HMS Queen Elizabeth is progressing through flight trials with her F-35 jets.
We have flown our first #UKF35 multi-ship, launching 4 jets in quick succession and recovering on completion of their ‘mission’. Absolutely awe inspiring to watch, hear and feel! #WESTLANT19 @RoyalNavy @RoyalAirForce @17SqnRAF @OC617Sqn pic.twitter.com/jF5RvUiDsN
— HMS Queen Elizabeth (@HMSQNLZ) November 15, 2019
In military aviation, a sortie is a combat mission of an individual aircraft, starting when the aircraft takes off. For example, one mission involving six aircraft would tally six sorties.
Aircraft Carrier Alliance Chief Engineer, Martin Douglass, discussed HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sortie rate last year.
“The Queen Elizabeth Class can fly 72 fast jet sorties per day – which can be increased if needed – and will give the UK a world class carrier strike capability for many years to come. She also has increased survivability because of the separation and distribution of power generation machinery throughout each ship.
The ship’s Artisan radar can track up to 800 potential targets at the same time and cut through radio ‘clutter’ generated by the equivalent of 10,000 mobile phones. The long range radar can track up to 1,000 contacts across a 250 mile radius both in the air or at sea. It’s an application of technology that’s already been proven on the Type 45s, but this time is linked to the Carrier’s organic capability to control a wide area of air and sea.”
The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck.