Exercise ‘Tri-Lightning 2’ featured F-35I aircraft from the Israeli Air Force in addition to carrier launched British and American F-35Bs from HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Images also show a British Voyager tanker leading the formation of aircraft above.

For those wondering, an F-35I is an F-35A with unique Israeli modifications. Israel integrated its own electronic warfare systems, including sensors and countermeasures.

The UK, US and Israeli aircraft previously participated in exercise in Italy about three weeks ago.

British, American, Italian and Israeli F-35s fly together

According to the Israeli Air Force:

“The forces practiced together various airborne activities such as air-to-air and ground-to-ground battles, dealing with advanced surface-to-air missile systems, attacking targets in depth, and descriptions of combat in enemy territory.

The exercise is designed to strengthen strategic-regional cooperation and collaboration with the international F-35 aircraft community, while realizing learning and mutual fertilisation.”

Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Nurkin was quoted as saying:

“Cooperation with foreign militaries enables the Israeli Air Force to strengthen its capabilities and operational capability to deal with a wide range of threats. The Middle East arena is dynamic and changing and requires us to practice and practice a wide range of scenarios.”

The IAF also say that as part of the exercise, Israeli fighter pilots visited HMS Queen Elizabeth to learn how to operate an F-35 squadron on an aircraft carrier.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently leading the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment.

What is the UK Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back.

The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as British frigates, destroyers, a submarine, two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

The Carrier Strike Group.

CSG21 will see the ship along with the Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.

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Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago

This is exactly what I was hoping the deployment would be….. training/exercising/photo ops with friendly countries round the world…

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I expect this is a lot more useful for trade etc than Boris’s floating gin Palace will be.

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I suspect both strategies have their merits and for completely different reasons. The RN are giving the UK some pretty solid publicity at the moment but that is different to that provided by the England football team.

The gin palace is just as likely to be serving Scotch or Nyetimber English sparkling wine and will probably be better attended than your average Zoom call. It will dwarf the yachts in Monaco?

Would you turn down an invite?

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Would you turn down an invite?”

That would very much depend on the circumstances, if (in the very unlikely event bordering on sureal) I was trying to convince the government or sell them stuff then yeah and I’d be on my best behaviour. For anything else I wouldn’t thank you, its not really my scene.

While I can’t say ‘never’, I’ll be very surprised if someone can convince me this yacht is a good idea.

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think the idea would be for he UK to sell as well as buy.

I’m guessing Andy you are not the typical buyer from around the world 😀  Believe me they will all lap this up as will the sales guys from British companies who see the limitations of trade shows around the world.

Only one way to find out for sure if it works and that is to try it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Bravo Mark.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Its an expensive gamble though Mark, each to their own and this will be another one to add to the list of divisive subjects where never the twain shall meet I suspect. I’m sure some will be ‘oohed and aahed’ by a fancy yacht in the same way that Ferrero Rocher at the Embassador’s reception is ‘the nuts’, and I get the whole ‘shmoozing thing’. What happens in 20 years when the ‘National yacht’ is starting to get a bit tatty or small (ya know, in case we start a trend) and it becomes a figure of fun almost. Do… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Life is a gamble Andy. It is like buying some decent clothes when you are planning to go for a job interview. It won’t guarantee the job but it shows you are serious and not indifferent. The yacht is about building relationships not fancy wines. I get you have little time for this type of activity and I’m not a great fan of salesmen either but we can make the best products in the world but if we have nobody to buy them where are we? We must be positive, friendly and engaging and if that means we need a… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

“especially if industry are going to pay for it (which they will!).”

Tossing in for the build might be one thing, are they going to pay for the crew, the refits etc…

Nah, its going to fall upon the nation to pay for the ‘National yacht’ in the long term. Again, just my take, other views are available.


Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Expensive perhaps but the 200m to build it would run the NHS for 12 hours. If it generated foriegn sales worth a few billion then tax receipts would easily pay for it and more. And as many have pointed out whenever there’s talk of ship contracts going overseas, of the 200m a portion comes back to the government in taxes so the real investment is less.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Expat

The 200 million is just for starters though, there’s the ongoing expenses of crew and maintenance as two rather large examples, we’re also assuming its not going to go over budget….. then there’s fuel etc.

We’ve had another example today (1st July) of Nissan opening up a ‘gigafactory’ in the UK, we didn’t need a yacht to get the deal over the line.

Julian1
Julian1
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

It’s fine. Let’s just let the foreign office or DTI pay for it and not the MOD. What bloody use will it be to the MOD unless it can be used for hurricane relief or as a hospital ship. Will it have a hell-pad?

Nic
Nic
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian1

If built I think it should be financed by the DTI and crewed by the Merchant Navy. when not in use for trade shows it could be used as a training ship for both the merchant Navy and Royal Navy, Going by the sketch that has been about it seems to have a helipad.

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian1

Agreed. I’m sure it will have military uses but it will be an economic tool. It should be built on the leveling up agenda using money from across Government and industry designed to level up the Country or whatever they call it.Understandable the project sohuld be owned by he RN, run and control the project but need to ensure it does not displace front line projects and the extra dosh gets transferred from the treasury.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

It’ll be good for impressing tin pot dictators around the world, but it’s hardly going to be a Russian oligarchs yacht

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

Not many tin pot dictators left and I’m sure those that are left daren’t leave home.

This is a trade project. If all the FTSE 100 companies put in £10M a piece that would hardly scratch their marketing budget and I bet the real cost will be £1 Billion plus.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Plenty of tinpot dictators left they just use a thin veneer of democracy, Ursula Von Der Leyen is a good point to start with

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

 😂 

I suspect Ursula is worried about her position just on the basis that Germany haven’t made it through to the quarter finals.

dan
dan
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

What about Putin? haha

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

Putin is indeed one of the few …. he has to be careful sailing about in his yacht in the Black sea that he isn’t mown down by a type 45 driving around like it owns the place 😂 

Nic
Nic
3 months ago

This is good experience for the FAA as they probably would not have normally be involved in operations of this type, whereas the RAF and US Marines would probably be used with it.

Crabfat
Crabfat
3 months ago

“… mutual fertilisation.”?? The mind boggles!

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

I know ‘Ooh er missus’

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Hahaha!

John N
John N
3 months ago

The RAF Voyager tanker would be a far more useful asset to coalition partners, such as IAF F-35I, if it had a had a boom.

C’mon on UK government, spend the money, add a boom.

Always Right
Always Right
2 months ago
Reply to  John N

No it wouldn’t, there’s no reason to add a boom.

Nic
Nic
3 months ago

I see that the Swiss Air Force have chosen to replace the present Hornet Fleet with F35As

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

It would be interesting to know what changed in Israeli F-35’s.