The British Navy will effectively abandon jet units on aircraft carriers as part of cutbacks at the Defense Ministry, the Telegraph reports. The cuts mandate that British aircraft carriers use French and US jets outsourced to fly missions for the Royal Navy. Though two new aircraft carriers are in production, they will be configured to deploy helicopters, not jets, and will see limited use. The Navy's signature carrier, the HMS Ark Royal, is to be retired and production stopped on the Harrier jump-jet.
Defense Secretary Liam Fox said the lack of British jets on aircraft carriers was not a deficiency in the nation's readiness: "The concept of carrier strike is only one of the ways in which we have air power projection," Fox said in an interview with BBC Radio. "We have Tornado, we have Typhoon, and the military view at the moment is that because we don't have at the present time any problems with basing or overflights, then Britain is able to project air power in that way."