CDS explains reasons for changes to Joint Strike Fighter capability

14 May 2012 09:59 AM

In an article that appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday (12th May), Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards set out why he thinks he MOD's decision to use the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter to deliver the UK's Carrier Strike capability is the right one. Here follows the full article.

Military command is about taking difficult decisions in changing and challenging circumstances. Over the 40 years I have had the honour to serve in the Armed Forces, I have consistently found that such decisions demand both vision and courage. The change of course over our carrier programme announced this week certainly required both. It was not easy, but it is right.

It is worth explaining why I, and my fellow military chiefs, proposed this move. Carriers are expensive - there is no way around that. But they offer a capability that few can match: an independent, flexible, sovereign base, not tied to other countries' wishes, that can operate around the world.

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