According to information released by the British Navy on June 9, 2021, the F-35 Lightning stealth fighter first landed on the deck of the second of Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales (R09) .
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The F-35B prepares to land on the deck of the British Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales for the first time. (Image source British Navy)
The British Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales positioned itself to accept the aircraft which landed accurately on the vast flight deck amid an air of excitement from the ship’s crew.
Shortly after the first landing, the first take off: Lt. Commander Ben, also from 207 Squadron – the RAF-Fleet Air Arm joint training dedicated to teaching fast jet pilots how to fly and use the stealth fighter – powered along the bridge and leapt skyward thanks to the carrier’s iconic ski ramp, paving the way for thousands of similar launches over the next half century.
The jet and ship conduct sea acceptance tests that test the ship’s ability not only to receive and launch jets, but also to maintain near-continuous air operations. The stealth fighter shared the deck with three Army Air Corps Apaches, embarked before the Prince of Wales left Portsmouth this weekend.
HMS Prince of Wales (R09) is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. built for the British Navy. The ship was officially commissioned with the Royal British Navy during a ceremony in Portsmouth on December 10, 2019.
HMS Prince of Wales is not equipped with catapults like the American aircraft carriers. The vessel is designed to operate V / STOL (vertical and / or short take-off and landing) aircraft. It is currently planned to carry up to 40 F-35B Lightning II stealth multirole fighters and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare, although in peak conditions the class is capable of support more than 70 F-35Bs.
The F-35B is the short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35A. Similar in size to Variant A, the F-35B was designed for use by naval forces.