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Ultimo Tiger

While I agree with most of your article I don’t know about the JSF being better than Typhoon. In fact, I read a lot of things which suggest the JSF is not very well suited to air superiority at all. It’s designed as an attack aircraft. That’s great for the Navy since one of the things we’ve used carriers for it to project power inland from the safety of a battlegroup. But to defend the airspace of our home land or places like the Falklands? I think we’d be better keeping Typhoon or buying (if Congress ever allowed it) the F-22 Raptor. In fact, the fact the F-35 only has one engine should raise question about using it for carrier operations. Surely a twin engined fighter such as the MiG-29K, Typhoon, Rafale, Super Hornet etc would be a safer option?

The F-35 I fear is going to be the jack of all trades and the master of none. Do you really want to entrust to the air defence of the UK and our territories to a plane designed to primarily to drop bombs rather than shoot down other aircraft?


The same old “get rid of the RAF” debate maintained by the RN and Army since 1918. Not based on logic or evidence but based entirely on prejudiced loathing of the “new” service.

The article makes the case

“No other country in the World has proposed or implemented a carrier force of naval ship-operators with RAF aircrew and engineers providing the air element. It doesn’t work”

Using the same argument – no other country in the world save Canada has proposed getting rid of an independent air arm

It doesn’t work.

Of all 3services, only the RAF can make a robust case to remain independent.

Why not merge the Army into the RAF and RN?

Why not merge the RN into the RAF and Army?


It would indeed be lovely to return to a Royal Navy with global reach,and a credible presence, including integral, offensive air. The Royal Navy was a key part of the glory that was the British Empire. However, the hard facts are, and as a historian it gives me no pleasure to write this, the RN is nowadays too tiny to make any difference. Further, the new aircraft carrier toys are precisely that, toys. To survive in warfare they will have to operate in coalition with some other State (s) with the forces to be able to protect them at sea. At present that is the US – who do have, I believe, a carrier or two of their own. Our utility to them, overall, not just the RN, is as a fig leave to their attempt at World hegemony. .Carriers aside, the currently tiny RN can not even do anti-drug ops in one ocean and anti-piracy in another without coalition forces. It is so, so, sad; considering the RN heritage and tradition, However, the carriers, in this situation, are a complete and utter nonsense, never mind being a colossal waste of resources..