Finally, after a very hard fought competition, BAE Systems has the lead role in the design, construction and support (over up to 50 years) of the 950 foot CVF aircraft carriers.
The largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy, they will have an airgroup of up to 48 F-35B aircraft, the STOVL JSF.
As well as Merlin helicopters for ASW, SAR and probably AEW.
Should the F-35B get cancelled, the ships are designed to be easily converted to conventional carrier operations, which would mean the F-35C.
Though the official reason was to future proof the design in case future aircraft do not offer STOVL.
BAE and Thales competed for the contract, but Thales did not lose, their design is forming the basis of the CVF, this involves politics, for although Thales has substantial assets in the UK, and would have to build the ships here, it has a large stake owned by the French government, inconceivable France would order such a large, high profile project, to a foreign firm.
But BAE have had a poor relationship with the Ministry Of Defence recently, due to a number a projects being late, and over cost. BAE not winning totally, is their revenge, and a warning.
Although a bit of a fudge, it is probably the best all-round solution, Europe talks the talk about increasing defence co-operation, to avoid wasteful duplication, this contract is walking the walk.
But, good news for the Navy, (the previous big carrier project, CVA-01 cancelled in 1966, did not get this far).
A traditional capital ship name, better yet, an old carrier name too, suitably imposing for these 65,000 ton vessels, with the frequent RN tradition of ship classes named alphabetically .
How about HMS Furious and HMS Formidable?
(With the involvement of Thales, we could hardly call them HMS Nelson and HMS Wellington could we?)