It was two ships to replace the three inferior ships we had in service. Not new capability just replacing and enhancing our existing capability.
No it wasn't the Admirals persuading the politicians it was the RAF proving what porkies they pulled to can the original carriers, they didn't have the legs to support our troops in Afghanistan in 2001/2 and they couldn't get to Kuwait in 2003 when friends and allies refused overflights and host bases for the Iraq war. That's what sealed the deal for a flexible sea based Carrier Strike capability as we simply couldn't do it with the RAF resources.
We simply couldn't afford to develop a new Harrier replacement on our own, the Typhoon requirement at the same timeframe meant we just didn't have the resources although the P1216 did have potential. We joined with the USMC to share the development but that unfortunately got pulled into a common JSF programme for 3 different versions that proved to be a very troubled and false economy as they could have developed two separate airframes
: No surprises here, sadly. The QE class always
: was, in my opinion, too big and too
: dependent on a single type of plane to be
: feasible. We should have developed a
: slightly larger Invincible and spent money
: on a replacement for the Sea Harrier.
: I have always thought that the admirals who
: persuaded the politicians that these ships
: were a 'good idea' were of the same 'big
: ship' mind-set as those who, in their day,
: wanted to keep on building battleships when
: they were no longer the supreme naval
: --Previous Message--
: The multibillion-pound programme to have HMS
: Queen Elizabeth and a squadron of F-35 jets
: operating at sea by 2021 is also under
: threat, the National Audit Office (NAO) says
: in a report being published today.
: A second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is
: due to be operational by 2026.
: The government’s spending watchdog says that
: the overall cost of the two ships — £6.2
: billion, almost double the original estimate
: — could rise by up to £124 million.
: The main risk factors to the programme
: ● The possibility of glitches
: affecting the F-35 fast jets, also called
: Lightning II, which are under development in
: the United States so out of UK control.
: ● Uncertainty over the affordability
: of the jets, built by Lockheed Martin, after
: a drop in value of the pound against the
: dollar. Some £5.8 billion has been earmarked
: for the F-35 programme until 2021 but the
: MoD has currency hedging in place only until
: ● The threat of problems with the
: carrier emerging during sea trials later
: this year.
: ● Reliance on technology to reduce the
: number of sailors required to run the
: carrier. If there are any glitches that
: require additional crew to replace faulty
: technology this will cause delay because
: there are not enough sailors.
: ● A shortage of helicopters and
: support ships could affect the ability to
: use carriers.
: The NAO raised questions about whether the
: Ministry of Defence (MoD) had enough money
: to cover the cost of maintenance and support
: for the carriers. This includes a failure to
: commit funds to buy stockpiles of weapons
: for the F-35 jets and Merlin helicopters.
: The watchdog also says that the Royal Navy
: will have to rethink fundamentally the way
: it operates because the carrier task force
: will use a quarter of the entire fleet.
: One carrier will require a support group of
: frigates, a destroyer, submarines and
: auxiliary vessels as well as fast jets and
: This could prevent Britain from conducting
: the same level of naval deployments, at
: present carried out by a frigate or a
: destroyer, to the Gulf, the Mediterranean,
: the South Atlantic and elsewhere.
: “The next three years are critical as the
: programme moves into a high-risk period of
: trials, testing and training,” the NAO says
: in its report, Delivering Carrier Strike.
: It noted how each element of the programme —
: the carriers, the jets and a radar system
: that is being developed to protect the task
: force from submarines and hostile aircraft —
: is interlinked.
: “The technology is innovative and
: operational unknowns, which will only become
: clear during testing, may affect plans and
: increase costs,” it says.
: “For example, at the time of reporting, the
: [MoD] and Aircraft Carrier Alliance were
: considering how to fix technical problems
: with the first carrier which could delay
: These problems already mean the date that
: HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to sail from
: Rosyth in Scotland to its port in Portsmouth
: has been pushed back by approximately three
: months from May.
: The MoD said that the first carrier would be
: accepted by the Royal Navy this year as
: planned. “We recognise that there are
: challenges ahead and remain committed to
: delivering the full range of joint F-35 and
: carrier operations by 2026,” a spokesman