An F-35B Lightning jet is expected to take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Harbour this week.
The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that the aircraft will fly from the carrier soon, returning to RAF Marham. It is understood that the jet remained onboard, rather than flying home with other British aircraft, due to a technical fault.
One source told the UK Defence Journal that it is hoped that the aircraft will depart the carrier around the end of this week. It is also understood that the local council has taken in an interest and requested information relating to risk assessments associated with the take off.
Normally, fixed wing aircraft would not be onboard an aircraft carrier while the vessel is in its home port.
HMS Queen Elizabeth departed Portsmouth on August the 30th to conduct flight operations with six British F-35B Lightning fighter jets and a number of American aircraft off the United States coast.
The carrier returned home on the 4th of December.
It’s what we’re always asked about – will we ever see an F35 on the flight deck of @HMSQNLZ in #portsmouth? Well here’s your answer proudly sitting in the Home of the @RoyalNavy 🙌🏻 Follow this OFFICIAL feed to find out its departure. Contrary to false rumours it won’t be today! pic.twitter.com/phDw7KwK4T
— HMNB Portsmouth (@HMNBPortsmouth) December 9, 2019
HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, recently entered Portsmouth for the first time. The builders of the carriers said at the time that the ship’s arrival into Portsmouth represents the culmination of 16 years of work by the ACA – a unique relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence.
More than 10,000 people across the UK have been involved in the programme to deliver the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, with six British shipbuilding yards across the country playing a vital role in the ships’ design and construction.