Breaking News for the one of the most famous navies in the world. The Royal Navy announces a plan to acquire two new advanced fleet-size carriers. The carriers may have the following names: HMS Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth. There are some strategic plans that will not be changed by the ongoing Strategic Defense & Security Review (SDSR). The only point that could be still discussed would the about how many F-35B are needed for the fleet when it is composed by two carriers. There are also some discussions, however, about whether they should include F-35C in the planes. Here C refers to the conventional landing and take-off capability of the planes from carriers. The class of the new carriers would be denoted as QE-class, and each ship of the class could carry 40 aircraft of various types. The Royal Navy is considering to operate the HMS Queen Elizabeth only with helicopters until they can get the F-35s completely operative. This strategy resembles the current status of the Japanese Helicopter Destroyer DDH-183 Izumo and DDH-184 Kaga, which are supposed to operate only with helicopters. Regarding F-35s, the maximum capacity could be of 36 aircraft, so there is room for others functional types. There is some conditions depending on the operations. For routine operations, each carrier may be limited to have only a dozen F-35Bs on board. Some analysis say that 30 F-35B per carrier would be an optimal number.
There were ambitious planes to more than 130 F-35s for the RAF and Royal Navy but this may have been too overestimated. Perhaps the right number could be around 100 F-35s, and the 40% assigned to RAF and 60 to the navy. We have to remember that RAF also has a good number of EuroFighters that can still be operative beyond 2030.
F35C requires upgrade the flight deck, therefore it is the most expensive option. The B-model is the classic “jump jet” (harrier style), with the ability to take off and land vertically. The latter would be the option for the Royal Navy. The Britain is a maritime nation and needs a strong fleet. Most of all fuel, goods etc are brought to islands through maritime via so fleet is strategically important.