Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 23:47 GMT 00:47 UK


HMS Invincible joins Nato

Great significance is being attached to Invincible's presence

The aircraft carrier Invincible has officially joined Nato's forces in the Adriatic.

Brits in Balkans
The 20,000 tonne ship, carrying seven sea harrier jets and a fleet of helicopters, joined the allies' offensive against Serbia as of midnight on Friday.

Its crew is adjusting to the new weather conditions, having spent nearly three months in the blistering heat of the Gulf.

Captain James Burnell-Nugent said the risks involved in the conflict against Serbia were greater than those near Iraq.

"The weapons systems are much same, but the risks and threats are greater," he said.

[ image: Invincible was diverted to the area on its way home from the Gulf]
Invincible was diverted to the area on its way home from the Gulf
Rear Admiral Ian Forbes, commander of the United Kingdom Task Group, said the carrier's role was not just symbolic.

"We are making a strong political statement displaying our commitment to resolve and end the crisis," he said.

"In addition, the deployment of the Invincible has a clear military purpose. The Sea Harriers on the carrier are the first air defence force deployed in the region by the UK and it increases the number of British combat aircraft by 30%."

One pilot admitted that their political role could be as great as any military action carried out.

"At the end of the day perhaps we are here more as a political statement than what we can bring to the party," he said.

"But that may well turn out to be the most effective thing."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

16 Apr 99 | Europe
Nato stonewalls on refugee bombings

16 Apr 99 | Europe
'Kosovo will soon be empty'

16 Apr 99 | Europe
Montenegro urges end to strikes

11 Apr 99 | UK
HMS Invincible: Floating fortress

Internet Links

UNHCR Kosovo News


Royal Navy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online