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Cost blowout puts Royal Navy carriers at risk

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 27, 2009

The Royal Navy is at risk of losing one of its two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers due to the need to trim the UK’s burgeoning defence budget.

A report in the Sunday Times on October 25 says the Navy has already agreed to operate one of the two new vessels as an amphibious helicopter carrier rather than embark F-35B JSFs as originally planned, saving at least £1bn (A$1.8bn) in the process but putting at risk the UK’s full requirement for 138 F-35Bs. Further savings would be made by negating the need to replace the RN’s current amphibious ship, HMS Ocean.

The report says a complete cancellation of the two 60,000 tonne ships is unlikely due to nearly half the contracts for their construction having already been let.

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