HMS Queen Elizabeth is sailing to conduct Carrier Qualifications as well as Landing Signal Officer qualifications with 207 Squadron, the UK’s F-35 Lightning training squadron.

The vessel will begin to leave Portsmouth Harbour around 8:30am on Tuesday.

 

It hasn’t been revealed where in UK waters the latest round of fixed wing flights will take place, but we’ll do our best to keep you updated!

Next year, HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy operationally 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. The ship will also carry 24 F-35B jets, including US Marine Corps aircraft, in addition to a number of helicopters.

Prior to the deployment, it is understood that the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group will go through a work-up trial off the west Hebrides range sometime in early 2021.

When asked about whether or not the UK has enough escorts to do this without impacting other commitment, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“The size and the scale of the escort depends on the deployments and the task that the carrier is involved in. If it is a NATO tasking in the north Atlantic, for example, you would expect an international contribution to those types of taskings, in the same way as we sometimes escort the French carrier or American carriers to make up that.

It is definitely our intention, though, that the carrier strike group will be able to be a wholly UK sovereign deployable group. Now, it is probably not necessary to do that every single time we do it, depending on the tasking, but we want to do that and test doing it. Once we have done that, depending on the deployment, of course, we will cut our cloth as required.”

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Ron
Ron
8 months ago

Good luck to the officers and crew of the QE and 207 sqn, don’t prang one of the F35s. As for the tasking next year, it looks like a reasonable Carrier Task Group, possibly the Americans can throw in a Cruiser and Destroyer. I just keep thinking that it might be a good idea to have the CTG on a fixed bases, what I mean is once the DDGs, FFGs and RFAs have been allocated then they stay with the Carrier, on operations, go in for refit at the same time, train at the same time etc. That way in… Read more »

Trevor
Trevor
8 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I’m not sure why we cannot go back to the Rating System. A 1st rate would be a carrier, a helicopter carrier 2nd Rate, an AA Destroyer 3rd Rate, anti Sub 4th Rate, General Purpose 5th etc…

Frank62
Frank62
8 months ago
Reply to  Ron

All our escorts need to be able to do CTG duty as & when needed, so I think making it a fixed team is a non-starter given our tiny, over-stretched, aging(T26) escort fleet. Cancel HS2 & use some to give us a few more FFGs.

Ron
Ron
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I agree, £100billion+ to save 20 mins and only to the Midlands and central England. What could defence do with that extra budget over ten years, as I said in my original post give me an extra £2 billion over five years and I would give the RN an extra ten corvettes, 1000 extra men and two squadrons of three Hamina class attack boats. Or better yet, £10 billion over ten years and you will get the three FSS Ships, three Canberra class, ten corvettes, six attack boats and eight air independent diesel attack submarines such as the Soryu class… Read more »

Pete
Pete
8 months ago

Thought next year was 8plus8 f35 for 16 rather than 24. Have plans changed?

IanS
IanS
8 months ago

Damn. Off to Portsmouth on Sunday with the family to the historic dockyard and hoped to see the carriers! Just my luck.

davetrousers
davetrousers
8 months ago

Postponed, not sure when to though.

davetrousers
davetrousers
8 months ago
Reply to  davetrousers

Friday 24th now