Lockheed Martin have detailed the work of Lightning Team UK in preparing for the current deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and upcoming sailing of HMS Prince of Wales.

In the article titled ‘Planning a Historic Deployment: How Lightning Team UK Prepared for CSG‘, Lockheed goes into detail.

Lightning Team UK is a collaboration between the industry partners on F-35: BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce

At RAF Marham, the home base of the UK’s F-35 fleet, Lightning Team UK partners worked alongside partners in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to prep the F-35 fleet for CSG.

“One of the Marham team’s main tasks ahead of CSG was performing months of standard maintenance on the F-35 fleet to preemptively complete actions that would come due while the jets were deployed. This included maintenance on everything from the ejection seat to the engine, and from the landing gear to low observable coatings.”

Now that they’ve deployed the fleet to CSG, what’s next for the team at RAF Marham? Well, according to Lockheed Martin site lead and head of operations at RAF Marham Larry Fahrney:

“We’re already preparing for the next carrier qualification that’s coming up later this year,” Fahrney said.

For this deployment, Lightning Team UK will need to ready six F-35s for another at-sea deployment.

The first F-35 landed on HMS Prince of Wales earlier this year.

The Royal Navy said in a statement:

“An F-35B Lightning aircraft has landed onboard the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, for the first time. Taking place off the south coast of England, the milestone marks a significant step towards the 65,000-tonne vessel reaching full operational capability. Operating together as part of Sea Acceptance Trials, it is the first time a fixed wing aircraft has landed onboard HMS Prince of Wales. The trials test the ship’s capability to receive and launch aircraft whilst maintaining continuous air operations.”

You can read more about this trial below.

F-35 jet lands on HMS Prince of Wales for the first time

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Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

If we can just borrow another US Marines F35B squadron, we’ll be good to go!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

The British delivery rate has been explained many times on this website.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Its not Aircraft its Pilots that the numbers are short due to failures in the training programme.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I would question your use of the word ‘borrow’. The american public might well ask if they might borrow another british carrier in order to project power. In truth it serves the interests of both countries to work together throughout the world. Britain is able to project more and more power as the years roll on. Is that not a good thing?

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I would think that a RN carrier operating with a USN task force is more likely than not after this current deployment and the loss of Bon Homme.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

We don’t work together with the USA. We tag along as a very junior partner and they make the decisions. Theresa May has just said she finds it worrying and incomprehensible that Britain couldn’t put together a coalition of allies to support the Afghan government. She was for 6 years a senior member of and then led for 3 a government that effected the most damaging reductions in defence spending and capability. If you want Britain to have the capacity to undertake major overseas operations, then you need to fund it. Successive governments didn’t, so the result shouldn’t be a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Quite right Peter.

The hypocricy of the woman. Typical politician. Teresa the appeaser.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

It is the nature of a forum like this to demand more military spending from the UK Government. That is natual and it is happening however I believe it is going in the right direction (slowly) now – I might be alone but that is my view. The issue with Afghanistan is less military and more political. The people of Afghanistan have had 20 years to forge their own future, motivate their citizens to drive forward any change they desire. The reality is that desire is not sufficiently widespread and the motivation is not there. Without that any further military… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Your not alone in that view. On May’s remarks about our EU friends Def Sec explained days ago that we were willing to stay but when we asked others to help they refused point blank.

dan
dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Yep. If people keep electing idiots than we really shouldn’t expect great things from them

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

As Einstein stated “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome then that is Insanity “

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Hi Tommo. in effect, there will be a different outcome – it will become worse as the “opposition” learns, adapts and improves.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

As far as i can think back, THEY HAVE ALL BEEN IDIOTS no matter what colour they wore.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Very well said Peter 👍

Mattlondon
Mattlondon
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Definitely both.

dan
dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Both sides learn a lot from these joint operations.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yep Sooner we can operate the carriers without the US involved the better for me .Always has been my opinion and after recent events that has bought it sharply into focus. I assume thats the aim, if not well ….

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

👏👏👍👍

DAVID MILES
DAVID MILES
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Well said 👏

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago

It’s also worth noting that we’re expecting 6 new F-35B to be delivered in the next 3 months…

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

They’ll be coming at just the right time

Geoffi
Geoffi
1 month ago

How many F-35Bs have we got now ? All the available on-line literature points to 21, but I understood we were supposed to have 27 by the end of this year. Are the extra 6 coming as one job lot ?

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Your figures are right, we have 21 at the moment and are slated to have 27 by end year, but I haven’t seen anything about when they will arrive.

By ‘end of year’, who knows if the MOD means Calendar year or Financial year ending next March, probably the latter as the accountants drive the MOD.

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoffi

ZM 158 (first flight June29th) and 159 (first flight Aug 3rd) , respectivley the 22nd and 23rd RAF F35Bs, are both complete and have been put through their pre-delivery test flights at LM in Fort Worth The production line is pretty much up and running at speed so I would assume that at least two more are on the production line and the final two for delivery in the latest batch are either now in build or just about to start.

zm156 157.jpg
Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoffi

The issue is not Aircraft its Pilots, we are short of numbers and pilot program failures some 18 months behind the program and taking 2.5 years rather than 2 post Pandemic.

UK National Audit office posted a damming report on the Training which had to be outsourced to private contractors to ease the pressure, But not private contractors can offer fast jet in the UK.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

When we say “ready 6 F35’s” do we mean those that are on HMSQE and their pilots, or fresh, net new planes and pilots? I’d imagine those HMSQE pilots are pretty tired. Maybe HMSPOW has their own pilots?

Dave B
Dave B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Don’t forget about the aircraft engineers and all the other trades that have to go on board to support the pilots to fly the F-35. I hope they are not expected to do 6 months on board HMS QE and then have to do this deployment on the HMS POW.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave B

Exactly right.

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Looks like they are rotating pilots through the current deployment: 4 “new” pilots came aboard during the recent stopover in Guam: https://twitter.com/HMSQNLZ/status/1426440862167351300?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Ah – interesting. Thanks for that.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Now let me do my sums….yes, about three should be the number.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

You’re not kidding!

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago

Is this her maiden deployment? Or is it another Sea Trails period like Westland 18/19?. It took 4 years to QE ready, so do we expect to see her embarking on her maiden in 2023.

Cheers, Goldilocks

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

This time they are not certifying the F35B for UK carrier operations, that is already done, but only the carrier itself.

So the range of tests that have to be done is more limited. I would not expect so many orange wired TOLs: maybe some for the Bedford array?

As a result I would expect a far faster workup.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Good point.

Lee Tucker
Lee Tucker
1 month ago

Very impressive. Good to know that our UK allies across the pond are strong and ready. Salutations from the US. Best wishes.