The RN 'top brass' who persuaded the politicians that these 2 ships were 'needed' should be sacked. Mind you, they're probably enjoying their pensions anyway by now. The UK has never needed these giants - they were a good job creation scheme and proved that the UK still has a skills base that can produce excellent ships.
I have always thought that a ship half as large again as the Invincibles would have met our needs. Couple that with a further development of a new STOVL aircraft and we would have both sustained our shop building industry and our fast jet expertise.
What will they be used for? Certainly not in an offensive task force like the Invincibles. As they stand they are not much use to the RN - they are just 'money pits'.
We need destroyers that actually work, frigates that are as advanced as the opposition, small, corvette-like vessels to protect our fisheries and SSNs and SSBNs to ensure high level security of the nation.
The QEs are magnificent ships - but the wrong ships at the wrong time.
I can see them being quietly shelved. The Covid-19 outbreak has cost around £100bn so far and we're not out of the woods yet, meanwhile the economy has contracted. I always thought they were too much and there's no way we're getting 138 f-35 no matter what noises the govt make. I expect one ship will be mothballed at a time (just like the Albion class assault ships) and the other will occasionally sail with a dozen or so f-35s. Until some county wants to buy one in which case it'll be out of the door ASAP.
Personally I'd like to see the money spent on more Type 31es, some up-armed OPVs and some SSKs. We can't afford to buy ships that we can't afford to lose. The Carriers are huge targets that consume money and manpower. The RN need ships in numbers not a hollowed out force built around a single strike group.
Others may disagree with me, but a couple of smaller ships around 25-30,000 tonnes would have been sufficient.
Just read several articles in the British media about the lack of funding to allow the carriers to be operationally effective.
1. Lack of funding for additional aircraft (F-35s).
2. Cost overrun for AWAC.
3. Lack of funding to build adequate number of escorts.
4. Lack of funding for an adequate fleet train.
Are these problems real or is it just hysteria from the British media?