in the sights of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Disney and more.. (His photos are an interesting look back on what Tokyo was like in the 90's).

Something that I feel these sailors won't be allowed to do when they make their port call this coming September....

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I liked it when they were in Hong Kong because I could access their base and use the American post office. Those ships looked beautiful in the harbor. The British sailors always looked spiffy walking around. The good old days.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Good to see the UK supporting Japan.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Ships ahoy!

Going ashore! Nope!

Like the SK destroyer its a serious problem when the crew become infected with Covid. Are the crews vaccinated?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It has been a very long time since a Royal Navy aircraft carrier operated in the Pacific. The RN is stating that they will keep two warships permanently in the Pacific though they say they will not be homeported in the Pacific area. The ships in the task group are supposed to split up and visit various Japanese ports during their stay.

Just read that JS Izumo is out of her first refit and has some ability apparently to operate F-35Bs now. There will a further refit in 2024 to reconfigure the forward flight deck so it is square instead of trapezoidal for improved safety operating the F-35B. The first air wing to operate with her will be USCM F-35Bs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I liked it when they were in Hong Kong because I could access their base and use the American post office. Those ships looked beautiful in the harbor. The British sailors always looked spiffy walking around. The good old days.

I remember the small ferries used to take us from our ships anchored well out in the harbor into Hong Kong were pretty scary. They rolled a lot. I always stayed on deck someplace I could jump off easily if the thing capsized. Even the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon didn't seem very safe. The RN Fleet Base was nice with some good British food. I remember seeing "Bangers, beans and mash" on the menu and thinking I have to buy this just to find out what it is. What could possibly be called a banger? It turned out to be good. Hong Kong used to be a great liberty port.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Thank you *@KariHaruka 8:07am.Yours *is a sweet tale of love between father @ child.. It’s welcome reprieve from the chronic cynicism for the unfolding recent events.

Bless him and the rest of the world’s “Peacekeepers” that sacrifice so much so we can ALL enjoy our freedoms!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Soon the cry of indignation of the Chugoku government, do not cry guys, at least they are not going to make you a 3rd opium war..

I do not like interventionisms but this time it is a necessary evil and it will always be good when British and US support Japan, it has two monsters on top of it.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Finally, some moves to counter china’s aggressive posturing in the region. They are only for China and China only, covid has shown us the world can burn as long as they are secure they don’t care..

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The Britishers' old dream come true seems to be coming true.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Just two off-shore patrol ships

Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the UK will permanently assign two Offshore Patrol Vessels to the region from later this year as well as contributing a Littoral Response Group (LRG) in the coming years. HMS Spey and HMS Tamar will deploy to the Indo-Pacific at the end of August 2021 and will be supported by partners during their operations, including Australia, Japan and Singapore.”

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/royal-navy-ships-to-be-based-in-the-pacific/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

and what...for?

dont say they are coming to have just nice sushi here...

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

It's becoming clear that the US Navy is using the Royal Navy as bait in the attempt to learn just how willing Russia and China are to defend their territorial claims and what cards they have to play in that regard.

This is also a sign of how far "Great" Britain has fallen, reduced to playing decoy duck for the disintegrating American Empire.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Japan needs to build more aircraft carries and fast!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Tied to the pier and restricted from leaving the ship = "port call"?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I seem to remember lots of stories about how this carrier was useless/didn't have enough planes/leaked and more. Not sure how floating around in the Pacific does anything to deter China. Dont think China is a threat to Japan but i wouldn't want to be living in Taiwan for the next few years

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

zichi,

Just two off-shore patrol ships

Deploying two patrol ships means nothing for the recovery of the lost sphere of influence but the symbolic gesture shown by it is huge and enormous.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

KaerimashitaToday  10:38 am JST

Not sure how floating around in the Pacific does anything to deter China.

Nothing else will deter China. Only when China sees that the entire world is against their territorial expansion and are willing to back it up with hardware will they recognize that the cost they will have to pay for their ambitions may be too great. Nobody is "floating around the Pacific, they are navigating through the globally and legally recognized Internation Waters which China coninues to unilaterally claims as it own. 回中国

5 ( +8 / -3 )

this is completely unecessary and meaningless.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

To send a clear message from the solidarity of the overwhelming international community countries against the bloody CCP aggressiveness behaviour.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is a huge "shakedown" cruise for the new British aircraft carrier to ensure it can continue to operate for a long period of time far from home, as it would need to do if dispatched to a war zone in the future.

The forces dispatched to retake the Falkland Islands needed to be able to operate far from home so calling this meaningless or unnecessary is incorrect.

Some individuals whose loyalties are to China object based on the Chinese perspective alone, without actually thinking. The UK ships are training and sailing through international waters to visit allies and partners and if this makes some nervous then that is more about them than the UK navy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

No offense but British strike forces are largely symbolic. And the Dutch? Lol. They can't do anything without their American big brother. And the Chinese aren't intimidated by them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Gerald Ford versus Queen Elizabeth, which one and for what?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

More nations need to be showing support and even if it is symbolic as some one mentioned its still great to see. Just think if every FREE nation sent vessels and armor to the pacific to counter the bully ............................... maybe the bully might see reason do you think, or would they continue with their belligerence ........?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am somewhat amazed at the expressions here of support and confidence in the British carrier strike group. It is a somewhat pitiful gesture in my view.

I ask readers to recall the last time a British strike group entered Asian waters to strike terror in an adversary, at that time the Japanese at the beginning of WWII. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse now reside on the bottom of the sea for that effort just 3 days after Pearl Harbor.

Has everyone also forgot how fortunes turned against Japan when it lost 4 aircraft carriers (plus planes and pilots, etc.) at Midway?

Aircraft carriers today are the battleships of WWII. They are monstrously expensive anachronisms symbolically extending power. Since WWII the US Navy has seemed to show their efficacy by helping to win tactical victories against such naval behemoths as .. North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. And don't forget Panama and Grenada.

However a new generation of aerial and submerged weaponry possessed by the major powers coupled with the will to use it will see every one of those American or British or Chinese flattops littering the bottom of the oceans on which they are attacked. It is folly to place an aircraft carrier within striking distance of land-based aircraft, missiles, and home-based submarines.

Someone above said Japan should build aircraft carriers?! Why? Japan IS an aircraft carrier only solidly in place and securely docked.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Old fashioned "Gunboat Diplomacy" making a comeback. I wonder if Britain will start another Opium war?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I think, nowadays all those many countries’ Navies are maybe a nice to have historical relict, but in most cases of no real military use. Quasi static targets, vulnerable already just only by existing and limited to sea areas without even an enemy in sight they pretend to fight against. Decisive are only air supremacy and finally real troops on ground. And even that doesn’t always work as could be seen in Afghanistan. Of course a Navy couldn’t even have reached Afghanistan at all, just only to further illustrate what I mean. lol

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why is China building a string of air bases with radar and missile batteries on disputed reefs around the south China Sea? Disputed because others have valid claims.

Why does China place new Chinese laws above International Law?

And who is able to stand up in the face of brazen Chinese hegemony?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Impressive shakedown cruise combined with diplomatic and economic soft power engagements with friends and allies as well as interoperability training with allied navies around the world. Demonstrating yet another major country does not accept the CCP version of the world.

No it is not “gunboat diplomacy” no one is starting any sort of conflict, merely navigating through international waters on a long training and diplomatic cruise, while demonstrating to friends a capability of long range deployment only two other countries in the world are capable of (USA and France).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Floating airports are unfit-for-purpose 20th century technological zombies, totally anachronistic and futile in today's era of missiles. Pity the poor taxpayers who toil and sweat just to show the Union Jack around a world where Brexitannia no longer rules the waves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@spaceinvader Japan needs to build more aircraft carries and fast! I am willing to bet you cash money by the first quarter of next year Japan will have global hawks that can fly on their borders and see anywhere in china and NK!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi Just two off-shore patrol ships

Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the UK will permanently assign two Offshore Patrol Vessels to the region from later this year as well as contributing a Littoral Response Group (LRG) in the coming years. HMS Spey and HMS Tamar will deploy to the Indo-Pacific at the end of August 2021 and will be supported by partners during their operations, including Australia, Japan and Singapore.” The first quarter of next year Japan will have global hawks that can fly on their borders and see anywhere in china and NK! Trust me I know you will read about it soon!!

@nandakandamanda Why is China building a string of air bases with radar and missile batteries on disputed reefs around the south China Sea? Disputed because others have valid claims. Why does China place new Chinese laws above International Law? And who is able to stand up in the face of brazen Chinese hegemony? Those are sitting ducks, it like an ostrich putting his head in the ground thinking no one would see it!! Japan has something coming and you will read about it soon!! GHawks flying 70-90,000 feet i won't say more!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I ask readers to recall the last time a British strike group entered Asian waters to strike terror in an adversary, 

Your history is incomplete. The US Navy borrowed HMS Victorious in 1943 when all but one of the USNs carriers were either sunk or being repaired from combat damage. Victorious carried US Navy aircraft squadrons and participated in the neutralization of Rabaul and retaking the remaining Solomon Islands. She was called USS Robin so the Japanese would not know a RN aircraft carrier was in the Pacific. She would later return to the Pacific with other RN aircraft carriers for the Okinawa Campaign and the planned invasion of Japan. She was in Japanese waters for the surrender.

Four RN aircraft carriers would provide combat air support to UN forces during the Korean War, HMS Triumph, Glory, Thesus and Ocean. The RAN would contribute HMAS Sydney. There was an occasion where four Hawker Seafury (piston engine and propeller driven) fighters were bounced by 8 MiG-15s. One MiG was shot down, two badly damaged with no loss to the Seafuries. Most of their sorties however were ground support and bombing missions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Floating airports are unfit-for-purpose 20th century technological zombies, totally anachronistic and futile in today's era of missiles. 

Well go on thinking that way but it is telling that the Chinese are ardent to build big deck, nuclear powered CATOBAR aircraft carriers. I have a little news for you. A couple of missiles won't sink a carrier. They are designed to absorb a lot of torpedoes, missiles and bombs. Find out how many 1000 lb (500kg) bombs, bombs that are much larger than the warhead of any anti ship missile, blew up on the deck of USS Forrestal in that tragic 1967 fire. Ten big bombs and dozens of lesser bombs did not sink her.

I have some more news. A ship at sea without air power protecting it is easily sunk. A ship at sea with air power above is not easily sunk. Most of those anti-ship missiles out there do not have enough range to be launched outside the range of a US Navy carrier's air group. That means such a ship would be attacked by the US Navy's air wing before it can get close enough to launch its missiles. It will never get the chance to launch those missiles. The same is true and even moreso for air launched missiles because in general they have to be smaller and lighter than the ship or shore launched missiles and thus have even less range. There was a brief window after the end of the Cold War when the US and Russian militaries could speak to each other openly. Russian bomber pilots all thought attacking a US Navy carrier strike group was a suicide mission. Aside from the air wing there are four rings of ship based air defenses, SM-2/6, ESSM, RAM and CIWS. Oh, don't forget the E-2D above. That airplane gives the ships below a much greater radar horizon than the ships radars can give and will see sea skimmers hundreds of miles out. Good luck getting through all that. The Chinese know they can't even begin to defend their ships once they are outside the range of their land based airpower and missile systems unless they bring an air force along with their fleet, and to do that you need an aircraft carrier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think, nowadays all those many countries’ Navies are maybe a nice to have historical relict, but in most cases of no real military use. Quasi static targets, vulnerable already just only by existing and limited to sea areas without even an enemy in sight they pretend to fight against.

All I can tell you is from personal experience flying around ships in blue water, and aircraft carrier can be really hard to find sometimes even whey they are not trying to hide from you. I vividly remember a day where we knew the Nimitz was directly in front of us but it was so hazy that even at five miles it was invisible to us. That haze means the ship might be invisible to some types of seekers found on modern missiles.

Navy ships can do things to hide if they need to. They can turn all of their radios and radars off and more or less disappear. The ships communicate with signal lights and flags. You can take off and land from ships using only visual and light signals, no radios. It restricts the weather you can fly in to a point but you can still fly. There are techniques of visual deception to make a warship appear to be something else. You can mix your ships in with merchant traffic and hide that way. You can put a container on the deck of an auxiliary that broadcasts all of the emissions one expects from a carrier strike group including radio calls, radar and other emissions, and send that off in one direction while the combat ships and the aircraft carrier run silently in another direction. That was done to bamboozle Russian surveillance when the US tried to rescue the hostages held by Iran but is still a valid tactic. Running silent allowed us to sneak two carrier strike groups into the Sea of Okhotsk and launch a simulated air strike at the Soviet coast. The Soviets had no idea two carriers were operating right off their coast, all of their radios were silent, until the aircraft all pulled up right at their 12 nm territorial limit and lit up their radars. Then their radios exploded ! Same thing when the Eisenhower snuck up into the Barents without the Soviets knowing, until a Bear being refueled by a tanker right off their coast was buzzed by a pair of F-14s that were doing something in the vicinity of Mach 2. The Soviets filed a diplomatic protest while the Secretary of the Navy visited the ship while it was still just off the Soviet coast. Satellites are not all seeing and they can be spoofed too. Admiral Lyons figured out firing the CIWS in the direction of their big surveillance planes fuzzed their radars up, a technique learned exercising with B-52s. Lots of ways to hid ships if necessary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

Thanks for your life report. lol But anyway, all those Navy ships can’t hide at all. With satellite intelligence you have nowadays a resolution that you can see, who lights a cigarette on deck and what rank that guy has. Rofl Your theory would demand that the ships always forget their orders or course and strictly follow the fog, if there is any…lol Also, they make an unbelievable big noise , in relation to what contemporary pings, radars or ultrasonic detectors can detect and identify. While the big carriers might have a few possibilities, all the other accompanying ships usually can not, and there are a lot because a carrier never goes alone, always only with many frigates and other ships together, in sum a very loud concert hall. In that sense it’s a quasi static target and if anybody showers the whole area or encircled torpedoes it, all will quickly end up in a mess, being carefully hidden in fog or not. And the missiles , if the ships aren’t visible, simply go for all points with temperature differences as no ship has as a whole exactly the same temperature as the surrounding sea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thanks for your life report. lol

Weird that you'd act condescending when Desert Tortoise has shown he's clearly knowledgeable on the topic, and you've put out a bunch of simplistic thinking as if it made an argument.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sven Asai, thank you for your insightful analysis and obviously deep knowledge of all things military and naval strategy in particular! You must be an Admiral or a strategic analyst at the very least, I am in deep awe of you.

(and for all you who are not British or Australian it’s called irony ;) ).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sven AsaiToday  01:15 am JST

Thanks for your life report. lol But anyway, all those Navy ships can’t hide at all. With satellite intelligence you have nowadays a resolution that you can see, who lights a cigarette on deck and what rank that guy has

Right on the money.

I cut him a little slack though; naval vessels are no longer made of wood.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

All I can say to Sven is I've been there and he hasn't. The difficulty we had finding the Nimitz that day made a lasting impression. EMCON used to be a way of life. We used signal lights extensively to communicate. Those can't be detected by satellites or radio direction finders. If he has ever seen the maritime traffic in the Straits of Malacca (reminiscent of a big city freeway), South China Sea or the seas between the Straits of Malacca and Persian Gulf you would know it is not to hard to imagine mixing your task group among merchant ships and more or less disappearing. AIS can be spoofed, you can use deceptive lighting and other techniques to disappear. Maybe you only use a navigation radar like a civilian ship. Big weather systems are your friend too. That's how Admiral Lyons snuck the Eisenhower strike group up into the Barents without being discovered and how we got two whole carrier strike groups into the Sea of Okhotsk. The Soviets had much better satellite surveillance then than they or China have now btw. Satellites cannot always see through big weather systems and when your ships turn off their big radars and mix with merchant traffic .................. MV Ever Given is twice as big as the biggest aircraft carrier. Some tankers are even larger. In the vastness of the ocean a carrier is mighty small. Mix a carrier in with similar sized or larger boxships, tankers and bulkers and your enemy has a hard time finding you in the clutter. And obtw, the PLAN will use similar tactics to make it hard for the US Navy to find its ships.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GHawks flying 70-90,000 feet i won't say more!

Uh, they don't fly that high. Service ceiling is 60,000 feet. Let's not get carried away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Desert TortoiseToday  04:07 am JST

All I can say to Sven is I've been there and he hasn't. The difficulty we had finding the Nimitz that day made a lasting impression.

I was hitching a ride on a carrier in the Taiwan Strait, around late 90s, when these seals came aboard, literally dripping wet, carrying a satellite dish, the stand for it, and some other heavy equipment. Had no idea where they came from.

Later, we were about 8 miles out of HK where we were going to dock, and those guys jumped back in the ocean.

Saw 2 of them in Wan Chai the next night.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Queen Elizabeth typically operates with US F-35B fighters alongside UK ones. F-35Bs have a range of 900 nautical miles. Carriers are useful for what they are - portable airfields. The alternative is a reliance on a local airfield, such as Incirlik in Turkey. That can become a problem.

It is one thing to have nukes, quite another to use them. Most military action by NATO members involves missile and fighter jet launches from ships against countries with limited defence systems.

This is intended to be symbolic, but the rise in nationalism around the globe will most likely lead to the same sort of thing as it did in the 1930s. Humanity never learns.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The alternative is a reliance on a local airfield, 

In blue water you don't have nearby airfields period unless you bring one along in the form of an aircraft carrier. China knows its navy cannot operate outside shore based air cover against the US fleet. That is why they are building their own fleet of aircraft carriers. As for defending them they do have first rate fighters on board and the sheer density of radars and missile defenses is greater than most shore bases enjoy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

Deploying two patrol ships means nothing for the recovery of the lost sphere of influence but the symbolic gesture shown by it is huge and enormous.

It is empty symbolism. While they sail around here with 2 ships, the UK economy continues to be ever more dependent on CCP China. Virtue signalling is nice, but economic power is reality. The only thing that would change anything is de-coupling from CCP China, but the Western ruling elites are unwilling to do that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GBR48

This is intended to be symbolic, but the rise in nationalism around the globe will most likely lead to the same sort of thing as it did in the 1930s. Humanity never learns.

Nationalism was not what caused WW2, supremacist ideologies were. And that what we have today with the CCP ideology in China, and its enablers in the Western elites.

Healthy nationalism does not lead to war, borderless ideologies do.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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