HMS Queen Elizabeth: Royal Navy carrier joins up with HMS Dragon and HMS Northumberland during Westland 19 deployment

HMS Queen Elizabeth has joined up with some of the members of its Carrier Strike Group during her Westlant 19 deployment.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 6:48 pm
The WESTLANT 19 Carrier Strike Group units have come together for the first time on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. Picture: Kyle Heller

The 65,000-tonne Royal Navy carrier was photographed alongside HMS Dragon, submarine hunting frigate HMS Northumberland and fleet tanker RFA Tideforce, which will help provide fuel and supplies to the ships.

It is the first time the quartet have linked up on the Westlant 19 deployment, with HMS Northumberland joining them along the east coast of the USA.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier seen travelling in Westland 19 taskforce

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The WESTLANT 19 Carrier Strike Group units have come together for the first time on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. Picture: Kyle Heller

Portsmouth-based destroyer HMS Dragon has since broken away from the group to join another carrier group working on the coasts off New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The group will be led by the mighty USS Dwight D Eisenhower, which weighs 100,000 tonnes and has 6,000 crew.

HMS Dragon will later rejoin HMS Queen Elizabeth to begin training with F-35 jets from 617 Squadron, with the pilots touching down on her 280m-long flight deck for the first time.

The carrier arrived in Canada earlier this month after leaving her home port of Portsmouth.

Picture: Kyle Heller

Since the start of the operation, the focus has been on marines of 42 Commando practising ‘vertical assaults’ by roping on to the carrier’s huge flight deck from the Merlin helicopters, and the first ‘rapid refuelling’ of Queen Elizabeth mid-ocean. 

It comes after her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales sailed out of Rosyth for sea trials.

The supercarrier is expected to arrive in Portsmouth in December.

 

Picture: Kyle Heller