American F-35 forced to make emergency landing in Ibiza returns to HMS Queen Elizabeth

AN F-35 stealth jet forced to make an emergency landing in Ibiza after launching from the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth is back in action, a naval boss has confirmed.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 8:35 am

Understood to be one of the 10 American F-35Bs from the US Marine Corps embarked on the aircraft carrier, the jet was diverted to the party island as a ‘precautionary measure’.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, the commander of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group, has now said the American jet has been repaired and is back in action.

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The jet and pilot are part of VMFA-211, known as the Wake Island Avengers, which deployed from its home base on Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

The squadron joined HMS Queen Elizabeth in late April as part of a multinational carrier strike group that includes six British warships, the Dutch frigate Evertsen and the US guided-missile destroyer the Sullivans.

British and American F-35 jets pictured on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth. Photo: LPhot Belinda Alker

The American jets are joined by eight British F-35s from the RAF’s 617 Squadron, nicknamed the ‘Dambusters’ for the unit’s historic role in the Second World War.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently in the Mediterranean as part of her 28-week deployment to the Far East.

The mighty warship, the biggest and most powerful ever built for the Royal Navy, is set to travel to the Indo-Pacific region on her maiden operational voyage.

RAF jets from 617 Squadron have continued their work on board HMS Queen Elizabeth while the damaged American jet was repaired. Photo: LPhot Unaisi Luke

She is expected to carry out 40 stops along the way, with the carrier’s route expected to pass through the Gulf and Indian Ocean before venturing into the Pacific.

Visits are expected to include stops in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

As previously announced, the squadron of 18 F-35s are earmarked to carry out airstrikes against terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The jets are also due to carry out operations over Afghanistan in July, supporting the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

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