RAF

Carrier Strike Group 21: UK F-35 Jets On HMS Queen Elizabeth To Fight IS

The renowned "Dambusters" RAF 617 Squadron is set to operate the aircraft to support the counter-IS operations.

UK F-35B fighter jets on board aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will join the fight against the remnants of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

British F-35s landed on board the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier yesterday.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the F-35B Lightning fast jets will join Operation Shader (the UK’s contribution in the fight against IS) from the Carrier Strike Group to "pack a potent punch" against the militants.

The renowned "Dambusters" RAF 617 Squadron is set to operate the aircraft to support the counter-IS operations.

It marks the first time UK fighter airplanes are on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010, the MOD said.

The F-35B fleet will also be the largest to ever sail the seas.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey said: "The F-35B Lightning jets will pack a potent punch against Daesh and help prevent them from regaining a foothold in Iraq.

Picture: MOD.

"This is a prime example of the UK Armed Forces stepping forward with our allies to confront persistent threats around the world. It is Global Britain in action."

Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said: "This deployment represents the embodiment of the UK's Joint Expeditionary Capability and utilising the F-35Bs in the fight against Daesh will further demonstrate our commitment to securing their global defeat."

HMS Queen Elizabeth will lead the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG 21) on the Royal Navy's largest deployment in more than a decade.

The group will visit more than a fifth of the world's nations over 28 weeks.