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.
Our friends from across the pond have landed in the UK.
They will be working with @OC617Sqn at @RAF_Marham before they both join us later in the month as we embark the most aircraft on a @RoyalNavy carrier since HMS Hermes.#WelcometotheUK ???? #F35Friday's are back! pic.twitter.com/79LtLLEBtH
— HMS Queen Elizabeth?? (@HMSQNLZ) September 4, 2020
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.
Was going to add our own; but a little bit of old, a little bit of new..
— HMS Queen Elizabeth?? (@HMSQNLZ) September 3, 2020
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.