The UK’s Carrier Strike Group reached Initial Operating Capability say the Ministry of Defence.
Britain is now able to deploy a combat capable Carrier Strike Group anywhere in the world.
The Ministry of Defence said:
“All elements of the group from fighter jets to radar systems to anti-ship weapons have been successfully brought together and operated. Both the air and naval elements of the CSG have now met this milestone, which includes qualified pilots and ground crews being held at short notice for carrier-based operations and trained to handle weapons and maintain the equipment.
Another marker of success at this stage includes the ability to deploy Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities such as frigates and destroyers, as well as both fixed and rotary wing aircraft including Merlin helicopters to operate alongside the carrier.”
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:
“This is a hugely significant milestone for HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy and the whole country. This achievement is a testament to the determination of our service personnel and industry workforce who have delivered this first-rate military capability, a capability held by only a handful of nations. I wish the entire Carrier Strike Group well ahead of their first operational deployment this year.”
Full operating capability for the CSG is expected by December 2023, say the MoD.