Aggressor aircraft launched an assault against HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Battle Group near the Moray Firth, the purpose of this training is for the task force to practice defending against air attack.
HMS Queen Elizabeth exercised with the Royal Navy’s Hawks from 736 Naval Air Squadron, the Royal Navy’s ‘attacker’ squadron. The jets from RNAS Culdrose have been taking part in training with NATO ships as well as RAF Typhoons and the Lightning stealth fighters.
Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth recently came under simulated missile attack from RNAS Culdrose's Hawk jet aggressor squadron, 736 NAS. pic.twitter.com/Di2xLIguq8
— UK Defence Journal (@UKDefJournal) October 13, 2020
The squadron is used to test ship’s companies and fighter controllers in how to respond to hostile aircraft or incoming missiles. The black-painted 736 squadron jets were operating from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire before moving up to Aberdeen International Airport for the start of Joint Warrior.
Lieutenant Commander Jason Flintham, 736’s Commanding Officer, said:
“Our role is to be the enemy – the bad guys if you like. It’s not easy, but we try to be as difficult as possible and push the abilities of our personnel to respond to a high-speed aerial threat. In one situation, 736 Squadron provided four Hawks as part of an 11-aircraft airborne threat against 11 RAF Typhoons. With 22 aircraft in the air fighting on this occasion, it was super exciting to be involved with and it demands much concentration and skill from my navy pilots.”
Typically, Hawk jets support Dassault Falcon 20DC aircraft acting as long-range anti-ship bombers. The Falcons are flown by Cobham Aviation Services.
Current #UK #ADSB map shows #JW202 activity taking place off the #MorayFirth this is the aggressor force courtesy of @Cobham_plc other assets in the area are operating under combat conditions and have digital idents switched off & using secure comms #avgeek #osint #planespotting pic.twitter.com/8050o5yquI
— ScotMilAir (@mil_scot) October 6, 2020
HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in the North Sea, as part of NATO’s largest annual exercise, Joint Warrior.
The Ministry of Defence say that the aim is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together, honing tactics and skills in preparation for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.
“The scenario for each Joint Warrior is designed to reflect contemporary political tensions – such as the War on Terror and the threat posed by ISIS – and to simulate the hostilities that might result from them. The ultimate aim? To assure maximum preparedness in the face of any threat.”
This massive multinational war exercise involves warships, aircraft, marines and troops from UK, NATO and allied forces. The exercise doesn’t only allow participating units to hone their specialist roles within a larger war-style setting – it also helps foster vital links between the UK, NATO and other allied militaries.