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Covid outbreak on warship carrying RAF Marham planes

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There has been a coronavirus outbreak in the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) which includes the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth with F35 Lightning jet fighters based at RAF Marham on board.

The aircraft carrier is about a quarter of the way through a 28-week deployment leading the CSG, which includes a US destroyer and 10 Marine Corps F35-B fighters, and is currently in the Indo-Pacific.

A Royal Navy spokesman said in a statement: “As part of routine testing, a small number of crew from the Carrier Strike Group have tested positive for Covid-19.

F-35B Lightning Jets being secured to the flightdeck on HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH
F-35B Lightning Jets being secured to the flightdeck on HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH

The BBC said it had been told there are "around 100" cases on board. The ship's crew varies in size from 700 up to 1,600 depending on operations.

It comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Tuesday pointed to the deployment as an example of the way UK and US militaries were able to operate “seamlessly” together.

Also on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed an investigation was being undertaken after a crew member of Type 23 frigate HMS Kent, also part of the CSG, died.


The frigate recently visited Greece where senior figures from the Greek navy visited and the crew had a chance to tour a classic Greek warship.

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