Check out this story from Defence Tech but check out this blurb...
“We are committed to purchasing the carrier-variant and the regeneration of our carrier strike force is at the heart of our defense strategy. We believe it will bring a big gain for NATO and potentially be a big relief to U.S. efforts in the European sphere. We’ve worked with the French to ensure that we will have a European carrier capability [that’s] always available. But of course, we are concerned that any slippage in production or any reduction in U.S. numbers will have an impact [on cost] and with budgets very tight, we’ll be watching very close any movement in the predicted unit costs.”My take away's...
1. The UK is solidly behind the F-35C despite public pressure.
2. The UK appears to be going back to its maritime roots.
3. The costs of the F-35 is a concern on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific...probably less in the Pacific but a concern none the less.
4. Delays are going to be fought by partner nations. This will become a sticking point.
5. Looks like Loren was right. Weapon sales are part of the new diplomacy.