Air Warfare

F-35s carry out night landings on HMS Queen Elizabeth

12th February 2020 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The first night landings on HMS Queen Elizabeth have been carried out by four F-35 Lightning jets in UK waters.

Operational training being carried out in the North Sea is underway to enable 207 Squadron to achieve essential carrier flying and Landing Signals Officer supervisory qualifications.

The exercise builds on successful trials completed on last year’s WESTLANT 19 Carrier Strike Group deployment off the East Coast of the USA.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are designed to operate the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing F-35B. The UK will declare Initial Operating Capability for Carrier Strike by the end of 2020. The UK currently owns 18 aircraft, with an additional order placed for 30 jets.

The first operational deployment for HMS Queen Elizabeth 617 Squadron and a squadron of US Marine Corps Lightning jets is due to take place in 2021.

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