Today it was announced that the JSF version selected by the RAF/RN, will be as expected the V/STOL version. The USN version had thought to be gaining ground due to it's longer range and load carrying.
150 will be ordered, they will operate from the two new 50-60,000 ton carriers to be ordered next year, now we know they will be V/STOL carriers rather than the conventional catapult/arrester hook type.
Despite the attractions of the conventional carrier, the last UK vessel of this type retired in 1978, so it would be a 30 year gap in restarting these kind of operations.
Plus the UK's long term V/STOL experience is worth retaining, for all the Sea Harriers limitations, in the Falklands war in 1982, they had a 99% combat availability, 8000 miles from home, in often very bad weather-V/STOL is not dependent of the ship turning into the wind, as well as simpler deck operations and fewer crew/less maintenance required.
This means probably a Merlin Helicopter based AEW platform, yes an E-2C would be better, but a high cost.
For the RAF, V/STOL JSF will equip the rapid reaction RAF units now flying Harrier GR.7s, which today often deploy on RN carriers, they will continue, probably extend this into the JSF era.
(Each carrier will have a peacetime complement of 24 JSF's, up to double this number in war time), with the RN getting 60 of the JSF's, RAF aircraft supplementing the RN on operations is inevitable, they'll concentrate on supplementing the RN squadrons in strike missions, with the RN handling air defence, though that's not the CVF carriers primary role.
It will also be possible to make up for the V/STOL JSF's shorter legs by adopting the Storm Shadow stand off weapon on wing pylons, in theory this could undermine the aircraft's stealth, but the Storm Shadow has a long range as well as a stealthy airframe, it's far too big to fit internally into any JSF version.
For more info, R/R and BAE press releases can be found here;