The UK’s F-35B Lightning II fighter jets have dropped the first Paveway II test bombs during trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier off the US east coast.

Dropping the 500lb inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided precision bombs carrying no explosives represents another key in the carrier’s trials.

Through the exercise, the trials teams could gather crucial test data and assess how the jets perform when carrying various weights.

The US-made bombs comprise a head, containing the bomb’s computer, the tail and a concrete warhead.

As part of the cooperation between the UK and the US, the bombs are being built on-board by Royal Navy air engineers, under the supervision of US Navy ordnance ratings from the US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower.

“The trials teams could gather crucial test data and assess how the jets perform when carrying various weights.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth air engineering department head commander Neil Mathieson said: “It makes me excited about operational trials next year with the UK’s F-35 Lightning squadrons when we will see live Paveways being dropped. These trials are an important pathway to that point.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Due to the carrier’s automated technology, around 40 people are enough to make an F-35 Lightning jet ready for combat operations.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently progressing with flying trials on a deployment called Westlant 18. The carrier is expected to be ready for global operations from 2021.

Meanwhile, construction work is nearing completion on the Royal Navy’s other new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales at the Rosyth Dockyard.

The new aircraft carriers will be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. In addition, they will be used to support British Armed Forces deployed worldwide.