“When diplomacy fails, the UK has to be ready to protect its interests and its allies – UK.”
Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is deployed to the east coast of the United States for her F-35 Lightning flying trials. Joined by her task group, including HMS Monmouth, it marks the first time F-35 stealth jets have flown from the carrier’s flight deck. As well as the vital deck trials, the deployment also involves exercises to prove the ship’s ability to operate with other nations’ ships and aircraft.
The aircraft has been built to carry up to 36 new F-35 stealth jets, as well as helicopters. But in reality, this warship will routinely sail with fewer than half that number. Queen Elizabeth runs on two large gas-turbine and four diesel engines.
The first jets will fly off her deck in flight trials taking place off in the Atlantic Ocean. And she’ll sail on her first “operational deployment” in 2021.