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617 Squadron jets land aboard HM Queen Elizabeth for North Sea exercises

Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning jets from RAF Marham have landed aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth to conduct exercises over the North Sea as part of Operation Achillean.

Image shows Lightning aircraft taking off from airfield.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is leading a powerful Carrier Strike Group of warships, helicopters and F-35B Lightning stealth jets as part of Operation Achillean. During the deployment, the Carrier Strike Group will work closely with NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force allies as the UK underscores its commitment to safeguarding European security.

Image shows Lightning aircraft taxiing on airfield.

During the deployment, the F-35B Lightning jets from 617 Squadron will carry out flying operations, while helicopters from 820, 845, 815 and 825 Naval Air Squadrons undertake sorties from a bustling flight deck.

This latest deployment of 617 Squadron demonstrates once again that our personnel are equally at home conducting air operations from land or sea. The flexibility, precision and operational focus of 617 Squadron, operating alongside our international allies, is something the UK can be immensely proud of – the F-35 is a formidable combat capability.

Group Captain Marr
Commander Lightning, RAF Marham

Group Captain Marr has spent a few days with 617 Squadron onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth. The deployment of 617 Squadron builds on a range of operations and exercises with Joint Expeditionary Force Allies this year for the Royal Air Force. Most recently this has seen both F-35s and Typhoons, together with Voyagers carrying out exercises with Joint Expeditionary Force Allies Finland and Norway.

Image shows RAF Pilot inside the open cockpit of a Lightning aircraft.

Read more about F-35B Lightning aircraft