HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth are both at sea with British F-35 jets onboard.

HMS Prince of Wales departed Portsmouth earlier this week whilst HMS Queen Elizabeth is on a global deployment.

HMS Prince of Wales left Portsmouth to perform training with F-35 Lightning jets and to undertake the vessels first participation in the largest military exercise in the UK, Joint Warrior, off the Scottish coast.

“The first will pave the way for front-line carrier operations, the second will test her ability to work alongside other naval, Air Force and Army assets and broader task group operations,” according to the Royal Navy.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is now in Japan.

British aircraft carrier to visit Japan

As part of her maiden operational deployment, the Ministry of Defence say that HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group will sail over 26,000 nautical miles, engaging with 40 countries from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and back again.

“This deployment will provide tangible reassurance and security to our friends and a credible deterrence to those who seek to undermine global security.”

The group comprises nine ships, 32 aircraft and one submarine and is manned by 3,700 sailors, aviators and marines from the combined forces of the UK, US and the Netherlands.

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Dern
Dern
7 days ago

Planes? I see no planes!

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Mate. I count at least two in the picture – that’s plural (just)! .Seriously though, it’s a good piece of news.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Could be slight of hand all smoke and mirrors us brits are masters of deception ( operation fortitude) inflatable tanks, and lorries and aircraft) what you see is not what you get

Something Different
Something Different
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

What’s the reference?

Dern
Dern
6 days ago

Nelson at Copenhagen deliberately ignoring RN signals in order to engage the Danish fleet, claiming he neither could see the signal nor the Danish fleet out of his blind eye, even though both where clearly there and his command staff where telling him they where.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I see (no pun intended) the context of your comment – very clever, nicely done!

eclipse
eclipse
7 days ago

Does she have an escort/group?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

They don’t require an escort group when operating around the UK.But RN escorts will be taking part in ex Joint Warrior.

George Parker
George Parker
5 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

May the Gods help us if we ever need to deploy both carriers to different theatres. With such a depleted and over stretched fleet, mechanical failure issues aside. Not only would there be no reserves but the loss of a single ship would be catastrophic. Looks like the Amphibious Group will be defended by Admirals in rowing boats.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

We needed and deployed 2 carriers in the Falkands conflict – same theatre.
I hear that MoD do not envisage both carriers deploying operationally at the same time – thats some crystal ball they are using!

Johan
Johan
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

OK Firepower of the QE class over Invincible and Hermes. and at any point, post-1982, did we ever have 3 carriers or 2 on conflict-active duty.
same as Albion and Bulwark one active one in readiness or refit.

Max Jones
Max Jones
4 days ago
Reply to  George Parker

Yes. And god forbid if the US needs to deploy more than 5-6 carriers in 5-6 different theatres, or if the French needs to deploy more than 1 carrier anywhere. Same applies to Italy, India, China and any other country that had any carrier forces whatsoever. You can’t deploy it all at once, that’s not what it’s made for.

If they decided they needed to deploy two carriers to different theatres simultaneously they would have needed to buy 3-4 carriers + logistics, crew, escorts, and aircraft.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
7 days ago

Fantastic news. We have come a very long way this last few years. And with so much more to come in the coming years. Bravo RN, and all involved in the Lightning wing. 🇬🇧

Kevvo
Kevvo
7 days ago

Whilst the headline is a factual statement, it’s hardly a case of two carriers with maybe 40 British owned aircraft on each, unlike the days of Ark, Eagle, Victorious, Hermes (add Centaur, Bulwark & Albion if you wish). Don’t get me wrong, we are stepping in the right direction, but it’s early steps yet.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  Kevvo

But the plan was never to have an air wing on both carriers at the same time?

One carrier with say 18 – 24 F35B is massively more than anyone else can field who we are likely to take on.

If the other carrier is not in dry dock then it would be usefully deployed as a helicopter carrier allowing a higher tempo on the F35 carrier and providing redundancy.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago

Theoretically though, if we had to, and we had our full(full…) complement of 48 F-35s then could we not deploy both carriers simultaneously with 24 aircraft/2 squadrons on each + helos? It would take most of the navy’s active ships (4 T23s, 4 T45s, 2 SSN) but we also have enough T45s/T23s to provide escorts for both. At the moment the only thing (only!) are the fleet solid support ships and aircraft numbers.

Steve M
Steve M
6 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Yep, but nothing left to escort Amphib force, carry out North Atlantic patrol or any other commitments that politicians throw at them

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

If you are short of RN escorts you ask around for Commonwealth or NATO escorts. Not a problem.

eclipse
eclipse
7 days ago

Does anyone here know what the actual capacity of QE is? I’ve seen numbers ranging from 40 aircraft overall to 36 F-35s + 36 choppers to 72 F-35s.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Depends what you mean by capacity…..? How many planes and cabs can you fit on a QEC; or How many planes and cabs can a QEC use fir optimal sortie generation; or How many planes and cabs on a QEC for a particular tasking? Then you need to take account of the rest of the CSG and where the cabs are and what they are doing – ASW AAW, AEW? This then changes the arithmetic. Honestly: I would guess 36 F35B would be optimal in terms of being able to move things around. The big problem on carriers is when… Read more »

arcad2000
arcad2000
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

maximum load – 60 f-35b

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  arcad2000

Where do you get 60 from? That’s a stretch.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Think 72 is with hanger and flight deck packed plus room for full length take off.

Scotty
Scotty
7 days ago

Lets hope she is quick enough to sail back and defend are shore when shit hits the fan.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Scotty

Why? Who is attacking the UK mainland? And what use would a carrier be with that scenario when you have land based radar, ASW helicopters, and the RAF air defence system?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 days ago
Reply to  Scotty

Why? is the BBC and SKY news keeping the start of WW3 from us?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Scotty

Carriers are not for defending home waters or home shores. We did not use carriers for that in WW1, WW2, Cold War.

Peter Hack
Peter Hack
14 hours ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes; these are globalists offensive weapons from an entirely misconstrued notion of the strategic imperative of European defence focus; utter waste of money.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
7 days ago

Inflatable F35’s? Just wondered …

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

Silly question time, what the longest ranged PGM the F35B can carry, as I take it the stormshadow is too big

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

AGM-138 is currently being integrated, thats 1 ton 4m long and has a range of about 500 miles (two carried externally). Joint Strike Missile 400kg, just under 4m and a range of about 350 miles (carried internally on A&C but could be carried externally on B) and the RAF is integrating SPEAR 3, thats 1.8m, 100kg and a range of about 80-100 miles (carried three to a hardpoint internally). RAF is also integrating 500lb Paveway IV interial guidance bombs which have a range of about 17 miles, Meteor AAM have 80 mile range and ASRAAM AAM have about 16 mile… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Watcherzero
Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

ASRAAM is external only and Spear 3 is 4 in each internal bay on individual hardpoints. Max internal load is 8 x Spear 3 plus 2 x meteor

The triple spear 3 hardpoint is concept based on Brimstone for Typhoon.

JSM would be a fantastic addition. Extra range and punch.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I believe Storm Shadow was going to be integrated for external carriage some time ago but the project was subsequently cancelled. Other than money saving it’s hard from a military point of view to see why – low observable air launched cruise missile + 5th gen stealth fighter would be an ideal pairing one would think. Plus it would significantly increase the strike range of the carrier strike group (> 500km). Plus we built over 900 of them and I believe still have most of them. ~100-200 being fired in combat/training etc.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Cancelled because they are very heavy store’s to bring back to the carrier, and if only one missile is fired then you have an uneven load which has many safety implications. Also, we have TLAM capability with 1000+nm range. SPEAR3 is coming with 100km range, and the F35B can carry 8 of them internally.

Peter S
Peter S
7 days ago

We are beginning to see the pressures on public spending- NHS,social care, education, local authorities all want more. In normal times the £16b uplift in the defence budget would have been challenged but it was lost in the covid spend. I don’t think we are likely any time soon to see a large increase in F35s which means these huge carriers will be underused. After 2024/5 ( by which time the contracted 48 should have been delivered) I suspect we are more likely to see defence cuts beyond those already announced than any increase. Both RN and RAF are pinning… Read more »

eclipse
eclipse
7 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

If it became necessary, we could drop £200bn on F-35s within a moments notice. We would just print the money, since we have our own currency. And it is likely that it wouldn’t sink the economy in inflation since this happening would mean the US was also in the same situation printing trillions of dollars.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

It’s all fake wealth backed up by nothing. I don’t know why people think that national debt is actually borrowed money from someone who has it, it’s not it’s printed by the federal reserve Bank in America and bank of England here. Which are owned by private banks and secret societies then lent to our governments who are then charged interest on the money that never existed. It’s not federal and there is no reserve. It’s the biggest financial scam in history. The tax payer foots the bill.

eclipse
eclipse
6 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

It is, indeed, fake wealth. However it isn’t lent to our governments by anywone; our governments create it. The U.K., EU, USA can each decide how many pounds, euros, and dollars they want. Let’s say we start with 1 of each. If Britain decides to print another 1 pound it halves in value against the euro and the dollar. Like I said though, us printing such large amounts for defence purposes would likely mean the US was printing which would mean the GBP-USD rate wouldn’t suffer negatively for either country.

Last edited 6 days ago by eclipse
Mathew Mole
Mathew Mole
6 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

The ruling elite

EnglishElectricLightning
EnglishElectricLightning
4 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Hi Gareth, Spot on! That’s exactly how it works, and you’re right, most people do not realise it. Of course, when the Government issues bonds, often they can be bought by institutions or people with money already in the money supply, but when there isn’t enough interest in Government debt or you hear the magic phrase “Quantitive Easing” the BoE steps in (hence the phrase “lender of last resort” I’m sure most people have heard) to buy the bonds with money created out of thin air, and this adds to the National Debt. Of course, these bonds carry interest but… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by EnglishElectricLightning
Steve M
Steve M
7 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Yep we could but seeing as ships take years to build and it’s not like LM have apron full of B’s built waiting for a buyer it would be years until we actually see an increase in phyical assets available. UK couldn’t re tool and start producing aircraft quickly all the idiots in West minster have seen to that.

Last edited 7 days ago by Steve M
eclipse
eclipse
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Yes that I realise. It would take us a year if not multiple to be remotely ready for a war with one of our enemies. And like you say it’s not like we have an enormous industry capable of churning out jets (or ships at the quantity that would be needed) within a moments notice. The problem is people don’t see the value of military equipment until war breaks out. The fact of the matter is that having military equipment prevents wars in the first place, so it’s doing its job.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
7 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

We might be able to fund but LM wouldn’t be able to manufacture them

Peter Hack
Peter Hack
14 hours ago
Reply to  eclipse

Ha ha ha….warmongers wetting themselves

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

“Both RN and RAF are pinning a lot of hope on affordable unmanned systems. I fear they won’t be affordable enough.”

It all depends on how much we will get after selling the tranche one’s off!

“The UK’s recently revealed plan to prematurely retire its Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft will see the fleet axed with more than half of its airframe fatigue life remaining, the government said on 7 September.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-to-retire-tranche-1-typhoons-with-more-than-half-of-airframe-hours-remaining

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

And don’t forget the new engine that’s in the pipeline either.

“Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive, has previously acknowledged that the F-35 engine will likely need increased power and thermal management to accommodate Block 4 technologies.”

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/08/12/the-pentagon-is-exploring-its-options-for-a-more-efficient-and-powerful-f-35-engine/

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Well put Colin, I see a large capability gap opening with the tranche 1 retirement.

Andrew
Andrew
7 days ago

pushing it a bit 207 sqn is the OCU, so pilots/instructors are just brushing up their deck landing quals

Haq NawZ
Haq NawZ
6 days ago

Great news for Great 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧

Chris
Chris
6 days ago

bUt ThEy;vE g0T KnoW pLaiNs!!!!

Chris
Chris
6 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Sorry, I came over all Daily Mail/Guardian reader there…

Adie Prior
Adie Prior
6 days ago

It’s a shame that only a handful of the aircraft are British, the rest are USMC.

Cruel Sea
Cruel Sea
6 days ago
Reply to  Adie Prior

Err, no, the F35s and helos on PoW are all British. The “handful” of F35s on the QE are not many fewer than the USMC embarkment. Why are some of you Brits so slow to get it that neither carrier is yet fully operational and that fast jet numbers will take some time to build up?

Dern
Dern
6 days ago
Reply to  Adie Prior

I think you’ll find all the aircraft on PWLS are British.
If you are talking about QE then… 10 USMC aircraft vs 18 British….

Robbo
Robbo
6 days ago

Should we consider basing one permanently at Fleet Base East, Garden Island and encourage RAN and RSN Singapore to purchase B variants and provide a Tri- nation interoperable force? Robbo

George Parker
George Parker
5 days ago

Proud day and really nice to see. But the old carriers should have still been in service until the replacements were up and running. Very poor “forethought and strategic planning.”

Peter Hack
Peter Hack
14 hours ago

I have never read such a pile of guff in all my life as the comments section on this thread. There is no need for these ships. Our defence theatre is Europe.

Peter Hack
Peter Hack
14 hours ago

I have never before seen such an utter waste of tax payers money in a deeply flawed analysis of where British strategic defence interests lie.