The UK’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales have completed simultaneous fast jet operations for the first time
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales have completed simultaneous fast jet operations for the first time, despite being separated by 7,000 miles at sea.
Both ships are the UK’s aircraft carriers, which are large ships that have been designed specifically to operate aircraft from.
Earlier this year, prior to HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden operational deployment with the UK Carrier Strike Group, both aircraft carriers met at sea side-by-side for the first time.
With HMS Prince of Wales currently in the North Sea and HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Pacific, the UK’s aircraft carriers have been carrying out round-the-clock sorties. Until now, the ships have embarked the fast jets but have never launched them off of their respective flight decks at the same time.
HMS Prince of Wales is currently exercising with the RAF’s 207 Squadron in waters close to the UK.
On the other side of the world, HMS Queen Elizabeth is carrying out flying operations over the Pacific with her jets from 617 Squadron and VMFA-211 of the US Marine Corps. Approximately 7,000 miles separate the two aircraft carriers.
“This is an extraordinary achievement for the Royal Navy and represents the true global reach we have in this current era.”
— First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin
Three UK F-35Bs from 207 Squadron are currently on board HMS Prince of Wales as she goes through the final demanding stages of becoming fully operational this autumn. Later this month, she will also take part in the largest military exercise in the UK, Joint Warrior to test her ability to work alongside other naval, air force and army assets and as part of broader task group operations.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is fresh from exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and a port visit to Yokosuka as she continues on her maiden global deployment with the UK Carrier Strike Group.
“It’s brilliant to see F35s operating from our flight deck and to have our friends and colleagues from the RAF and the Army on board with us.”
— Captain Steve Higham, Commanding Officer onboard HMS Prince of Wales
The simultaneous fast jet operations marked a historical moment for the Royal Navy, further demonstrating the UK’s global maritime power across the globe.
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🛫 Making history on the UK’s aircraft carriers was originally published in Voices Of The Armed Forces on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.