Britain's largest ever warship, a vast aircraft carrier, has been welcomed into the Royal Navy.
|HMS Queen Elizabeth, a four-acre, 65,000-tonne warship|
The euphoria in the shipyard and the ceremony of christening this ship, has filled our media and television screens. Even before the bottle of Islay malt whiskey had smashed into the hull, (it used to be champagne but the symbolism of "scotch" has not been lost), the hyperbole's had been coming fast and furious.
The new flagship is Britain's largest ever warship, "a source of inspiration and hope for us all", "a national instrument of power", a national icon to all, and will help to keep the great in Great Britain,". The 280-metre-long and 56-metre-tall HMS Queen Elizabeth cost a mere £3 billion and will be the flagship of the British fleet. Another super carrier, the "Prince of Wales" is currently under construction at Rosyth, to join HMS Queen Elizabeth in a couple of years.
There is however a slight problem with having one, soon to be two, super aircraft carriers showing the flag around the world. We have no aircraft to put on them. We may "borrow" a few aeroplanes from the French (or more probably the Americans) to dot around the flight decks for the sake of appearance, but the fact remains that we do not have any of our own aircraft to equip these ships.
There is an old song which contains the line "But the smile on his face quickly turn to a sneer, when the barman says sadly The pubs got no beer"
Having aircraft carriers without aircraft is equally absurd.