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  • Industry Still Speculates on Real U.K. Carrier Plan
    Posted by Robert Wall 4:23 PM on Oct 25, 2010

    Industry officials are still trying to digest what the Strategic Defense and Security Review unveiled last week in the U.K. really all means.

    While there were a few clear statements in the document --  Nimrod will not be fielded, HMS Ark Royal and Harriers will be retired, as will the Sentinel R1 -- the fact is much was left vague and has folks wondering how much credence to give to what was said in those areas where specificity was lacking.

    One example is the aircraft carrier issue. Despite speculation that it will be HMS Queen Elizabeth that is built as a helo carrier, only then to be mothballed, and HMS Prince of Wales that will be converted for catapult launch and arresting gear operations, that's not exactly spelled out in the SDSR. The official line is that the order and timing are still be sorted.

    Several industry officials believe it will be the first carrier that will be modified for F-35C operations, rather than the second. They argue it would simply be politically too difficult to field an aircraft carrier with no aircraft to put on it and then mothball the whole thing.
    More on this in the weeks to come, no doubt. One thing that clearly will need to be modified is the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier model Thales is showing at Euronaval. I thought I'd share it for those nostalgic about the F-35B on a U.K. carrier:

    blog post photo

    blog post photo

    Tags: ar99, SDSR, U.K., F-35B

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