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The Royal Navy has agreed to sacrifice one of its two new aircraft carriers to save about £8.2 billion from the defence budget.
The admirals, who have battled for a decade to secure the two new 65,000-ton carriers, have been forced to back down because of the soaring cost of the American-produced Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft due to fly off them.
The move is a blow to the navy’s prestige and has come on the heels of Gordon Brown’s announcement last month that he was axing one of the navy’s four Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.
It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters on board instead of JSF aircraft.
The move will leave the navy without a carrier when the Queen Elizabeth goes into refit, leaving open the possibility that it might have to borrow one from the French navy. In a meeting with Brown last year, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, had suggested that refits of French and British aircraft carriers should be co-ordinated.
Originally posted by Raider of Truth
Sort it out Gordon! Jesus i could do a better job than him.
If the warriors of my ancestral family could see this country now, they would be rolling in their graves