Controversial from the start, the UK’s new aircraft carrier program has endured many twists and turns. It is now 14 years since the government first defined the need for new carriers and it will be another four years before the first of the two Queen Elizabeth II-class warships is delivered. Beyond that, it will be another four years before the carrier-strike capability becomes fully operational, in 2020.
Type 45 destroyer
Raytheon has proposed that 10 European warships be equipped with the company’s standard SM-3 missile, so that the burden of providing a missile defense shield over Europe can be shared more equally among the NATO countries. The alliance has crafted a Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) to extending the shield, so that it covers the entire European continent. But the U.S.
After a difficult period in which the whole program’s future lay in doubt, AgustaWestland’s Future Lynx has emerged with a new name–AW159 Lynx Wildcat–and renewed optimism. The aircraft was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence in May 2006 to fulfill its battlefield reconnaissance helicopter requirement for the British Army, and a surface combatant maritime rotorcraft requirement for the Royal Navy.