HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group was approached by a ‘suspicious aircraft’ and launched F-35B jets to intercept it, luckily however this was just an exercise.
Hawk jets and other aircraft, some operated by Cobham, have been simulating air attacks against the Carrier Battle Group.
— HMS Queen Elizabeth?? (@HMSQNLZ) October 7, 2020
Typically, Hawk jets support Dassault Falcon 20DC aircraft acting as long-range anti-ship bombers. The Falcons are flown by Cobham Aviation Services.
Background – What’s going on?
HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in the North Sea, as part of NATO’s largest annual exercise, Joint Warrior.
The Ministry of Defence say that the aim is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together, honing tactics and skills in preparation for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.
“The scenario for each Joint Warrior is designed to reflect contemporary political tensions – such as the War on Terror and the threat posed by ISIS – and to simulate the hostilities that might result from them. The ultimate aim? To assure maximum preparedness in the face of any threat.”
This massive multinational war exercise involves warships, aircraft, marines and troops from UK, NATO and allied forces.
The MoD also say that exercise doesn’t only allow participating units to hone their specialist roles within a larger war-style setting – “it also helps foster vital links between the UK, NATO and other allied militaries”.