Helicopters Only for 2nd British Carrier?

Royal Navy could be forced to build aircraft carrier which doesn’t carry planes

Prince of Wales may go from carrier to commando ship if budget cuts cancel F-35 buys.

It is too late for the Navy to cancel the contract, but the carrier may have to be downgraded to a commando ship, with only helicopters on board to carry troops.

The move would save about £8.2billion from the defence budget.

They’re thinking that when the only fixed-wing capable carrier is in for refit that they’ll borrow a carrier from France.

This seems crazy.

UPDATE: A British official has called this report “complete rubbish.”


  1. They’ll probably swap planes between the 2 ships anyway.

    But even so, if one is a helicopter carrier, where will the choppers come from, since they can’t even afford them for the Army in Afghanistan?

    Can’t afford planes or choppers. The world’s biggest most expensive ferry boats!

  2. The article was pretty short on details, but it mentioned saving £600 million on the ship itself in addition to the money saved by not buying the planes. I presume this savings means that a lot of equipment needed to operate fixed-wing aircraft would be deleted.

  3. Well given that the F-35 program just got another 17 billion price jump – they might not be even able to field the one new carrier… Why don’t they just buy some of our old LHA’s. 2 Carriers are pretty worthless anyway, you need 3 to keep one at sea.

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