In support of Operation Shader in the UK and Operation Inherent Resolve by the US military, similar British warplanes joined the F-35B fighter jets fleeing against ISIS.
The total number of 18 F-35Bs from the USA and the UK are aboard Queen Elizabeth. This is the largest deployment of advanced warplanes on one ship.
The F-35B stealth aircraft designed by the US is state-of-the-art and can land vertically. This allows them to deploy on smaller warships that the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, which weigh in at 100,000 tons, that form the backbone US Navy’s fleet.
Blackmore stated that “The level integration between Royal Navy and Royal Air Force is truly seamless and testament to our how close we have become.”
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stated in a statement that “The ability of operating from the sea with one of the most advanced fighter planes ever made is a significant moment” in his history.
The Queen Elizabeth is the leader of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group 21. It is currently on a seven month, 30,000-mile (48.280 km) mission. This will take it to Japan and South Korea as well as an expected transit through the South China Sea.
The carrier strike group will visit 40 countries as part of its deployment through the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea on the way to the Pacific.
“To date, we have provided diplomatic influence for the UK through a series exercises and engagements — now we’re ready to deliver the hard punch maritime-based air force against a common enemy,” stated Commodore Steve Moorhouse who is the commander of the UK strike team.