The real reason for the UK independent deterrent
With the draconian British budget cuts, and the conversion of their carrier aviation from the STOVL F-35B to the CTOL F-35C, there is now talk of the British engaging in some form of joint carrier operations with the French:
London’s decision to fit catapults on its planned second aircraft carrier opened up the prospect of French Rafale strike fighters flying off a British flattop, with reciprocal rights for British aircraft off the French carrier, French Defense Minister Hervé Morin said Oct. 26 at the Euronaval trade show.
Morin asked the French military staff to assess whether the installation of catapults would allow French aircraft, such as the Rafale, to operate off the Royal Navy vessel, and the answer was: “Yes, it’s technically feasible,” he told journalists.
That opened up potential opportunities of interoperability and mutual interdependence between the British and French fleets, he said. With such cross-deck operations came the possibility of a “permanent presence at sea,” he said.
I just don’t see it happening.
While the French and British have on occasion used common aircraft, most notably the SEPECAT Jaguar, given the nearly thousand-year history of animus between the two nations (see “Yes Prime Minister” vid), I just cannot see them operating jointly in this manner.