United States Marine Corps F-35B jets have arrived in the UK ready to join British F-35Bs and a “full rotary wing group” onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The vessel will sail later this month.

This is in preparation for next year when HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy with two frigates, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine and support vessels.

Commodore Michael Utley, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, is reported by Save The Royal Navy here as saying that HMS Queen Elizabeth will be escorted by two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, a nuclear submarine, a Tide-class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria.

Earlier in the year, HMS Queen Elizabeth cleared her penultimate hurdle for front-line duties after ten weeks around the UK, preparing for her maiden deployment in the new year.

“A final package of training in the autumn – working alongside NATO and US allies – will confirm her ability to act as a task group flagship, so that she can lead a potent carrier strike force on front-line operations anywhere in the world.”

The Royal Navy said at the time that in view of the size and complexity of the carrier, she received a dedicated training package, initially off the south coast, to test the ability of all 1,100 men and women on board to deal with everything they might expect to face in peace and war. The training package reached its climax with 18 fictional fire and flood incidents raging simultaneously – with the ship expected to continue flying operations while damage control teams toiled in the carrier’s depths.

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Cam
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Cam

It’s such a shame we can’t save HMS Hermes for the nation! The Indians would sell it cheap! We could make it into a FAA museum and ex servicemen could work and volunteer. Instead it looks like it’s going to be broken up after failed attempts to bring Hermes home!!! Sad.

expat
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expat

Not sure where this got to but there was an attempt

https://www.forces.net/news/new-campaign-save-hms-hermes-scrapyard-launched

expat
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expat

Just checked looks like she was sold for scrap just a few days ago :(.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah it’s sad! I was really hoping the petition and funding would come through … the government could get it back right now if they wanted to! Then donate it and help turn into a great positive project for ex servicemen and the like…

expat
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expat

Found her on google maps. But of course may have already been towed to the scrap yard. Sadly its no longer PC imo to save a piece of British history.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bandra-Worli+Sea+Link/@18.9248497,72.8425103,326m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1

HF
Guest
HF

‘Sadly its no longer PC imo to save a piece of British history’. Why do you say that ?

Expat
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Expat

I’ll answer that with a question. What do you think some of the papers and media would say if the government or a major corporation stepped in to save her? Barring in mind she was laid down in the twilight years the Empire

HF
Guest
HF

I think I can guess one of the papers. I’d say they would be most likely to report it, without venturing an opinion. They may even, given its place in RN history, say it’s a good idea.

Cam
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Cam

They would have a hissy fit!

Supportive Bloke
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Supportive Bloke

You can’t unmake history: all you can do is put it into context.

Sun & Mail would have loved it.

Guardian would have hated it.

Telegraph would have pontificated about it with a leader by Max Hastings talking about improvised flat tops.

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

We very rarely save our old ships. Sad, really…

Des Browning
Guest
Des Browning

True

Cam
Guest
Cam

Cheers expat, interesting to look at it from that view, and the surrounding dicks and ships. Lots of street names In Mumbai Still have their british names.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

It is nothing to do with not being ‘PC’, it just isn’t cost effective or logistically realistic to Preserve INS Viraat nee HMS Hermes. She is a very old vessel built during a period of Wartime construction measures and utterly worn out. She is also packed full of Asbestos making ongoing preservation extremely challenging. Just keeping her afloat would be an expensive never-ending exercise! Just keeping the contemporary but far smaller HMS Belfast preserved and afloat is a constant and costly challenge and she has the benefit of a full time albeit small staff dedicated to her maintenance. I would… Read more »

expat
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expat

I recon even your suggestion of some limited preservation would draw criticism for parts of press and media. Its just easier not to bother these days. Even my local airshow has draw criticism from some suggesting the parading of ‘war machines’ no longer has a place in the UK today.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Indeed, My Uncle was one of the senior designers for Hermes amongst other RN ships throughout his career.

4th watch
Guest
4th watch

Sad we couldn’t save HMS Achilles of River Plate fame.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Sad we couldn’t save any of our ex ships! Lord knows we had enough of them! Belfast and a tiny destroyer and some sailing ships! Even Hms Bristol looks to be finished!! It really annoys me…

4th watch
Guest
4th watch

HMS Belfast is a good one. Good ship with a great history.
Wish we could have saved: HMS Rodney, Warspite or Duke of York or any Battleship. There had been a prewar plan to keep HMS Iron Duke. Although By then a training ship stripped of 2 turrets, they had these kept in store. Unfortunately the Germans bombed her at Scapa and the cost of repair too high.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Rodney for her demolition of the Bismark,
Wars pits for seeing the most action over two WWs.
Both should have been saved.

Julian
Guest
Julian

I was in the navy and was there when hermes was sold to the indians , a grand old girl we should never have sold her realy .dont think the indians had a clue how to use her anway .

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

OK, but how many F-35s and helps are we actually talking about ??? According to Wiki, the peak Falklands air wing on Hermes was 16x SHAR, 10x GR3, 10x Sea King, and max during the 80s was 28x Harrier + 9 Sea King

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

Think it will be 18 F35’s, not sure exact number of helicopters for this exercise. They probably mean a normal Hermes air wing, not a wartime surge air wing.

Geoffrey Hicking
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Geoffrey Hicking

Does this therefore mean that we have managed a like-for-like replacement in operational numbers of FFA carrier aircraft?

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

Compared to original Sea Harrier FA2 numbers, Yes. We only had 2 x front line Sea Harrier Sqns. 800 & 801 NAS, with 8 aircraft each. And 899NAS, which was the training sqn. But F35 numbers still have a long way to go. We will be able to deploy 24 British F35’s by 2023. 👍

Meirion X
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Meirion X

@Robert
I a figure of 28 Sharr. sent down at the time of the Falklands War.

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

I guess that was the number in the early 80’s. When I served, 1999-2013 it was 2 frontline FA2 Sqn’s. And from 2006, Sea Harrier was retired. And 3 sqns operated the Harrier GR7/9. 1sqn, 4 sqn and the Naval strike wing located at RAF Cottesmore. And 20 sqn OCU at RAF Wittering.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Its interesting that the Total number of FA2 Sea Harriers available was around 52,mostly upgraded rebuilt FRS1’s and 18 New Built examples.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

They are not so concerned about numbers, it’s the ability to generate an increased rate of sorties form the deck, which the F35 and the QE can do. By all accounts, it’s a massive increase of sortie generation on day 1 of a conflict, through to a slight decrease as the days progress. I’m sure some of the navy lads would be better informed than me.

ETH
Guest
ETH

While this is true, you’ll notice a huge decrease in sortie rates if some of your jets are shot down and you don’t have enough on the carrier to replace them. A greater number of jets also means denser combat air patrols/greater number of simultaneous strikes etc. While sortie rates are great, an adequate no. Of jets is still needed.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Agreed and I have always said that whatever platform you are using you have to have a minimum number you can never go below to make it viable, and, in many areas in the military we are at that point right now!

Pete
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Pete

Article does say ‘since’.

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

It is embarrassing that we still don’t have enough of our own planes for our carrier. Its an open goal to foreigners and those Brits who don’t want to spend on defence, allowing them to ridicule our military in way it is difficult to defend.

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

Bringing new carriers, and new aircraft for new carriers is a very long and expensive business. Only the Americans will have the ability to take a 5th gen stealth fighter to sea. And the RN, on large deck aircraft carrier’s. Nobody thinks this countries Armed Forces are a laughing stock, quite opposite in fact. By 2023 we will be able to deploy 24 British F35’s on QE class carrier’s. A very serious capability indeed. And 36 is still the aim.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Bravo.

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

🤙🇬🇧

Mark F
Guest
Mark F

That is what they were designed for. Floating fighter and rotary craft to park on.

PTattersall
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PTattersall

A lot of anti British left wing trolls on this site .

PTattersall
Guest
PTattersall

Lot of lefty anti British trolls on this site .

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Unfortunately so, the Guardian readers are gaining in numbers!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Sorry but that’s just a load of bollox, being a guardian reading labour voter does not make you either anti British or anti defence. Stop making comments that have no meaning and engage in honest debate and discussion about this country defence needs, that’s what this site is for.

I come to this site for a bit of decent comment on defence, not to be insulted for my reading or political view point by crap political rambling and tribalism.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Not all guardian readers agreed but certainly all it’s editors, reporters and contributors! The chuff the Guardian pushes out makes the DM look informed!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

All the papers produce a load of tripe on occasion, that’s why I try to read wildly. I don’t have an issue with critiquing media. What gets my goat is people making sweeping statements about guardian reading lefty anti Britishness. I’m a lefty guardian reading Proud British person who believes our nation and it’s values are both worth defending and serving.

Herodotus
Guest

Well, I suppose that is good news given the already burgeoning numbers of Daily Heil readers.

Peter Cox
Guest
Peter Cox

Didn’t Des Browne (Labour) sign the contract for the aircraft carriers? I think it was a Conservative Govt that cut the numbers of type 45 frigates and F35 on order and has proposed mothballing the Prince of Wales. So I assume you believe in cutting back our capabilities as you describe the ‘left’ as loonies?

dan
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dan

Do they have enough aircraft for this? lol

julian1
Guest
julian1

Great news, beginning to fill the decks at last. Does anybody know when this year’s delivery of 3 further F35Bs will take place? I assume it will be a job lot so they can all transit back together

PTattersall
Guest
PTattersall

Pro Putin anti British site

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hardly PT. There are all sorts here.

Steve Salt
Guest
Steve Salt

Perception’s a funny thing isn’t it ? I like this site because of it’s balance, certainly don’t see anti British bias here at all, but then I don’t read the Mail.😊

RichardB
Guest
RichardB

Lizzy’s official twitter feed says she’s will have 1,500 personnel onboard for the forthcoming exercises. She will be embarking an air group of about 15 F-35B’s and 6 Merlin’s – that’s getting respectable (unless you are the USN!) but still only half her designed capacity of 30 F-35B’s and 10 helo’s. She has accommodation for 1600 as standard, so it appears that a full air group could involve some uncomfortable overflow messing arrangements for several hundred personnel. During build, her core crew complement was listed as being about 670, however Jerry Kyd, her first seagoing Captain, discovered that that this… Read more »

Robert1
Guest
Robert1

Most mess decks for JRs have 8 bunks but only 6 routinely used, so they’ll lose out on their spare two which converts to a sofa but they’re still pretty good spaces. Also imagining more SRs and Officers losing out on getting lucky with single/double occupancy of a double/quad rooms.

Richard B
Guest
Richard B

Sounds like luxury compared with my time as an RO on even then “new” Shiny Sheff – the T22 B2 sold to Chile.

Robert1
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Robert1

Oh they all have tellies too, very swanky 😉 though heard a few complaints from SRs that the junior rates these days all just hide away in their bunks with laptops and Netflix etc, so socialise less in the mess.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I thought the plan was the RM were going to deploy with a det of CHF Merlins for JPR.

Given the costs of training fast jet pilots this area should get some attention.

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Arent the Americans having trouble with not having the ships upgraded to carry them. The Wasp class can carry 6 and the America class has a surge capacity of 20 but I believe the most they have ever put on one during surge testing was 13. So wouldnt QE be carrying more F-35 than any ship has carried to date?

Dern
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Dern

Probably. She *is* the largest aircraft carrier designed to carry the B variant. I mean I guess the yanks could fly the B of their Nimitz class, but seem reluctant to do so.

Robert1
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Robert1

I’d imagine it’d require redesign of the flight deck. The heat F35B kicks out particularly when landing is fairly significant. I’m sure they could land one on a Nimitz in an emergency, but without applying a new paint system they’d probably wreck the deck paint fairly rapidly.

Dern
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Dern

That’s for Vertical Landings and Rolling Vertical Landings with the Engine nozzle pointed down. For a traditional Barrier Arrested Recovery that shouldn’t be an issue.

ETH
Guest
ETH

Except the B variant is not capable of using BAR?

George Parker
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George Parker

So we need USMC help to deploy our carriers with a full compliment of aircraft. Anyone else see a problem with this.

Dern
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Dern

Nope. The plan was always to have a USMC squadron on board for the first deployment.

r cummings
Guest
r cummings

Nah, don’t see any problem, we will be increasing to 48, of which 24 front line, over the next 4 years , with 6-8 a year, as full production starts next year. Not our fault that the F-35 has taken a good bit longer than hoped to be operationally ready. It is a very complex and sophisticated piece of kit and was always going to take time to mature the design and software. The idiotic HMG claimed, when folding the Sea Harrier into Joint Force Harrier, then scrapping the latter completely, that the F-35 would be entering service from 2012.… Read more »

George Parker
Guest
George Parker

Poor planning as always by HMGov. Defence is their primary function and the military community is guilty of letting them forget it.

Robert1
Guest
Robert1

2010 Government defence cuts flag waving, as with the Nimrod huge chunks of money had already been spent, but opportunity to wave the flag and show big savings (even where there weren’t in reality any) was too good to resist.

I guess in the circumstances it was kind of understandable. If Police/Doctors/Nurses were all cut but no change to military public perception likely wouldn’t have been great.

Watcherzero
Guest
Watcherzero

Also poor planning by the US as ship upgrades are behind schedule and fire has taken out one of the ships that was supposed to home them.

PTattersall
Guest
PTattersall

No quality not built in 5 minutes

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Nope, anyone else?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

No. As the F35 force builds up the initial deployment sees allies join the RAF/RN on the maiden deployment. It’s good training.
In future years the UK will have more F35s so will be able to deploy alone if need be.
But if a war breaks out, and the USMC uses QE, what’s the problem?

George Parker
Guest
George Parker

Daniele Mandelli – reasonable point. I have nothing but admiration for the USMC. I just wish we had secured more F35’s.