07:44 GMT +317 November 2019
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    In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, file photo, an F-35 jet arrives at its new operational base at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah.

    UK Navy to Have 24 F-35 'Frontline Fighters' on HMS Queen Elizabeth by 2023

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    Details have emerged about the gradual increase in air wing numbers on board the UK Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier.

    Britain's Ministry of Defense plans to have 24 F-35 aircraft on board the Royal Navy's new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth by 2023.

    Talking about the initial and planned numbers, the ship's commander Captain Jerry Kyd said they were in the process of buying more F-35s, sometimes known as the Lightning II, from Lockheed-Martin in the US.

    A Naval officer listens to speeches after the arrival of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth, Britain August 16, 2017.
    © REUTERS / Peter Nicholls
    A Naval officer listens to speeches after the arrival of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth, Britain August 16, 2017.

    Captain Kyd said they would also have around 14 helicopters on board when the ship is deployed for the first time.

    "But by 2023, we are committed to 24 UK jets on board, and after that it’s too far away to say," he added. 

    He also praised the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers calling them "powerful ambassadors for Britain on the global stage, in both peace time and times of conflict."

    "These ships truly will be at the forefront of British military power projection for decades for generations to come."

    HMS Queen Elizabeth

    The £3 billion (US$3.8 billion) ship arrived in her home port of Portsmouth on August 16.

    The 71,650-ton carrier is the biggest warship ever to be built in Britain, and has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland's Rosyth dockyard in June.

    The UK government hopes HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales will serve purposes ranging from the provision humanitarian relief to high-end warfighting.

    F-35B Lightning fighter jets are due to make their first trial flights from the carrier's deck next year with 120 aircrew currently training in the US.

    The jet, however, has been plagued with technical issues, including several episodes of pilots from hypoxia and problems with its TR-3 integrated core processor. 

    HMS Queen Elizabeth will start flight trials off the Atlantic coast of the United States next summer, while planes from the US Marine Corps will join British jets on board the ship at certain times.


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