F-35Bs from HMS Queen Elizabeth have refuelled from a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet.
According to the Royal Air Force:
“F-35B Lightnings from 617 Squadron have conducted Air to Air Refuelling from a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet for the first time. The refuelling sortie occurred during exercises with the US Navy aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson in the Pacific region. This was part of interoperability training, and is known as buddy-buddy refuelling.
During the exercise RAF Marham based 617 Squadron also took the opportunity to conduct a joint fly past with US Navy and US Marine Corps jets over the combined fleet of carriers and their escorts.”
What’s going on?
The United Kingdom’s carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea.
The integrated at-sea operations brought together more than 15,000 Sailors across six nations, and demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s ability to work closely with its unmatched network of alliances and partnerships in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.