HMS Monmouth has been practising firing her main 4.5 inch gun as she escorts HMS Queen Elizabeth to the United States.
Monmouth deployed on the 23rd of August 2018 from Plymouth as escort for HMS Queen Elizabeth, as she deploys to the eastern seaboard of the United States for ‘Westlant 18’, during which the carrier will be conducting F-35 Lightning flying trials. The task group also consists of RFA Tiderace.
The deployment, known as ‘WESTLANT 18’, will be the first-time HMS Queen Elizabeth will have sailed across the Atlantic. As well as the vital deck trials, the Royal Navy say it will also involve exercises to prove the ability to operate with other nations’ maritime and aviation assets, as well as the landing of Royal Marines and their equipment ashore in the United States, to conduct training with their US counterparts.
The Royal Navy add that the carrier has been joined by RFA Tiderace and HMS Monmouth, as well as Merlin Mk2 helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Culdrose, Mk4 Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton and a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, Plymouth.
It is understood that around 200 trials support staff will be joined by two ‘orange wired’ F-35 test aircraft, belonging to the Integrated Test Force (ITF), which are expected to conduct 500 take offs and landings during their 11-week period at sea.