F-35B HMS Queen Eliabeth

Looking ahead – US Marine Corps aircraft to embark on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

Last week the US Marine Corps formally announced what had been known for some time, that their F-35B jets will join the 2021 Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) operational deployment on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Here we look at the implications and benefits of this joint operating arrangement.

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F-35 over HMS Queen Elizabeth

RAF plan for F-35 split-buy undermines aircraft carrier programme

Deborah Haynes, foreign affairs editor at Sky News has reported that, behind the scenes, the RAF is arguing hard to split the UK purchase of F-35 aircraft into two variants. The F-35B is the only fixed-wing aircraft able to operate from the new QEC aircraft carriers but it’s no secret that the RAF harbours the ambition to procure F-35As as a direct replacement for its land-based Tornado force.

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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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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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F-35 HMS Queen Elizabeth

First trials of F-35 aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth begin this autumn

In late August HMS Queen Elizabeth will leave Portsmouth for her Westlant 18 trip. The ship will be away for around four months and, although not an operational deployment, this will be her longest and most demanding period at sea so far. The centrepiece of the deployment will be the fixed-wing First of Class Trials (FOCT) with F-35Bs touching down on her deck for the first time. In this article we look at the preparation and plans for the flying trials.

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