Thursday, November 11, 2010

New UK Aircraft Carrier to be mothballed

Reports that one of the UK new aircraft, with a price tag of 3 billion pounds, will not carry any aircraft and will only sail for three years, then be mothballed and possibly sold.

It also appears that Britain will not have an effective "carrier strike capability, that is a working carrier
outfitted with fighter aircraft until 2020.

Two carriers, the largest and most expensive ships is British history are to be built, but David Cameron
wanted to scrap one before it is completed. It was learned that it would cost more to scrap it before being built than it would to finish it.

So both will be built, but one will be shelved as soon as possible.

Britain is undergoing huge cuts in its military: The Army will lose 7,000 soldiers, more than 100 tanks
and 200 armored vehicles. One armored brigade will be lost, and it seems Britain will also pull its troops from Germany.

The Navy fleet will drop from 24 to 19 warships and will lose 4,000 personnel. The Navy Harrier jump-jets will be scrapped next year. No Joint Strike Fighters F-35 will be ready to replace them until
2020.

The RAF will probably keep most of its Tornado Fighter Bombers, but will lose more than 5,000 personnel. Two RAF bases will be closed and used by those soldiers returning from Germany.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce a plan under which the HMS Ark Royal, the only functional aircraft carrier will be retired immediately. The other carrier HMS Illustrious will be used
as a helicopter carrier and will not carry any jets and retired in 2014.

The new carriers, the first of which will be HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to began its service
in 2016, and will only carry helicopters and no jets. The second HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled for
2019, when that happens the HMS Queen Elizabeth will be put in a state of "extended readiness", which means it will probably be mothballed and possibly sold at a later date.

So until 2020 Britain will have to rely on other friendly countries, probably France for air strike capabilities.

It was also announced that the HMS Prince of Wales will be equipped with catapults to launch aircraft,
which also means that Britain will have to pull out of the agreement to use the JSF special version for
short take off and vertical landing.

The HMS Prince of Wales would thus be able to carry French and US aircraft and will use the
conventional JSF which the Royal Navy says is more powerful and cost effective than the jump-jet.

The question remains where will Britain be able to base their current aircraft, will they be able to
use airfields in other countries should the British be forced to fight abroad?

Does this also mean that the broad shoulders of the U.S. be forced to carry an even bigger load? Will we become the ones to fight every battle?

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996