USS Iwo Jima and HMS Queen Elisabeth took center stage, as they were the leading ships for each exercise, respectively. The first one, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, is the flagship of the U.S. IWO Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) participating in Ragnar Viking, while aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elisabeth is, according to the Royal Navy, the largest of its vessels and the most powerful one.
Ragnar Viking is a U.S.-led multilateral operational exercise unfolding in the Norwegian, North, and Baltic Seas. Some of this year’s operations included long-range strike demonstrations, amphibious landings, and anti-submarine warfare. The main U.S. participants were the IWO Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), together with other U.S. Navy ships and Air Force aircraft. HMS Lancaster and HMS Albion represented the Royal Navy, and other participants included ships from the Norwegian Navy and the French one.
Royal Navy’s Strike Warrior brought together over 84 aircraft, 20 ships and three submarines from multiple nations. The UK Carrier Strike Group, centered around HMS Queen Elisabeth, participated in its final test and was certified as ready for deployment during this year’s Strike Warrior exercise.