Aviation history made on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

Aviation history was made on board HMS Queen Elizabeth today when a jet made the first ever Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL). This procedure allows the F-35B to return to the ship carrying weapons and fuel, the weight of which would be too much for a vertical landing.

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F-35 flight trials continue. HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 18 deployment – Part 4

Since the first F-35 arrived on board HMS Queen Elizabeth on 25th September the flight trials programme has continued at pace. There has been a great deal activity on board the ship and this period has been an eventful period for the F-35 programme as a whole. This photo and video essay covers the highlights of the Westlant 18 deployment from the past few weeks.

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MoD awards £1 Billion Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship support contracts

Today the MoD has announced the award of the Future In-Service Support (FISS) contracts worth a total of £1Bn to provide maintenance support for 17 vessels of the naval service. For the RN this is broadly good news, efficiently sustaining a large part of the fleet, strengthening shipyards while offering greater competition and diversity amongst its suppliers. 

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USS Harry S Truman

Reporting from the USS Harry S Truman as US Navy strike group visits the UK

Today the USS Harry S Truman, flagship of US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 8 came to anchor in the Solent off Gosport for a 5-day visit. We went on board and were able to speak with senior officers about their mission and relationship with the Royal Navy.

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Friget ploughs through stormy seas

Cutting more frigates? The Royal Navy facing a ‘perfect storm’

Last weekend Sunday Times carried an article highlighting the mounting pressures faced by the Royal Navy. The story quoted rather vague ‘defence sources’ but suggested the future of HMS Albion and Bulwark had been secured with two Type 23s frigates sacrificed instead. Here we examine this speculation and the growing range of issues confronting the naval service.

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Hurricanes and Lightnings. HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 18 deployment – Part 2

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived at Naval Sation Mayport, Florida 5th September for what was intended to be a brief visit. The arrival of Hurricane Florence in the Eastern Atlantic resulted in a considerable change to the programme and she remained in Mayport until the 13th September.

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F-35 HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for the United States – here’s the plan

Just over a year since HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Portsmouth for the first time, she will sail for her longest and most significant deployment yet. Known as Westlant 18, the primary purpose of the trip is for QE to conduct the first of class flying trials (FOCFT) with the F-35B Lightning II. (Some of the aviation aspects are discussed in more detail in our earlier article).

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HMS Defender

HMS Defender returns to the fleet fitted for intelligence gathering

Last week HMS Defender was accepted back into the fleet by Commodore Wood, Commander of the Portsmouth Flotilla after successful completion of post-refit sea trials. HMS Defender deployed to the Gulf for nine months in 2015 after which, she entered an 18-month major refit in Portsmouth conducted by BAE Systems.

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