Two Royal Air Force F-35B Lightnings conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.

UK’s Carrier Strike Group has joined the fight against Daesh

F-35B fighter jets embarked on the UK Carrier Strike Group have completed their first operational mission in support of the ongoing Global Coalition against Daesh

F-35B jets of the renowned 617 Squadron RAF (“The Dambusters”) carried out operational missions for the first time from the carrier in support of Operation SHADER and US Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

F35B Lightning Jet launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
F-35B jet launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Carrier Strike Group has spent previous weeks in the Mediterranean working with NATO allies and partners. This mission marks a significant change in emphasis for the Strike Group.

Two Royal Air Force F-35B Lightnings conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.
Two Royal Air Force F-35B Lightnings conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.
Two Royal Air Force F-35B jets conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.

From exercises and international engagements, the Carrier Strike Group is now delivering its full might of naval and air power, putting the “strike” into Carrier Strike Group and contributing to the UK’s fight against Daesh — Op SHADER.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group.

“HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first missions against Daesh will be remembered as a significant moment in the 50-year lifespan of this ship.”

— Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group

Military personnel prepare an F35B jet for a launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Military personnel prepare an F-35B jet for a launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth.

There are 18 UK and US F-35B jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is the largest number to ever sail the seas.

The aircraft are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology.

LA Dawson recovers an F35B Lightning Jets as it returns to HMS Queen Elizabeth.
LA Dawson recovers an F-35B Lightning Jets as it returns to HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The ability to operate from the sea with the most advanced fighter jets ever created is a significant moment in our history. This offers reassurance to our allies and demonstrates the UK’s formidable air power to our adversaries.

“It marks a new phase of our current deployment. To date we have delivered diplomatic influence on behalf of the UK through a series of exercises and engagements with our partners — now we are ready to deliver the hard punch of maritime-based air power against a shared enemy.”

— Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group

Led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK Carrier Strike Group is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation. This is its first operational deployment, which is joint between the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Two Royal Air Force F-35B jets conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.
Two Royal Air Force F-35B jets conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER across the Middle East.

In an era of persistent competition, the Carrier is already proving its worth. Our adversaries pose a growing threat to the international order and the values that underpin our security and prosperity.

“The involvement of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Air Wing in this campaign also sends a wider message. It demonstrates the speed and agility with which a UK-led Carrier Strike Group can inject fifth generation combat power into any operation, anywhere in the world, thereby offering the British Government, and our allies, true military and political choice.”

— Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group

F-35B jets launching from HMS Queen Elizabeth for its first combat missions.

The Carrier Strike Group is a physical embodiment of Global Britain and a show of international military strength that will deter anyone who seeks to undermine global security.

F-35B jets launching from HMS Queen Elizabeth for its first combat mission.

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here 👇

UK Armed Forces on the globe.

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Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK Armed Forces around the globe.

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