Aggression? Wtf?An impression of underlying aggression through an inability to agree where we can agree.... speaks volumes.
Because there is scope to agree and obviously so.
Strictly if we wanted to run a minimum of 4 JSF (ensuring availability of 1 aircraft), and 2 AEW helicopters (risking lack of availability) and 2 SAR helicopters (mitigated risk due to lower operating tempo). Then a getting practical ship below 15,000tons would be impressive, even now, some 40 years after this was first realised.
Invincible expanded capacity initially to sustaining 2 fast jets (total of 5 though ideally 6) and added the full ASW helicopter compliment. Factor in a full Sea Dart fit and you get to over 20,000tons rather quickly and that's with the lower fuel and stores 'burn through' rate the Sea Harrier imposes.
Going for JSF and wanting to sustain a total of 24 (implying availability between 8-12) along with a compliment of helicopters for ASW or Lift, means there will be precious little tonnage left. Hence why Tarawa and Wasp etc are over 40,000tons.
Because otherwise your cheap Cavour (it isn't thanks to the systems fit) is going to either need so much landbased airpower you'll wonder why you bother or a second Cavour to deliver the capacity and cost you far more than had you just bitten the bullet and gone to over 40,000tons instead of below 30,000. Penny wise Pond folly....or should that be Cent wise Euro folly......
Because Cavour makes sense for the Italians operating in the Med. Doesn't mean it makes sense for the RN, who might be in the Med, but might be off the Malacca Straights and might be in the Gulf of Guinea or a dozen other areas. Including that balmy sunny calm millpond known as the North Sea
When operating fast jets the rule of thumb is the number of aircraft in “your” fleet is the serials you can fly a day. So 6 jets gives you 4+2. That isn’t sustainable however, and to sustain that you need a 50% margin, or no fly days.
Over the longer term you’ll get showstoppers requiring an airframe replacement, and of course you’ll be burning hours so need regular swaps anyway. Those hours need careful management so you cant always use your available ac to conserve hours. A fine balance and a whole world of work in itself!
So 6 jets of each type in Akrotiri delivers a 4 ship or 2 pairs a day ad infinitum for each type. This gives scope for the odd surge which is then averaged out by a no fly day for recovery.
No fly days make a disproportionate impact on sustainability as all engineering can be focused on maint vs running maint and line ops. It also allows you to work on the “good” jets which otherwise you keep going til they f
This has been routine UK Air Ops now for 30 years.
Why we need the ability to deploy 48 and operate them is beyond me.
Cavour can comfortably operate 12 F35s (6x pairs a day or 3x 4-ships although only for a couple of weeks) and a supporting helo force. That is the acheivable UK force level, the force level we use and one which we can afford to sustain. If we need more, aka once every 20 years war - send 2.