UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will start receiving F-35 fighter jet and various helicopters including Apache, Merlin, Wildcat, Chinook in 2018.
UK has set target to reach initial operating capability for its new F-35B aircraft by 2018 and seeks to have 24 jets available for service by 2023 end, UK Defense Journal reported today.
UK Navy sailors have also trained alongside their US Navy counterparts on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp multipurpose amphibious assault aircraft, with training having started at the end of June.
The Navy sent six sailors to integrate into Wasp’s flight deck operations to prepare them for their upcoming Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
Royal Navy sailors have also trained alongside their US Navy counterparts on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, with training having started at the end of June.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carrier. It is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy and capable of carrying up to forty aircraft.
She was expected to begin sea trials in March 2017, and was scheduled to be formally commissioned in May 2017. The sea trials, however, were delayed until summer 2017.
Instead of being fitted with catapults and arrestor wires, the aircraft carrier is designed to operate V/STOL aircraft. Her air wing will typically consist of F-35B Lightning II fighter-bombers and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare.
The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and troop transports up to Chinook size and larger.