Does the U.K. Know What It's Doing (in Defense Planning)?

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As you may have seen, Defense Technology International has been integrated into Aviation Week & Space Technology as a monthly special edition. And the first cover story in this new product concerns the United Kingdom and it's aircraft carrier saga.

The lead:

Britain's decision to change the basic design of its new aircraft carriers, centerpiece of the nation's biggest arms program, for the second time in as many years is raising doubts about the country's defense decision-making at the highest level.

In early May, the British Defense Ministry dumped its late-2010 plan to convert one and possibly both in-build Queen Elizabeth II-class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35C catapult-arrest version (known as the CV) of the Joint Strike Fighter . The U.K. opted instead to revert to the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) F-35B.

For those of you with a subscription (and we'd like to convert those of you who received DTI over to an AW&ST subscription), there's an extensive interactive graphical breakdown of the new Queen Elizabeth class.

What's your opinion? Does the U.K. Ministry of Defense know what it's doing? Did they get to the right decision in the end?

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