British Scratch One Flattop!
Updated with new links from the bottom.
Here is a follow up to yesterday’s story that the British Royal Navy will forgo the attack role for one of its large deck aircraft carriers of the Queen Elizabeth class. One of the 65,000 ton giants will be built only to carry helicopters, proving our point that the perceived need for Big Decks now supersede their only reason for existence, their fighter and bomber planes.
Let me also add, these recent cuts should in no way be detriment to the still very powerful and effective Royal Navy. Here is one of the few nations in the world along with the US Navy able to deploy the full spectrum of modern sea power, with naval airpower, surface power, amphibious expeditionary warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-mine, and nuclear attack submarine abilities. Compared to the globe spanning American fleet, it might seem wanting in some capabilities. Compared to the rest of the world, it is a force to be reckoned with and perhaps envied.
The ability to build and deploy nuclear attack submarines alone provides the RN with force projection that even carrier powers have to take into consideration. Recalling the Argentineans scampering for port after HMS Conquerer sank the cruiser Belgrano in 1982, we consider this not an insignificant new force at sea, and perhaps a preview of what a future global naval conflict might be like, but on a smaller scale. We would hope that Britain’s desperate attempt for a prestige carrier fleet might now be curtailed, and the potential and economy of the Tomahawk cruise missile, which her subs now carry, be taken into account as a major aerial tool in its own right.
Here are some links from across the web concerning this breaking news story:
Royal Navy’s £5bn aircraft carrier can’t carry planes. (The Mirror)
Royal Navy carrier plans: going, going . . .(Quotulatiousness)
Navy sacrifices fast-jet aircraft carrier amid £1bn budget overrun. (The Guardian)
Royal Navy could be forced to build aircraft carrier which doesn’t carry planes. (Daily Mail)
Royal Navy surrendering one of its aircraft carriers! (Above Top Secret)
Sinking the fleet. (Ephemeral Isle)
Dramatic cuts announced in U.K. F-35 program. (Eric Palmer at F-16.net)
Here is an intruguing quote from Defence Management, and I have heard no one else say this:
However, the carriers may never even materialise after questions were raised by experts, including Royal Navy head Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope and senior figures in the army who have seen the Afghanistan war focussed on ground troops involved in close combat with insurgents.
The fate of the carriers may be revealed in the forthcoming defence review green paper.
Ships, I See No Ships. (Ares blog)
1 CV, No Planes? (Information Dissemination)
Scratch one Royal Navy carrier — sort of. (Scoop Deck)