What’s the problem with this claim? The F-35B is not yet cleared to land on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Some defence commenators and even a pilot cast a little bit more than doubt on this claim.

The newspaper also quotes what it refers to as nn MoD source saying:

“Given that it is Trump, we thought that something a bit macho would be appropriate. But they are American planes, so the Red Arrows could come out to add a more patriotic – and independent – touch.”

Where to start? The MoD have been keen to stress the British aspect of the design and development of these aircraft in what has been one of the largest multinational defence projects to date so it seems unusual but we spoke to another MoD source who told us, anonymously of course:

“Ignore that other guy.”

Can’t get more official than that.

Recently, members of Flying Control and flight deck handlers from HMS Queen Elizabeth crossed the Atlantic to see live F-35B jets in action.

Their carrier is due to conduct flying trials with the state-of-the-art aircraft in the late summer/early autumn off the eastern seaboard of the USA. Preparations for that moment – nearly a decade after a Royal Navy warship last hosted a fast jet – have been taking place for months, even years, on both sides of the ocean say the Royal Navy. About 20 members of the HMS Queen Elizabeth team witnessed F-35B test aircraft BF-02 and BF-04 taxi, perform two vertical landings apiece, and conduct a couple short takeoffs.

The carrier’s Wings – Commander Air Cdr James Blackmore – said the few days at Pax proved invaluable for many of his team.

“It’s the first time they’ve ever seen the jet or been up and close to it as it’s performing its flight manoeuvres, so they got to feel the environment of what it’s like, the sort of noise, the heat, the sound and the pressure of the aircraft, so that when it comes to deck for the first time, it’s not a surprise.”

He flew the last Harrier to take off from HMS Ark Royal at the end of 2010 before both the jump jet and carrier passed into history.

Blackmore called the F-35B “a step change for the UK in how we’re going to conduct business” adding:

“The fact that’s it’s F-35 is pivotal, because you’re in the fifth-generation game now with aircraft, which brings stealth, sensor fusion, advanced weapons and the ability to project aviation and power ashore at your choosing,” he said.

The vessel sails for F-35B trials in a couple of months, long after the state visit.


  1. I remember a good bit of British Airways cabin crew humour from a flight I took many years ago. They were handing out newspapers before takeoff and the only thing they had left by the time they got to me was the Daily Mail. I thought having something was better than nothing so I took it. The steward could obviously see my disappointment as he handed the paper to me with the words “well, it’s got the date printed on the front – at least that’s probably accurate”.

    • Someone tried to give me a copy of that rag in a Little Chef years ago. I said ‘No thanks, I wouldn’t want anyone to see me with a copy of that’.

  2. Wait so your telling me that the Daily Mail and its comment sections isn’t a reliable source for defence based news. Well I never. One learns something new everyday.

  3. Think yourself lucky, traveling on Saudia flights they use to have any “offending” photos cut out of newspapers.

    Offensive was regarded as anything to do with Israel, women, pork products and alcohol.

    • As there is nothing else to do on Saudia flights I usually ended up sitting down, having the obligatory argument with a Saudi guy who wants my seat for his wife who he neglected to book next to him and then sleeping. I only woke up as the plane wheels screeched on landing and everyone immediately jumped up and got their bags down and start queuing to disembark, with the plane still moving and 5 mins from the terminal.
      Such fun!

    • My experience with flying to Saudi is of Saudis getting tremendously drunk up until the plane crossed a certain point and the alcohol was put away. On the way back it was the opposite with people waiting for the point alcohol cloud be consumed and then going for it.

      • As I remember Saudia flights were alcohol free, British Airways were as you say ok until you entered or left saudi airspace.

        Saudis did like a drink when outside the country.

  4. Pretty sure that Trump’s visit isn’t even classified as a full ‘state visit’ – considering that he is only coming for one day, it has been downgraded to a ‘working visit’ (well, that’s the last I heard anyway).

  5. I think there may be some truth in this and actually am supportive of a single F35B landing on the carrier with the others having been placed on deck one at a time previously.

    The RN is missing a trick here and as long as the amount of people on deck is kept to a minimum I am sure it will be safe, as I trust the training these guys have been conducting in the US and on USS Wasp.

    We should go for it and celebrate publicly the arrival of the QEC and the F35 whilst thanking a close ally for all their help in getting us to this point.

    This may be a tad confrontational for some, but the military have to find a way to up their PR…

    • I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t a Merlin land on the QE before the start of trials?

    • (Chris H) Pacman27 – In other times I would probably agree with you and certainly agree about maximising any PR opportunity. However these are very unusual and dangerous times in regard to our dealings with Trump. And here I am calling out the President not the US military or the USA or its people. This man is threatening UK jobs (again) and our prosperity by treating us like collateral damage in his battle with China. We are apparently a threat to US National Security. Inter Alia we are no longer an ally or a friend. As I said this is very serious.

      We should be reviewing how we proceed, bring all the F-35s home and carry out fixed wing certification here in the UK not off Florida. Yes I think it is that serious and yes I realise this will need assigning 3 of our aircraft for instrumentation. We have done it before and we can do it again if we have to. Qinetiq are pretty clever people

      • understood Chris, but think we should do this more for ourselves than trump and whether we like it or not we are highly dependant upon the US and moving away from the EU, so it is an opportunity I think we should take.

        Its also something that will be on every news channel and I think that is worth the risk.

  6. Mmmm not that this site has printed incorrect information before, oh no.

    But the Mail and the rest of the rubbish UK media do offend on a more consistent basis.

  7. This if it happened would be a public relations masterstroke. The technicalities could easily be overcome. The message though would be profound

  8. Watch, someone at the MoD will think Hey! Great Idea! Let’s run with it. Trials and Certs be D****D!


  9. (Chris H) – OK I will ‘fess up that I read the Mail most weeks. But then I am clued up enough to know when they talk [email protected] (and not just about defence). The paper does actually have some excellent campaigns and is currently doing great things about plastic waste for example. I would buy it just for the Littlejohn column. So what should I read? The Guardian? that is even more far fetched on every subject …

    This steel tariff decision is an aggressive and unlawful act by Trump and we should make our displeasure known in every way. He won’t be there forever so we will have to play the long game over a trade deal. Because I wouldn’t trust this President to honour any Treaty he signed as. he has broken 3 already.

    If we had the balls we would say to Trump (given its not a State visit) after cancelling the visit:
    “Well it seems we have nothing of value to talk about. We are deeply offended that apparently you believe we are a threat to US National Security and can’t be trusted. We are not amused by your stabbing speech at the NRA which totally misrepresented the UK or when you also misrepresented us by re-tweeting racist Tweets without checking with us. You threatened skilled British jobs at Bombardier and now threaten British steelmakers’ jobs with car maker’s jobs next in line. Mr President – these are not the actions of a friendly nation let alone an ally. So maybe you better stay away. We have nothing to discuss”

    I was totally open minded about Trump at first as I didn’t know too much about him but with every passing week I sadly have to conclude the man is completely out of his depth and is causing nothing but discord and antagonism to everyone and especially his closest allies. He isn’t an idiot so one has to assume this is all planned and intentional. And the sad thing is it does not ‘make America great again’. Quite the opposite ..

    But its time to make a few decisions – Bring all our F-35s home to the UK and clear all UK personnel out. Cancel the Poseidon deal and that 2,700 Army vehicle order and make it clear that while we are being threatened (again) we will not be placing orders using taxpayer’s money. And before anyone gets all hysterical about those aircraft the issue is do we keep spending $ Bns of taxpayer’s money in a country that is actively trying to harm us. Here is a thought to ponder – When has Russia tried to harm us as often as Trump has actually harmed us and our reputation? This is a very serious situation in regard to the so called ‘Special Relationship’ and how we are treated by our closest ally.

      • (Chris H) JohnH – if that was an attempt at an insult it didn’t work as it made me smile. Let me guess: You are using some stereotypical image of a Daily Mail reader about which you feel immensely superior? Which leads me to think you are Guardian reader, Remainer and something of a Corbyn supporter?

        See how stereotyping people works both ways?

        • Not an insult Chris, I thought your piece was a very funny caricature of Daily Mail readers. I am just somebody with a sense of humour with no political or newspaper affiliation.

          • (Chris H) JohnH – It wasn’t a ‘caricature’ of anything and I would certainly not make a global criticism of anyone simply because they read one newspaper or another. Unlike some on here above. If you want errors on defence issues try the Daily Express but that doesn’t make every Express reader an idiot. (Except in the eyes of Labour’s Momentum keytappers)

            I responded to the article criticising the Daily Mail by saying it is not all as caricatured (excuse the pun) by others. I then expressed a personal point of view seriously held after much consideration of the issues raised.

    • I agree with nearly all of your comment Chris but must pull you up on this

      “So what should I read? The Guardian? that is even more far fetched on every subject”

      The Guardian can in no way be compared to the Daily Mail, the Guardian is a respected international newspaper, it runs multi national investigations like the panama papers (among others) and has respected journalists that the likes of Edward Snowdon asked for.

      It is the 7th most trusted source of news in the US.

      And it is joint 3rd with the times, behind the independent and FT in the U.K. The Mail titles are 3rd bottom just ahead of the Sun and the Star.

      I was slating the Guardian on here the other day but that’s because it has an agenda that I don’t agree with and let’s complete idiots that hate the U.K. write opinion pieces.

      But when it comes to editorials, layout, journalist integrity and trustworthy news it is head and shoulders above the Daily Mail.

      Like I said at the start I agree with what you say about Trump, let’s not forget the Manchester terrorist attack when he told the world who we were after (I think it was that attack we had that many last year) the man is a complete security risk and an amateur politician.

      • The Guardian has a readership in this country of a few hundred thousand as opposed to !.6 million for the Daily Mail it would have gone tits up years ago if it wasn’t subsidised by a trust fund based in the Cayman Islands a tax haven btw and who cares if Trump is an amatuer politician he cannot be any worse than the useless professional idiots we have to endure now,and in what way is he a security risk?

        • Readership does not count anything towards trustworthiness, which this debate is about. The Financial Times has less than 200k print readers but its still one of the most trusted papers.

          “The Guardian has a readership in this country of a few hundred thousand as opposed to !.6 million for the Daily Mail”

          People really need to start using google before they post

          The Guardian has a print circulation of 150k and the Mail is 1.3m, but thats print circulation Marc, it is in no way the readership.

          When looking at readership you take print, pc and mobile into account.

          All newspapers use the NRS and online data combined to show their readership, because for example a barber shop might have a Daily Mail sat there all day and its been read by 30 people yet its just one copy sold.

          The latest data puts Daily Mail/Mail Online top with 31.1m UK readers per month: 9.1m print, 7.7m PC (desktop) and 22.7m via mobile.

          The Sun is in second place with 28.8m readers per month in print and online followed by the Mirror on 26.1m.

          The Telegraph/Telegraph.co.uk is on 24.6m readers versus The Guardian on 24.2m readers per month.

        • “and in what way is he a security risk?”

          I already said in my post albeit with not a lot of detail

          In the Manchester attack pictures of the bomb and the name of the attacker was leaked to the US media, we had to stop sharing information with them remember, the buck stops with Donald Trumps administration.

          Then in the London tube attack he tweeted the attacker was known to us right in the middle of the investigation.

          The guys an idiot, I’m hardly Theresa May’s biggest fan but she is head and shoulders above Donald Trump.

          • (Chris H) SoleSurvivor – Once again I agree with your comments (we really must stop this!). All I will add is regarding my comment about the Guardian I was trying, if badly, to illustrate the pointlessness of global criticisms of people by stereotyping who they think they are based on the newspaper they read. Now I don’t agree with The Guardian’s politics and editorials but their investigative journalism is excellent.

            i think readership is relevant if not the absolute arbiter. Does it not reflect an approval of what the paper is writing if people are prepared to buy it?

          • Fair enough Chris, it’s a stereotyping I don’t like as well, millions of people genuinely believe every Mail reader is a right wing wing nut racist and every Guardian reader is a left wing, green tea drinking vegan anti-war campaigner, but as you and I both know thats far from the truth.

            And I used to think the readership and circulation meant something, the Guardian is bought as a paper 130k times a day and the Mail 1.3 million, but then secret agent selection WW2, my favourite program in a while was watched by just over 1m and keeping up with the Kardashians is watched in the UK by 1.5m.

            My faith in what the great British public watch and read will be forever scorned by the fact 10 million of us used to tune in to the early big brother finals.

            Want an even more depressing one, the best selling author in the UK is currently Jamie Oliver! sad times.

            But in all honestly the total readership obviously must have a bit of merit, and I think where the Mail does well is its overall product, a big chunk of readers won’t be interested in politics, they want to know what some actress looks like in a bikini on holiday and they want to know who Man Utd are going to sign next, and the Mails TV, entertainment and sport sections are easily among the best.

          • “My faith in what the great British public watch and read will be forever scorned by the fact 10 million of us used to tune in to the early big brother finals. Want an even more depressing one …”

            SoleSurvivor – I’ll match your Big Brother and raise you an even more depressing one than Jamie Oliver as bestselling author… apparently more people applied to be contestants for this season’s Love Island than applied to Oxford and Cambridge Universities combined. Sad times indeed, especially if Adam and Dani don’t win.

            (That last bit was a joke! Names of two random contestants taken from Wikipedia.)

      • (Chris H) HF – Oh why is that then? Because he takes a caustic real world look at some of the PC and ‘Elf & Safeteee’ nonsense that is perpetrated by ‘those in power’? the man projects more sense in this bonkers world than most journalists I read (and I read a lot).

        • No, because he is unpleasant and full of fake ‘anger’ – a professional shit stirrer as the Aussies would call him.
          ‘caustic real world look’ – I’d call it a load of reactionary old rubbish designed to suit the readers of the Daily Mail. God forgive him if he ever made them think, instead of reinforcing their prejudices.

          • (Chris H) HF – I suspect your Confirmation Bias just went into overload. Mostly his column is wonderfully humorous – almost Pythonesque in his debunking of the ‘received wisdom’. There is nothing unpleasant at all about Littlejohn unless of course you are some senior Plod who has tried to be utterly PC and made a complete arse of themselves and been outed for his / her troubles. They might consider him ‘unpleasant’ as people with big egos don’t like being criticised.

            And no shit Sherlock of course he writes ‘to suit the readers’ he is a journalist ffs. And you think that its only Mail readers who have ‘prejudices’? Oh wait I am guessing you read ‘meaningful’ journals with not a whisper of prejudice about them …??


        • Not sure what ‘confirmation bias’ is but I am sure that Littlejohn is an unpleasant unthinking reactionary. It’s easy to write conforming to peoples prejudices. Face palm away ‘FFS’.

          • Problem being most of what this “unpleasant unthinking reactionary” writes is a true reflection of what is happening to this country,but of course he is a rightwing reactionary unlike the Guardians favourite manchild Owen Jones who truly is unpleasant, unthinking ,petulant and hypocritical like most lefties tbh.

        • Nothing wrong with health and safety Chris, need we forget the life expectancy of a British male before we started actually holding people to account for safety in the work place.

          Some parts of the world still don’t hold much on health and safety and they kill off a shed load of working age men.

          Take if from a person who’s job it is to investigate lethal fuck ups in complex environments, you really want those rules and God governance in place, cus there’s very little else that stops a lot of people dying.

  10. (Chris H) – for the record I also read the FT and the Telegraph and they have made some right bloopers about defence…

  11. I’m afraid I don’t trust or read any of them. It gets harder to get “accurate” unbiased news these days, especially with the Liberal elite in control of most media outlets.

    Unfortunately, Mr Trump is just getting into his Stride, The tit for tat trade war that’s gathering pace is going to be enormously economically destructive world wide. I wonder if it might just be enough to have him impeached eventually… After all, he pays no attention to his advisers.

    We live in interesting times that’s for sure..

    • ‘the Liberal elite in control of most media outlets’

      I wouldn’t call the Mail part of the liberal elite, nor the Barclay Brothers, who own the Telegraph, are pro Brexit (and live in Monaco), nor Rupert Murdoch (who had to become an American citizen to own all those US media companies. Why does he have such control here, as a foreign citizen ?). Not sure if the Express has changed hands yet but Richard Desmond isn’t a liberal of any description. If you’re thinking of the BBC that was cowed years ago, and runs scared of the government because of the license fee.

  12. The Mail online is probably the worst newspaper in terms of Defence related reporting but the supposedly more serious Telegraph is often not much better-in today’s edition they talk of THE HMS Albion! The comments on this article are even worse with one contributor saying inter alia, that “if they get warplanes…” !!

  13. I cannot see the MOD bypassing it’s safety and duty of care regulations for Trump or all the money in the world. The article is ill informed. If it happens I’ll eat my hat. On a different note, we may not like Trump but half of America voted for him. We may not like what’s going on in Italy but Italians voted for it. I think Brexit is sheer madness but people voted for it. It’s what happens when you give ordinary people the vote. A little troublesome thing called democracy. Can be a real nuisance sometimes. Instead of blaming the outcome we should be concentrating on how to fix the causes of the problems which led these people to vote the way they did. People who feel disenfranchised, marginalised, ignored, left behind, destitute, whatever. Our societies and democracies cannot and will not survive if they remain as divided and polarised as they are at the moment. That is the real enemy we face.

    • Sceptical Richard
      “It’s what happens when you give ordinary people the vote”
      Please explain what you mean by that?
      Whatever decisions the so called “Elite” make its the so called ordinary people that it effects more than the so called experts
      So why cant the” ordinary people” have a say
      Are you ordinary or an elite?
      If you are ordinary did you vote?

      • Precisely my point BW! I’m sorry if you failed to notice my huge tongue in cheek commentary. I was mocking the so called elites or establishment who find it inconvenient from time to time to have to suffer the verdict of the ordinary people through this rather inopportune thing called democracy. And whatever our views, whether we are so called elites or ordinary people (both misnomers), we have to accept the decisions of the electorate. Hence no point in going on about how dreadful Trump is. By all means continue to campaign against him and what he does and stands for (if you’re not in agreement with it) but concentrate much more in analysing the causes of why he is there and what were the reasons why so many people voted for him. You might find then that years of mistaken policies by governments of all colours have led to the populist phenomenon the western world is currently experiencing. Only when we begin serious attempts at redressing some of those mistakes and talking some of the consequences (and no, I don’t think the way Trump is going about it is the solution but I can understand where he is coming from in many cases) will we begin the road to recovery for our societies. Otherwise the current divisions and polarisation will end up in a similar place to where we were in the late 1930s.

        • Fair enough you answered my question
          I will be honest with you though
          Trump-I did support him but i think he’s gone to far now and if there are demonstrations when he arrives so be it
          Brexit-I voted remain but am now an avid leaver for reasons i wont explain here
          Tommy Robinson-I know he was a bad person and did stupid things and also was warned about his contempt of court thingy But that has emboldened a lot of people to support his freedom of speech me included as i will now follow him and if it leads me to be a right winger and all that entails so be it
          Its the establishment that has done it tome and others
          Did you by any chance see the J Throrp programme?
          Establishment cover-up if ever there was one
          Conclusion– The establishment couses people to be angry

  14. BBC cowed are you on a different planet,since brexit and Trump upset the liberal/globalist applecart the BBC have upped their anti brexit anti Trump rhetoric,hold on come to think of it you could be right.

  15. What’s this we may not like Trump bs who are you to state that from what i can see he is doing a damned good job of looking out for the American people the same people who endured eight years of race baiting and mad economics from Obama,good luck to the guy and i think it is a disgrace that this visit is not a full state visit you know like the one the dictator of China had a couple of years ago.

    • And who are you to state that “he is doing a damned good job”

      What’s he doing that’s so great?

      • 3.5% unemployment.
        Massive job and wage growth.
        Tax cuts for the middle and working class.
        Expanding access to experimental medical trials.
        Further modernization and strengthening of the worlds most formidable military.
        Recommended by President Moon for the Peace Prize.
        Expanding efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.
        Defeat of ISIS.
        Appointments of strict constitutionalists to the Courts.
        Last but certainly not least making America Great Again.
        All of this done in spite of the proliferation of Fake News by both the Domestic and Foreign Media.

        • Unemployment is at 3.9% stop lying
          2017 was the lowest job growth in 4 years
          Wage growth is higher only slightly, best since 2007 though so fair shout
          Tax cuts for the middle and working class? Oh I forgot the middle and working class were the biggest beneficiaries of those tax cuts, silly me.
          The US has been that since the second world war hardly a change is it?
          “Recommended by President Moon for the Peace Prize” hahahah
          “Expanding efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.” and thats gone down has it? are you sure?
          Defeat of ISIS? shut up
          Appointments of strict constitutionalists to the Courts? amazing, what a leader
          making America Great Again? making America a global laughing stock more like


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here