CVF, the Joint Combat Aircraft (F35) and the struggle between the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force have regularly featured on Think Defence since I started blogging three years ago.
My opinion has wavered somewhat between thinking the lot should be cancelled to understanding their value in an expeditionary capacity and having a road to Damascus conversion.
Praise be CVF
Hang on a minute
Back to the middle ground
I don’t think I will ever be a carrier air fanboy because I understand these capabilities have to be looked at across the three services in the context of a finite budget so I approach the whole issue with somewhat of a gritty realism and overarching opinion that it is not the best thing since sliced bread and for every increase in capability in one area another has to be reduced.
I don’t buy into the whole ‘maritime century’ or strategic raiding theme either because I have a long memory and see the whole thing as simply a rehash of the last trendy PowerPoint fuelled fantasy that would see coalition forces seeing the enemy before leaving home, deploying vast distances, applying a short sharp dash of precision violence, building a few schools and getting back at home for tea and medals before the enemy has had time to fill a sandbag.
One of TD’s contributors (Phil) coined a great phrase for it, ‘breaking windows with Guineas’
I still think CVF and JCA have to fit within a balanced force mix that means it should not unbalance the UK armed forces.
This is a look at the whole CVF and Joint Combat Aircraft subject area from a UK perspective, remembering that the UK is not the US Navy or US Marine Corps.
Like similar posts I am going to split it into parts.
Looking Forward to an F35 Future – Part 6 (Summary)