HMS Queen Elizabeth step closer to operations with transatlantic training

The UK's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, in New York last year. Crown copyright.

The UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, in New York last year. Crown copyright.

The UK’s largest and most advanced warship ever will be making the transatlantic journey for the second consecutive year to train alongside the UK’s closest ally. She will also make a number of port calls whilst deployed before returning ahead of Christmas.

Whilst in the Washington area she will host the Atlantic Future Forum, which aims at bringing the US and UK industry and military together to address the changing nature of warfare and shared threats both allies face at home and abroad.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

HMS Queen Elizabeth represents the best of British innovation and is a true embodiment of our international ambition. The fact that this important ship will have visited the US twice within her short service thus far is testament to our enduring transatlantic defence relationship.

In the week that we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings it is only right that we continue to look at how we can deepen our global partnerships to promote peace and deter future conflict.

The deployment, known as ‘WESTLANT 19’, will see HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew conduct vital deck and warfare trials with UK F-35 jets from 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron based in the USA and 617 Squadron based at RAF Marham, as well rotary wing training with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

Whilst Stateside, she will also welcome United States Marine Corps F-35s on deck, further developing the deep and historic tradition of the UK and US armed forces operating seamlessly side by side.

HMS Queen Elizabeth remains set to be deployed on global operations from 2021 and when Prince of Wales joins her in the fleet in the near future, the UK will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times.

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