This is the first time British F-35Bs have fired ASRAAM missiles whilst operating from an aircraft carrier.
The ‘Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile’ is a heat seeking air-to-air missile, produced by MBDA UK, that is designed for close-range combat.
The missile is in service in the Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force, replacing the AIM-9 Sidewinder.
According to MBDA, ASRAAM is designed to allow the pilot to fire and then turn away before the opposing aircraft can close for a shot.
It flies at well over Mach 3 to ranges in excess of 25 kilometres (16 miles). It retains a 50g manoeuvrability provided by body lift technology coupled with tail control.
🇬🇧 Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missiles (ASRAAM)
Fired by 🇬🇧⚡ jets
Launched from a 🇬🇧 carrier
— HMS Queen Elizabeth🇬🇧 (@HMSQNLZ) May 10, 2021
HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group have arrived in Scotland ahead of a major multinational exercise.
The Royal Navy say that Exercise Strike Warrior will involve more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 nations and is a final test for the Carrier Strike Group ahead of its first operational deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific.
“The exercise, which will run for two weeks, will see the task group pitted against warships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 in waters off north-west Scotland to prove it is capable of undertaking high intensity operations against the most demanding adversaries.
The culmination of Strike Warrior will see the Carrier Strike Group certified ready for deployment, at which point operational command will pass from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, to the Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier group arriving off Clyde. HMS Richmond, HMS Kent, HMS Defender, RFA Tidespring, USS The Sullivans & HDMS Esbern Snare visible. pic.twitter.com/uvPRe9kxPO
— The Brit (@TheBrit96) May 8, 2021
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said:
“The new UK Carrier Strike Group is the embodiment of British maritime power, and sits at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy. Protected by a ring of advanced destroyers, frigates, helicopters and submarines, and equipped with fifth generation fighters, HMS Queen Elizabeth is able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing; and with our NATO allies at our side, we will be ready to fight and win in the most demanding circumstances. Carrier Strike offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries.”