Stealth jets fight Daesh in first combat missions from HMS Queen Elizabeth


It appears that whilst in the Mediterranean, HMS Queen Elizabeth, along with her aircraft and the rest of the Strike Group performed pretty much the full range of roles you might expect.

30 live interceptions of armed Russian jets during carrier group aircraft operations in the Mediterranean

On 12th June two F-35 Jets flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth took off to conduct missions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq. This was the first strike mission from a Royal Navy vessel since the operations in Libya during 2011. In a two-week period, there were 30 live intercepts of armed Russian fighter and bomber aircraft. Sukhois and Migs came within visual range of aircraft flying from the ship. Moorhouse added that two jets were held at readiness on deck during this period, ready to respond to any Russian air incursions or overlights. The critical importance for the fleet to have its own organic air cover available for all kinds of naval operations is often overlooked as the main focus is on the strike element of carrier capability.

In the underwater domain, the Commodore noted that the carrier-based Merlin Mk2 ASW helicopters worked with his frigates (and probably with supporting SSN, HMS Ambush) to “locate and fix the Russian submarines deployed to welcome us”.

Next year HMS Prince of Wales will being doing these things as flagship of the NATO Response Force.

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