Britain’s deadly F35B stealth warplanes are being deployed against ISIS launching from the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden mission.
The maritime RAF-Navy operation will be launched with the US Marine Corps and include six other UK warships escorting the £3.5 billion carrier strike group.
UK planes attacking ISIS in Iraq and Syria will be from the legendary RAF 617 Squadron AKA “The Dambusters” of the famous World War 2 mission.
Eight RAF F35B fighter bombers and ten US Marine Corps matching warplanes will launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was first planned in 2007.
The £190 million per plane F35Bs are the world’s deadliest fighters, can reach incredible speeds of around 1,200mph and are usually based at RAF Marham, Norfolk.
Britain’s variant of the new planes is a “short take off and vertical landing” type, meaning it can land by lowering onto the ship’s deck.
It can be armed with air-to-air missiles for dogfights, 25mm cannon and has two bomb bays which can carry 450kg bombs or it can launch air to ground missiles.
This will be the first time UK fighter aircraft are embarked on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010, and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail the seas.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP said: “The F-35B Lightning jets will pack a potent punch against Daesh and help prevent them from regaining a foothold in Iraq.
“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.”
The UK carrier strike force is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation and will set sail next month on its first operational deployment.
It is is a joint Royal Air Force and Royal Navy deployment.
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.”
March 2021 saw the second anniversary of ISIS’s total loss of territory in Syria. However, there remain significant numbers of Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria.