Scotland to host part of Strike Warrior military exercise involving 31 warships and 150 aircraft

Scotland is to play host to elements of one of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe from next week.

Exercise Strike Warrior 21, which incorporates Exercise Joint Warrior 21-1, will run from May 8-20 as part of the final preparations for the first deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) next month.

The Firth of Forth will host elements of the exercise. Port visits will be kept to a minimum but vessels are expected to arrive at Rosyth and Leith before joining the exercise.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s fleet flagship at the centre of the CSG, will deploy shortly after the completion of Strike Warrior.

From the Joint Warrior biannual NATO exercise. An Astute class nuclear submarine in company with the Type 23 frigate HMS Kent being over flown by a German Navy P3 maritime patrol aircraft. Pic: Jim Gibson/ Royal Navy
From the Joint Warrior biannual NATO exercise. An Astute class nuclear submarine in company with the Type 23 frigate HMS Kent being over flown by a German Navy P3 maritime patrol aircraft. Pic: Jim Gibson/ Royal Navy

Ten nations will take part, with 31 warships, three submarines, 150 aircraft and around 13,400 military personnel involved.

It will include 1,500 ground troops at military ranges across the country and maritime exercise areas off the west and north coasts.

Australia will join Nato nations the UK, the US, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland in taking part with 34 naval units.

Exercise activity will also be held in the North Minch to the west of Ullapool involving fast small boats, both civilian and military, with GPS denial operations off the west coast.

HMS Queen Elizabeth during her recent visit to Glen Mallan. Pic: Royal Navy

Mine counter measures operations will take place in areas around Campbeltown and Loch Ewe, while joint firing activity will take place at Cape Wrath weapons range, Garvie Island and the QinetiQ Hebrides range.

The 150 aircraft involved will operate from RAF Lossiemouth, Prestwick Airport and Stornoway Airport.

The exercises will mirror a broad range of crisis and conflict situations which could happen in real-world operations.

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