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RAF Marham jets taking part in major defence exercise aboard HMS QE

PUBLISHED: 19:17 04 October 2020 | UPDATED: 19:17 04 October 2020

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise. Picture: MOD/LPhot Belinda Alker

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise. Picture: MOD/LPhot Belinda Alker

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Jets from a Norfolk air base are set to take part in a major defence exercise led by the Royal Navy’s new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier.

F35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA WireF35 jets from RAF Marham have decked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth prior to taking part in Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

F35s from RAF Marham have decked on HMS Queen Elizabeth as she takes her place at the heart of a UK-led NATO Carrier Strike Group.

The Carrier Strike Group will this week be put through its paces off the coast of Scotland as part of Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise.

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In all, two squadrons of F-35B stealth jets, the RAF’s Marham-based 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) and the US Marines Corps VMFA-211 (The Wake Island Avengers) have boarded HMS QE.

F35 jets from RAF Marham are set to take part in Joint Warrior, NATO’'s largest annual exercise. Picture: MOD/SAC Kitty Barratt/SAC Joshua DinesF35 jets from RAF Marham are set to take part in Joint Warrior, NATO’'s largest annual exercise. Picture: MOD/SAC Kitty Barratt/SAC Joshua Dines

It means the 65-tonne carrier has embarked the largest number of warplanes ever for exercises in the North Sea.

With a total of 14 jets and eight Merlin helicopters, it is also the largest concentration of fighter jets to operate at sea from a Royal Navy carrier since HMS Hermes in 1983.

VMFA-211 arrived in the UK in mid-September, landing at RAF Marham before taking part in Exercise Point Blank led by RAF Lakenheath.


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