The UK’s Carrier Strike programme marches on
Two good articles from DoD Buzz and Atlantic Sentinel (click the image to read) highlight the recent trip the the US of Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond MP
This of course makes perfect sense, we will be sharing the same aircraft, the F35C, unless my outside bet comes to fruition and we buddy up with the French for a Rafale/CVF swapperoo and the Royal Navy have only distant memories of operating conventional aircraft carriers.
I thought this was interesting
This is not to say that is how things will pan out but the American encouragement of British plans to expand capabilities like force projection and sea basing are surely not done out of the goodness of Secretary Panetta’s heart. The United States will surely benefit from a friendly carrier out doing the same job as the US Navy, especially one operating the same aircraft, speaking the same language, with officers and men who have worked with the US Navy and with equipment using similar supply chains to the US Navy and allowing American aircraft to land on a conventional carrier deck.
If we look back through various policy statements, evidence to select committees and actual events it should be clear to all the CVF/JCA is deeply rooted in being the partner/bitch of the USN, one would hope that our interests always converge.
I have no doubt whatsoever that service personnel will crack on and make a good job of the transition but as per my previous post, this is not going to be cheap and if we are all honest, the true costs of the conversion, the true impact on all three services and the real outcome in capability terms are still not known.
A leap in the dark it may be but at least we have our cousins to help.