Yes, people actually ask this question. And, in some circles, people actually think the answer is “no”. In our version of Aikido, strikes are taught, and practiced.
This video shows one pattern of striking used to cover a basic “male triangle” or “omote” entrance. These strikes are not intended to achieve a “knock-out” or serious injury but to provide cover for the movement, control of space, and manipulations .
This video shows some variations of strikes to cover tenkan entries to both “inside” and “outside” of uke’s stance.