The Royal Navy wants a catapult and stop strands on its aircraft carriers

Since the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark entered service in 1959, Great Britain has no longer designed aircraft carriers equipped with catapults and stopper strands, capable of implementing conventional on-board fixed-wing aircraft. With the arrival of the Harrier and the Sea Harrier with short or vertical take-off and landing, the British navy chose to design aircraft carriers equipped with springboards, admittedly less efficient, but also much less expensive than their counterparts equipped with catapults, such as the French Clemenceau-class aircraft carriers, or their successor, the nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

The last two British aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are no exceptions. These vessels of more than 280 meters for 65.000 tonnes can operate up to fifty aircraft, including the successor to the Sea Harrier, the F35B Lighting 2, also capable of taking off and landing vertically or over short distances. , in particular by using the springboard which completes the inclined flight deck of the British ship. Under these conditions, it may seem surprising that the Royal Navy decided to install a catapult and stopper system on its two jewels. Yet this is what an article published by British daily The Telegraph, adding that the goal was to install this device on one of the ships by 2023.

The number of F35Bs available to the Royal Air Force appears to have been reduced to 48 aircraft, a drop of more than 60% from the initially planned format, in order to focus the available resources on the Tempest program.

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