RAF News

Lightning jets to join the fight against Daesh from the Carrier Strike Group

Two F-35B Lighting Jets flying behind man in hi-vis.
F-35B Lightning jets will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Group's formidable power.

UK F-35B operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth will join Operation Shader in the fight against Daesh.

The F-35B Lightning jet is an advanced next generation aircraft procured to operate alongside RAF Typhoons. Based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, they will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Group’s (CSG21) formidable multi-role combat power in the air equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology to carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks.

Three men walk round a landed F-35B Lightning Jet, refueling and checking maintenance.

This will be first time UK fighter aircraft embark on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010 and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail to seas.

The renowned 617 Squadron (‘The Dambusters’) will operate the jets to provide tangible and impactful support to counter-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria.

Landed Fighter jets at sea

“The F-35B Lightning jets will pack a potent punch against Daesh and help prevent them from regaining a foothold in Iraq. This is a prime example of the UK Armed Forces stepping forward with our allies to confront persistent threats around the world. It is Global Britain in action.”

James Heappey MP
Minister for the Armed Forces

CSG21, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation and will set sail next month on its first operational deployment.

This is a joint Royal Air Force and Royal Navy deployment committed to confronting persistent threats around the world and make a meaningful contribution to global security.

Man wearing hi-vis with Fighter jets landing in the background

“This deployment represents the embodiment of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Capability and utilising the F-35Bs in the fight against Daesh will further demonstrate our commitment to securing their global defeat.”

Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key
Chief of Joint Operations

March 2021 saw the second anniversary of Daesh’s final and total loss of territory in Syria. However, there remain significant numbers of Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The UK remains committed to defeating Daesh and enhancing security in the region, alongside the Iraqi Security Forces and our NATO allies.

Operation Shader is the UK’s contribution to the Global Coalition against Daesh.

Lightning jet.


Using Internet Explorer 8? Please switch to using Chrome if you can.