It is worth remembering that the UK now intends to conduct strategic defence reviews every five years. The switch to STOVL means that on current plans the UK will regain a Carrier Strike capability in around 2017. This means that barring a very serious change of defence direction in the next Defence Review (due in 2015), it is likely that not only will CVF enter service, but that the option is now clearly on the table to ensure that both carriers are retained. Adopting the CTOL would have meant the RN needing to put the case for CVF in 2015, 2020, and depending on just how delayed CTOL became, the 2025 defence reviews as well.
|F35B in flight|
How damaging is this really?