More than 13,000 military personnel and 30 warships are to take part in major war games in and around the Scottish coast this week.
One of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe, Strike Warrior 21 – which incorporates the twice-a-year Exercise Joint Warrior – will run from Saturday until May 20.
The integrated war games are part of the final preparations for the first deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) next month.
The manoeuvres come as the Royal Navy’s flagship warms up for its first deployment, amid rising tensions with China.
The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth sits at the centre of the CSG, which will deploy shortly after the completion of Strike Warrior.
The ship will travel to the Indo-Pacific region, leading the largest naval and air task force under British command since the Falklands War.
The carrier fleet is heading for an area of rising tension where China is in confrontation with neighbouring and western states over mineral-rich waters.
The participating Nato nations are the UK, USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway and Poland. Australia is a non-Nato participating country.
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