CSG21: Embarked F-35B fighters have 80% availability

The combined UK and US F-35B air wing embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment has an 80% availability rate, however sustainment questions continue to surround the US-led stealth fighter programme.

In total, 18 F-35B stealth fighters have embarked on the carrier, ten from USMC VMFA-211 squadron and a further eight from the RAF’s 617 Squadron. The combined air wing will stay with HMS Queen Elizabeth for the duration of the six-month deployment, with UK F-35B’s already carrying out their first combat missions over Syria recently.

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