So is the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier as useless as Queen Elizabeth?
This £3 Billion (likely much more as a ‘Conservative Estimate’) aircraft carrier has one minor flaw. It has no aircraft of any use.
The carrier was designed to be a vessel that could be deployed anywhere in the world with a compliment of fighters and bombers. It was to replace the less adaptive carriers such as Ark Royal, with more space for fixed wing fighters. The carrier has a runway designed for catapult assisted take off for conventional aircraft. The problem is the Conservatives decided to buy in Vertical take off variants of the American design. It was based on a F35 fighter. They agreed this before the Vertical variant was ever tested.
Now lets just go back to the 60’s where Britain developed the Hawker Harrier. This truly was an aircraft that could take off and land anywhere. In the seventies a dedicated ‘Sea Harrier’ was born. Both RAF and RN variants excelled in the so called ‘Falklands War’ (the Thatcher devised election gamble). The USA were permitted to build their own version under licence, which was the AV8 used by their Marine Corps.
When the F55 lightning 2 was developed it was initially a conventional air superiority fighter. And has been exceptional in that role.
It was from this that they decided to produce the ‘Harrier’ version. Given that the US really hadn’t been too successful in vertical flight it was a big risk. One our corrupt Tory Government decided to invest heavily in. The risk did not pay off. Because of this plan to save a small percentage of the carriers costs (already thrice over budget) some bright spark in the MOD suggested not fitting the catapult. The stupid Minister (Fallon?) agreed.
The new American aircraft can take off vertically as could the Harrier, the only problem is not with any ordnance (bombs, rockets or even guns, it seems the pilot might even have to poo before flight to lighten the load). Even if it tried to use a conventional take off it still could not get airborne with any kind of payload.
The money spent – wasted upon this white elephant would have saved the NHS! Think about it.