British F-35Bs were joined by U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs and U.S. Navy F-35Cs and F/A-18Es.

The aircraft were flying from the USS Carl Vinson, USS Ronald Reagan and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The following images were sent to the UK Defence Journal by Sgt. Petronilla.

Image via Sgt Petronilla.

British F-35Bs were joined by U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs and U.S. Navy F-35Cs and F/A-18Es.

Image via Sgt. Petronilla.

The flagship of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment, aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, recently visited Japan. The visit was designed to be “a powerful demonstration of the UK’s close and enduring partnership with Japan and the UK’s commitment to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region”.

The exercise pictured above included many Japanese vessels.

The Governmeny say that the visit to Japan will “reinforce the UK’s commitment to a resilient international order in which open societies based on shared values grow prosperity and champion free trade”.

The visit is also an important component of the UK’s renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific, outlined in the Integrated Review. The UK says that it is committed to “advancing security, defence and development cooperation with Japan, on the basis of a shared outlook on freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as free trade”.

Last month, the ships and aircraft of the CSG21 undertook multinational joint exercises with global allies, including the Japanese Self Defence Forces and US Forces Japan. The exercises were designed to build interoperability between like-minded international partners in this globally significant region of the world.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said:

“The Carrier Strike group offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries. Protected by a ring of advanced ships, submarines and helicopters, and equipped with fifth generation fighters, HMS Queen Elizabeth is able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing; and with our NATO allies at our side, we will be ready to fight and win in the most demanding circumstances.”

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geoffi
geoffi
15 days ago

That’s some list…

Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  geoffi

And doesn’t name the submarines. Richmond and Diamond are nearby as well.

Impressive power projection in an age where blue water navies are out of style.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Surely the submarines shouldn’t be named! They are the silent service after all.

Andy P
Andy P
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Can we do a ‘Give Us A Clue’ like thing then??? “sounds like….”, “2 syllables…”.

Sean
Sean
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Perhaps… HMS Anonymous, HMS Incognito, and HMS Pseudonym for our submarines? 😉

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  Sean

HMS Now you Sea Me…, HMS Invisible, HMS Very Stealthy…😀

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
14 days ago
Reply to  Sean

They are made of unobtanium too !

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  geoffi

Morning geoffi!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

This is what we have a Level 2 bluewater navy for. Maximum messaging to China. Very impressive photos.

Just need to close out remaining capability gaps with our CSGs, and grow the national embarked air wing.

Just slightly at a tangent – can anyone justify why the RAF are still muscling in on FAA business. I could understand RAF Harriers going down to the South Atlantic in 1982 to bolster the FAA effort, but why wasn’t that considered a one-off expedient?

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

becuse the RAF gave up their Tornado GR.4s for F-35Bs in the name of commonality …?

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
15 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

In fairness, the F35B as a new aircraft will provide a top of the range capability to the RAF for a long time going forward, while the GR4s were already at the obsolete end of their lifecycle, so swapping clapped out GR4s for F35Bs was a good thing.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
14 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

GR4s would still have been very capable albeit in the twilight of their lives. Given their choice the RAF would have gone F35A rather than B.

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

And I still think we missed a trick by not developing a Son of Harrier to fill the market for naval aircraft in the mid range of capabilities.

Pete
Pete
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff

On a similar theme ….it’s one of the things the USAF, USN, USMC and the French military do very well IMHO. They don’t completely remove legacy types / capability today in anticipation of a new type tomorrow (or week after next.. maybe…promise). Retaining even a single large squadron of GR9 and a small OCU would have provided some sovereign redundancy and additional capability while F35 is being worked up. Having a strategy of ‘nothing serious is likely to happen in the next few years ‘ is folly and gambling with the lives of those in service if they ever had… Read more »

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
14 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Clapped out huh?

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
13 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Figure of speech. Designed in the Late 60’s/70’s, built and in use since the 1980’s, an ergonomic Frankenstein’s monster due to the various upgrades bolted on wherever there was room, approaching the end of their service life due to fatigue and unsupported old subsystems … so yes, clapped out.

Michael
Michael
14 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

I think you mean the RN, not RAF. F35B is a naval variant of the F35 family.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
13 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Its flown by Naval and RAF Squadrons. i.e. 617 squadron.

Mike Looseley
Mike Looseley
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Nobody is “muscling in” on anything. The F35 force is joint RAF/RN .Eg 617 Sqn RAF is commanded by an RN officer at the moment etc.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The RAF have been involved in embarked carrier operations for decades. Today’s it’s the joint Lightning force, before that it was joint force Harrier with the GR7/9.And Sea Harrier FA2’s. Harrier GR3 going further back, and helicopter operations with Chinook. They use the same training pipeline ect, it’s just a better all round use of resources.

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Morning Robert. And of course RN/RAF squabbles over requirements arguably played a big part in the mass cancellations of military aircraft in the 1960’s massacre! As to airframes used by both services, one can go back to Seafire from Spitfire.the Phantom, Bucaneers used by the RN and SAAF, to name but a few

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

With such small numbers of airframes, it makes very little sense having the two services operating air frames seperately. Once we get the 40-60 that we plan to order over the course of the program, splitting them into two would make 2 very small forces incapable of doing anything effective.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Pretty obvious we can no longer to have two separate forces with their own specific and exclusive roles. A much more flexible system like this is a far better solution to the force’s we have available but still at least in theory allows each service emphasising specialist aspects if needs be which as the number of F35bs and pilots grows will no doubt be considered. The alternative would be no FAA at all and all pilots and air raft being under a single air service not I believe the best or most popular solution for widespread operations.

Jay R
Jay R
15 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It doesn’t make sense. The RAF would be better with the F35A exclusively. Whilst the FAA exclusively with the F35B. This would allow for greater numbers of F35s overall. And still allow for a great deal of commanilty. Thinking about it the when in RAF use the F35B will never need to take advantage of the STOVL capability.

RobW
RobW
15 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

We won’t be ordering enough for a split buy. If the RAF get the A version it will leave the RN with just 48 airframes, not enough for the carriers, OCU and spares. All 75 ish will be Bs, for better or worse.

Jay R
Jay R
15 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Lets dream of the UKs ideal fighter fleet. 60 F35Bs for the FAA. 96 F35As for the RAF. 96 Typhoons Tranche 2/3. 48 Hawk T2s fot training and Red Arrows, and finally an elite squadron of Typhoon T2s as aggressors, say 12 aircraft.

RobW
RobW
14 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

I’d swap the A and B numbers around, the FAA needs more than 60 Bs to field both carriers if needed. 80 would enable both carriers to be at sea with around 30 Bs each if the need arises.

LongTime
LongTime
14 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Hawk T2s glass avionics aren’t very good for acrobatics that’s why the Red Arrows have stayed T1. Also by ‘great deal of commonality’ A and B variants only share about 65% of parts so not as common as you’d think for maintenance. Cheers

Chris
Chris
13 days ago
Reply to  LongTime

The Red Arrows are having a Brand New Aircraft Built For the Team, Not Using T2s. I wish they would use Earlier Generation Typhoon Aircraft as they still a lot younger than current T1 Fleet. And would show case the Typhoon Aircraft.

Would Look Amazing. Also Increase Team To 12 Aircraft for Display. As well as Having 2 engines, More Power, and More Aerobatics etc.

Meirion x
Meirion x
13 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

What use would be 96 F-35A’s sitting in Marham be? The RAF has already got 130ish Typoons for air defense at home, or a few forward deployed on strike missions, and they still got many years of airframe life left in them. The UK only deploys a handful of aircraft in other NATO countries for periods of duty, unlike in the Cold War were whole squadrons forward deployed in W Germany.
Much better for the F-35’s as B’s to be forward deployed on the carriers.

Last edited 13 days ago by Meirion x
Meirion x
Meirion x
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Handful, I mean you can count them on one hand!🤗

John Stevens
John Stevens
11 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

I think the RAF/RN could end up with around 72 F35’s plus over 100 Tranche 2 and 3 Typhoons – add on to that figure the 28 Hawk T2 trainers and the Red Arrows aircraft of the future, looking at a figure of around 200 front line 4th and 5th generation jets and the trainers. Important add – on will be the future drones for the RAF and possibly the Navy too.

John Stevens
John Stevens
11 days ago
Reply to  John Stevens
  • Plus the Future 6th generation Tempest. Hopefully..
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Correct.

geoff
geoff
14 days ago

Morning Daniele. So given the financial realities, an F35B fleet optimised for naval service can and will be used by the RAF and also have the advantage of commonality, but the other way round would not work-i.e. an F35b toRAF specs only?
Miserable weather here in Durbs-drizzle and 15 degrees rising to 18 degrees but gets hot when the rain moves off. Bad time to visit😉

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Brrrrr…15 degs…My AC is set at 25 Degs and its pushing 40 outside!
Oh and guess what…its sunny!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff.

A split buy of A and B works only if the numbers are higher for both sides. Leaving just 48 B and switching to A would leave 2 small fleets. So I prefer just the B.

70 ish B is fine for the FAA needs. Ideally then the RAF would have got the A to replace the GR4.

There is also no money for it, as you know, and I believe any potential A money that could have existed will go on Tempest.

12 degrees and garden soaked with dew, sun attempting to appear!

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

The Harrier’s VSTOL capability was used by the RAF on dispersed sites in support of ground forces Jay. In addition it allows the use of short runways/ad hoc sites in emergencies

David Steeper
David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think the fundamental problem is as always cash. The FAA would really struggle to afford a stand alone force of F35B’s at $100m a pop. The RN has a much bigger remit than the RAF. They’ve the Fleet the RM the FAA and the RFA whereas the RAF is with no disrespect to the RAF Regt exclusively an Airforce.

Last edited 15 days ago by David Steeper
Peregrine16
Peregrine16
14 days ago

I wonder where HMS Diamond is?

Stephen
Stephen
13 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Marinetraffic.com had HMS Diamond in Portsmouth but that was last updated in May. More recently she was exercising with HMAS Anzac, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Sirius after having been at Diego Garcia. Marinetraffic.com has the latter two vessels at Singapore yesterday so that might be where HMS Diamond has gone.

Meirion x
Meirion x
13 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

In Singapore harbor, a visit there!

Last edited 13 days ago by Meirion x
Peregrine16
Peregrine16
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Ah! Thanks.! I was wondering if she will rejoin the CSG in company with QE. I am learning about these deployments from the UKD articles and comments, it seems that detaching and rejoining the CSG is part of the process – something I had not realised beforehand. Good to see her out there and I see she has been exercising with the Australians 👍

Micky Bee
Micky Bee
13 days ago

Well, well, well, here we are getting involved in doing the USA’s dirty work. China is no longer some opium addicted backward nation, and should we involve ourselves in a American trade war with them which will lead to conflict with them in the Pacific we can kiss our carrier group goodbye and the USA will blame everybody else for the disaster. I am at a loss to understand why we are even there

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Micky Bee

China is attempting to rewrite longstanding international law on maritime trade, claims and security. Not sure if you noticed, but about 90% of UK good are traded by sea. Losing control of that is losing control of UK commerce.

If you allow them to systematically isolate and take out allies, there will be nobody left to help you when they’re knocking on the door of London.

Jay R
Jay R
10 days ago
Reply to  Chris

It looks like we are picking a fight. In the post war up to the 80s we needed China for nothing. Now we need their goods to prop up the western consumer and debt driven middle class. Nobody in the west no longer wants to work. The west has become lazy. Work means sitting at a computer, not grafting in a factory – that is for foreign lands. West just want to consume. The UK is about 1 week away from collapse without imports. The Empire has gone, the carrier battle group is an exercise in vanity and nostalgia. If… Read more »

Victor bin siam
Victor bin siam
13 days ago

We still need protection from British / UN or USA…

Jay
Jay
8 days ago

It seems to me the errors of the past are not to be repeated. The allies are not going to wait around for China to move as they did with Hitler. China you’re on notice.