HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea

From procedural to operational – Carrier Strike Group exercise Crimson Ocean

On the 29th April HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed to conduct Operational Sea Training, this was followed by her first operational exercise. The ship returned to Portsmouth today and we spoke to senior officers about the experience and the future programme.

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Royal Navy aircraft Carrier Strike progress

A pale imitation of Carrier Strike?

On 24 June 2020, the National Audit Office published their report “Carrier Strike – Preparing for deployment”. Their thorough examination presents a mixed picture of a project that is broadly on track but in many aspects is struggling with funding issues that threaten to drastically curtail the UK aircraft carriers’ full potential.

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Double replenishment at sea

Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 4

After the arrival of jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in October, the Operational Test (OT-1) flying programme got into full swing. This photo essay covers the UK Carrier Strike Group during this period which was followed by diplomatic visits to the United States.

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F-35C catches arrestor wire

Cats, traps and claptrap. Why the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers operate VSTOL aircraft

There is a consistently held view that the Royal Navy was mistaken when it chose to adopt Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) aircraft carriers. In this long read we look at the convoluted history of the issue and review the arguments both for and against.

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Photo essay: First British jets land onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 3

On 13th October the first British-owned jets landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth off the eastern coast of the US. This photo essay covers the arrival of the 4 jets from 17 Squadron and 617 Squadron.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth F35-B launch

Royal Navy aircraft carrier ski jumps – a history

British inventors have been responsible for many of the innovations that have made carrier aviation possible. The ‘ski jump’ was first developed in the 1970s to enable the Sea Harrier jet to launch more safely and efficiently and is a feature of the new QEC aircraft carriers, helping launch the latest generation of jets. Here we look at the history, design and purpose of the ramp.

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F-35 Munitions Meteor Brimstone ASRAAM

Munitions handling on the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers

In a previous article, we looked at the new jetty being constructed in Scotland for transferring munitions to and from Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. It is a complex subject but here we make a cursory examination of some of the weapons and their handling arrangements onboard the ships themselves.

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