The UK Royal Air force (RAF) has announced the participation of F-35B Lightnings from 617 Squadron in Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) 2021.

The multilateral partnership exercise involves the UK Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the US maritime forces.

The exercise saw 617 Squadron training with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2), a US Navy Air Wing from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

It was conducted in the Indian Ocean from 15-18 October.

F/A-18E from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, F-35B from VFA-211, F-35C from VFA-147, E/A-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron 136, F/A-18F from VFA-2, E-2D Hawkeye from Airborne Command & Control Squadron 113, and F/A-18E Super Hornet from VFA-192 are the US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft that participated in the exercise.

The Royal Australian Navy was represented by frigates HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Sirius (O 266).

The UK Navy assets included CSG 21, comprising HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), HMS Richmond (F2389), RFA Tidespring (A136), HMS Defender (D36), HMS Kent (F78), RFA Fort Victoria (A387), and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68).

The Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184) and Murasame-class destroyers JS Murasame (DD 101) participated on behalf of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The exercise focused on aspects such as regional security, naval cooperation, and interoperability in the Indo-Pacific region.