Category Archives: Naval Warfare

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group Returns Home from Jet Trials

The bulk of the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group today returned to their respective homes after three months in the USA.

Following HMS Dragon’s return to Portsmouth earlier this week, the aircraft carrier made her way into Portsmouth – where she was greeted by sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

At the same time two of her escorts, HMS Northumberland and RFA Tideforce, returned to warm welcomes in Devonport. The ships’ flights made their way to their respective homes at RNAS Culdrose and Yeovilton.

The carrier strike group sailed from the UK in August to conduct operational tests with UK F-35 jets from the UK Lightning Force for the first time.

Supporting the strike group units throughout were Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron based out of RNAS Culdrose, providing anti-submarine protection and search-and-rescue (SAR) capability.

Commando Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron acted as the aviation workhorses, transporting stores and equipment, providing SAR cover and also landing Royal Marines from 42 Commando’s Lima Company to rehearse how to rescue downed pilots. Merlins from 814 NAS and Wildcat from 815 completed the air group.

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike


The Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Steve Moorhouse said: “Homecomings are always a special occasion, but to be returning to Portsmouth with HMS Prince of Wales welcoming us home makes this a particularly special occasion.

“This has been an extremely successful deployment for HMS Queen Elizabeth. Embarking UK F-35 Lightning jets for the first time and integrating them within the carrier strike group is a significant milestone and we are well set for an equally demanding 2020 and our first operational deployment in 2021.”

Commander of the Air Group, Captain James Blackmore, added: “The five-week period of operational tests with UK F-35s from the UK Lightning Force was significant and historic. As the last pilot to fly Harrier from the deck of HMS Ark Royal in 2010, it filled me with tremendous pride to see UK fixed wing aircraft operate once more from a British carrier.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike


HMS Northumberland, which deployed ahead of the rest of the strike group, first encountered Hurricane Dorian as she arrived in Halifax. She went on to play a key role in the NATO Exercise Cutlass Fury, which involved 20 ships and 36 aircraft.

Commanding Officer of HMS Northumberland, Commander Ally Pollard said: “It has been an exciting challenge for my ship’s company, some of whom have never been to sea or deployed, and while only a short deployment it has nevertheless been demanding.”

HMS Northumberland’s Deputy Marine Engineering Officer, Lt James Jeffcoate, added: “Having served in HMS Monmouth for Westlant 18, it’s been fantastic to see the development of UK Carrier Strike. Seeing HMS Queen Elizabeth close up while HMS Northumberland escorted her has enabled us all to appreciate what an amazing piece of British engineering she really is.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike


The Commanding Officer of RFA Tideforce, Captain Terrence Barke, said: “Ground-breaking milestones, first-of-class trials and unwavering professionalism of the ship’s company has truly demonstrated the capability of RFA Tideforce and her ability to extend the limits of the Royal Navy and our NATO Allies, ensuring their operational effectiveness 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

RNAS Yeovilton welcomed back 815 NAS’s 212 Flight from HMS Dragon and 201 Flight from RFA Tideforce.

“The deployment has been my highlight as a flight commander,” said Lieutenant Jim Carver, of 201 Flight. “I joined the navy as an air engineering technician in 2005, and never for one minute thought I would become a pilot, let alone a small ship’s flight commander. It has been a privilege to lead such a well-motivated, enthusiastic and professional group of people in support of the regeneration of UK carrier strike.”
Source: Royal Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike

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New Gerald R. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy to be Christened Dec. 7

New Gerald R. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy to be Christened Dec. 7

The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), will be christened on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Newport News, Virginia.

John F. Kennedy is the second aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford class, slated to replace USS Nimitz (CVN 68), when that ship is decommissioned.

Former NASA Administrator Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Ret.), will deliver the ceremony’s keynote address. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy’s daughter, will serve as the ship’s sponsor and break a bottle of American sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull.

”USS John F. Kennedy will carry the legacy of its namesake and the power of our nation,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ”The advanced technology and warfighting capabilities this aircraft carrier brings to our global challenges will strengthen our allies and partners, extend our reach against potential adversaries, and further the global mission of our integrated naval force.”

CVN 79 is the second aircraft carrier to honor President John F. Kennedy for a lifetime of service to the nation. The president wore the uniform of our nation as a Navy lieutenant during World War II and served as the 35th President of the United States, from January 1961 to November 1963.

John F. Kennedy, along with its embarked air wing and other strike group assets, will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology, such as a new propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, radars and integrated warfare systems.

At 1,092 feet in length and 100,000 tons, CVN 79 incorporates more than 23 new technologies, comprising dramatic advances in propulsion, power generation, ordnance handling and aircraft launch systems. These innovations will support a 33% higher sortie generation rate at a significant cost savings, when compared to Nimitz-class carriers. The Gerald R. Ford class also offers a significant reduction—approximately $4 billion per ship—in life cycle operations and support costs compared to the earlier Nimitz class.

The new technology and warfighting capabilities that the John F. Kennedy brings to the fleet will transform naval warfare, supporting a more capable and lethal forward-deployed U.S. naval presence. In an emerging era of great power competition, CVN 79 will serve as the most agile and lethal combat platform in the world, with improved systems that enhance interoperability among other platforms in the carrier strike group, as well as with the naval forces of regional allies and partners.

New Gerald R. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy to be Christened Dec. 7

New Gerald R. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy to be Christened Dec. 7
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (October 29, 2019) Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) reaches another milestone in its construction as their dry dock area is flooded three months ahead of its slated production schedule leading up to the christening of the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, scheduled for Dec. 7. The flooding of the dry dock follows other milestones, including the laying of the ship’s keel on Aug. 22, 2015, the placement of the 588-metric ton island superstructure on May 29, 2019, and the arrival of the crew on Oct. 1, 2019. Kennedy is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Ferrero)