Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon is working with F-35 jets aircraft currently flying from the USS Essex.
In a news release, the Royal Navy say that working with the F-35s will be standard procedure for the Type 45s in the future so working with the task force was a chance for crew to get an understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures for working with the jets.
“Currently in the Gulf, Dragon welcomed the jets as part of her time working for the US Commander Task Force (CTF) 51/5 – providing air defence to USS Essex.”
Commander Michael Carter-Quinn, Dragon’s Commanding Officer, said in a news release:
“Having trained as a fighter controller, and controlled harrier jump jets while serving on board HMS Invincible, it has been a great honour to command HMS Dragon to provide air defence duties to our US Navy colleagues.
The step change in performance and range of roles the F-35s can provide is impressive, and to be able to work with these aircraft now in preparation for supporting the integration of the Queen Elizabeth-class, Type 45s and F-35s into the carrier strike group is exciting.”
HMS Dragon sailed from the UK in September and the MoD say that CTF 51/5 has been part of the British commitment to supporting operations in the Middle East as part of coalition efforts and ensuring the safety and security of the Gulf and wider Middle East.