The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier has previously only carried out trials with the F-35B short take off vertical landing jets while training in the Atlantic off the US coastline in 2018 and 2019.
“It is a real honour for me to be taking HMS Queen Elizabeth to sea for the first time as her new Commanding Officer.
” It is a real honour for me to be taking HMS Queen Elizabeth to sea for the first time as her new Commanding Officer. This period at sea will build on the successes of the Westlant 19 deployment, providing a fantastic opportunity for the ship to further its generation towards carrier strike, and will train and qualify UK F-35 pilots in UK waters for the very first time.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh
The joint Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Lightning Force Training squadron, 207 Squadron, will conduct the trials, flying aircraft to and from the decks, day and night from their base at RAF Marham. Six pilots, both navy and air force, will carry out their aircraft carrier qualification in that time.
The trials will give the pilots practise in landing on the 4.5-acre deck in a range of conditions, as well as testing the ship’s crew and systems in operating with the jets that the ship, and her sister, HMS Prince of Wales, were specifically built to fly.