EDITOR’S NOTE: The British government has been widely ridiculed for having invested billions of pounds to build two new, large aircraft carriers which, because of the widespread incompetence at ministerial and departmental levels, were not fitted with the “cats and tramps” needed to operate fast jets.So the Brits are attempting to avoid the embarassment of sailing its carriers without F-35's for a couple of years and the USMC is throwing a lifeline by putting aboard a company of Marines in MV-22's so that it looks like a "new age" of cooperation.
These ships are, basically large helicopter carriers fitted with “ski jumps” that allow them to operate STOVL fighters – in other words, only the Lockheed F-35B that the UK is acquiring at huge cost and in small numbers.
As the F-35 program is very much overdue, the Royal Navy faced the embarrassing prospect of operating its huge carriers – the largest ships it has ever bought – to carry transport helicopters.
By dangling the prospect that the ships might operate MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors, MoD clearly hopes to reduce the level of embarrassment, and give the ships some semblance of an air component until the F-35s arrive.
In the meantime, deploying US Marines and other Ospreys on HMS Ocean is another sign that, having sold off its Harriers to the very same Marine Corps, the Royal Navy is scrambling to find aircraft – in fact, anything but transport helicopters – to give its “flat-tops” a martial air, and to disguise the fact that successive UK governments have sunk billions of pounds to buy carriers with nothing to carry.
Its all bullshit of course.
The USMC doesn't have an amphibious shipping shortfall! The "ideal" is to be able to float 2.5 Marine Expeditionary Brigades in times of crisis.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY MARINES THAT IS????
We're talking about almost 40,000 Marines and equipment. Thats more than two US Army Mechanized Divisions. There is no way that the USMC would ever need to have that many people afloat for a forcible entry operation, and if we did then nuclear missiles are warming up in their silos!
I think Defense Aerospace is onto something. This is simply more cover for the delayed F-35.