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U.S. Marine F-35Bs Will Operate From Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Carrier in 2021.

| 2016
Naval Aviation News - UK, USA
U.S. Marine F-35Bs Will Operate From Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Carrier in 2021
UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, officially confirmed plans for the US Marine Corps F-35B to be detached aboard the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier during its maiden operational deployment set for 2021. This announcement was made December 15th during a ministerial meeting in London.
Su 30SM 70 blue Russian Navy Black Sea FleetUSMC file picture: Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the opening day of the first session of operational testing.
On the margins of the ministerial meeting, Sir Michael also deepened UK and US defence cooperation by signing an agreement with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter to allow US Marine Corps F-35B aircraft to fly from the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth class carrier. Planning will be advanced to allow US jets to deploy alongside our own Lightning aircraft in HMS Queen Elizabeth during her planned first operational deployment in 2021.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
As Britain’s pre-eminent operational partner, including in our current fight against Daesh, the inter-operability of British and American forces is crucial.

Having British and US F35s alongside each other aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on its first operational tour, will further cement our close defence ties as Britain steps up internationally.

Britain and America’s longstanding defence and intelligence sharing epitomises the special relationship that helps keeps both our nations safer and more secure.

Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth CarrierAircraft Carrier Alliance CGI
The announcement will allow UK and US personnel to work even closer together on operations, exercises and training, developing the skills they need for carrier strike operations.

UK pilots, engineers and deck handlers are currently operating from US Navy carriers, already working on these skills, which will be important for when it comes to deploy the new British carriers.

Queen Elizabeth was christened on 4 July 2014 and floated-out on 17 July 2014. Fitting out took until the end of 2015 and the crew moved aboard in May 2016 ahead of sea trials beginning in around New Year in early 2017. Flight trials with helicopters will begin in 2017 and F-35B flight trials are set for the end of 2018.

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