Seoul [South Korea], August 3 (ANI/Global Economic): The F-35B stealth fighter, aboard the aircraft carrier, started a runway on the flight deck and took off in only 5 seconds with a roar.
Reporters visited the United Kingdom’s latest aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth (65,000t), which finished the joint military training with Korea Navy in East Sea international waters and airspace of Pohang on the 31st of last month.
Reporters came to Pohang by helicopter for about 30 minutes from Busan. There was a series of take-off training demonstrations of two F-35B aircrafts. It was cloudy, but fortunately, it didn’t rain.
On the flight deck, which is 16,000 square meters and larger than two soccer fields, about ten F-35B aircrafts and 2-3 ‘Merlin’ helicopters for surveillance and reconnaissance were on standby.
All the people on the flight deck, including reporters, wore helmets and goggles and waited for the F-35B to run in excitement. The crew emphasized that reporters have to put strength on the body and hold on.
When the crew member sat down and gave a signal, the F-35B ran on the flight deck and flew to the sky. Due to the ski jump-shaped ramp, the F-35B can take off with relatively short runway.
Then, one F-35B plane waiting at the back took off in the same way.
It is vertical landing aircraft, but it usually uses a short runway for take-off and comes down vertically only when it lands.
“The Queen Elizabeth, which can carry up to 36 F-35B planes, can operate 72 sorties a day,” said James Blackmore, fighter pilot commander of the U.K. Royal Navy.
The Queen Elizabeth is the third U.K. aircraft carrier to visit since 1992 (Invincible) and 1997(Illustrious). It had the joint military drills with Korea Navy pushing to build light aircraft carriers in East Sea international waters.
In this joint drill, exploration and rescue drills based on humanitarianism and maritime munitions maneuver training that the ships of two countries exchange munitions were conducted.
The fleet of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier consisted of 8 ships, including 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, 2 support ships and a submarine. An U.S. warship and a Dutch warship were also included.
In this training, Korea Navy’s Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship (14,000t) and Aegis destroyer participated together.
National level Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) was conducted by tracking, exploring and communicating with each other assuming distressed vessel in certain waters.
“The goal was to conduct the training efficiently by integration operations of helicopters and ships, without duplicating them,” said Commander Steve Moorhouse. “It was also important to ensure accurate information through rapid information exchange between ships”The number of crew, who were appointed on December 7 in 2017, of the Queen Elizabeth, is about 1,600 crew members, and it has 284m long and 73m wide, with 65,000 tons of drainage.
It has two bridges, a traditional style non-nuclear propulsion system, an automated armory and ammunition distribution system, and is a good example to refer for the Korea Navy, which is promoting to build a light aircraft carrier.
In the concept diagram of light aircraft carriers released in January by Korea Nave, the design had one bridge, but it increased to two, making it very similar to the Queen Elizabeth.
“The Navy is planning to equip vertical landing aircraft on the light aircraft carrier,” said an official from Korean military. “This joint training will be an opportunity to see how the F-35B actually works in the aircraft carrier and check the automation system such as armory and ammunition distribution closely.” (ANI/Global Economic)