The team has run really well with the work we have done with them, they have come up to speed pretty fast

Aviation Ordnanceman Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Little, US Navy

Aviation Ordnanceman Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Little, of the US Navy, was part of the team overseeing the Royal Navy air engineers on board. He added: “The team has run really well with the work we have done with them, they have come up to speed pretty fast.”

US aircraft carriers have hundreds of sailors involved in arming their aircraft, whereas the highly mechanised weapons handling system on board HMS Queen Elizabeth takes just 40 people to make an F-35 Lightning jet ready for combat operations, thanks to specially-designed automated technology built for the British warship.

HMS Queen Elizabeth continues her flying trials – on a deployment called Westlant 18 – along with her escort ships HMS Monmouth and US destroyer USS Lassen.

She left her home port of Portsmouth in August, crossing the Atlantic with embarked Merlin Mk2 anti-submarine helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose and Merlin Mk4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton.

More than 1,400 sailors, flight crew and Royal Marines have been working on board the carrier during her deployment.

The Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will project British military power across the globe for the next half a century.

Construction work continues at a pace on board HMS Prince of Wales, the second aircraft carrier in the class, which nears completion at the Rosyth shipbuilding yard.

They will be used to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, strengthen defence relationships with our nation’s allies, and support British armed forces deployed around the world.

In recent operations, US aircraft carriers including the USS George HW Bush and USS Harry S Truman have played a central role in the Gulf and Mediterranean, conducting strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is on track to deploy on global operations from 2021. Meanwhile, the UK has now taken delivery of 16 out of a planned 138 F-35 jets as part of its world-leading fleet of military aircraft for use by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

HMNB Portsmouth

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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