UK looks to send 'Lusty' to Libya

UK military planners are preparing plans to deploy the Royal Navy's (RN's) remaining Invincible-class aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious , to the Mediterranean Sea with a squadron of attack helicopters embarked to sustain strike operations against Libya into 2012.

At least one of the RN's new Type 45 Daring-class destroyers is expected to be deployed on the type's first combat mission to accompany HMS Illustrious if the plans are approved by the UK National Security Council. Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR.4 and Eurofighter Typhoon squadrons are also expected to start being rotated in September if NATO extends its Libya mission for a third 90-day period.

UK Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox hinted during a speech to the Royal United Services Institute in London on 13 July that preparations are under way to allow the country's armed forces to rotate the contingent supporting the NATO campaign in Libya, saying that the length of operations there could not be predicted.

[Source: By Tim Ripley, Jane's, 22Jul11]

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