Aircraft Carriers; Military Aircraft

Ministry of Defence written question – answered at on 12 September 2017.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many aircraft are currently in service on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH is not yet in service; although Royal Navy Merlin helicopters provided support to the first phase of her sea trials.

We have taken delivery of 11 F-35B aircraft, which are currenetly stationed in the US for training. We will have taken delivery of 14 F-35B aircraft by the end of the year.

On current plans, following her entry to service, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH will commence flying trials in 2018, building towards a carrier strike capability from the end of 2020. In this role, our Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers will have the capacity to operate F35-B Lightning II aircraft, with associated Rotary Wing force protection and support.

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