F-35B with Paveway bomb
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First Bombs Dropped From British Carrier's F-35Bs

The 500-lb test bombs are being built on board the carrier.

F-35B with Paveway bomb

It is the first time the American-made bombs have ever been embarked in a UK ship (Picture: Royal Navy).

The first bombs have been dropped from F-35B fighter jets conducting trials on board Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

GBU-12 Paveway Iaser-guided precision bombs were dropped off the east coast of the United States, enabling the trials teams to see how the jets behave when carrying various weights.

It is the first time the American-made bombs have ever been embarked in a UK ship.

They are made up of a head, containing the bomb’s computer, the tail and a concrete warhead.

As they are test bombs, they carry no explosives.

They are being built onboard by Royal Navy air engineers, supervised by specialist US Navy ordnance ratings from the US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, further demonstrating the close co-operation between the two key allied nations.

Commander Neil Mathieson, the head of the air engineering department on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: "This marks a significant milestone for us.

"It makes me excited about operational trials next year with the UK’s F-35 Lightning squadrons when we will see live Paveways being dropped.

"These trials are an important pathway to that point.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to arrive in New York on Friday during her maiden deployment.

The ship left her home of Portsmouth Naval Base in August and sailed across the Atlantic to begin her maiden four-month deployment, named Westlant 18.