DEFENCE – CARRIER STRIKE CAPABILITY – 26 March 2012
Dr Julian Lewis: Can the Secretary of State confirm that if he decided to go for the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35, this would enable continuous carrier strike capability to be maintained, as it could be deployed from both carriers, which is impossible to do with a single carrier?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Hammond): My hon. Friend is pointing out that there are complex capability traits to be looked at in considering the question of carrier strike – the capabilities of the two aircraft, but also the availability of carriers from which they can fly. All those things are being evaluated. When we have come to a clear conclusion, we will come back to the House.]