F-4N, good points.
It is also greatly unappreciated here, the utility and economic importance of sea power.
Considering our own history and geography, that's bizarre.
In 1982, there was no way we could have re-taken the Falklands, without the large number of merchant ships requisitioned by the RN
Not the just the high profile QE2, or Canberra, even the doomed Atlantic Conveyor either, a whole plethora of vessels were used.
That only one was lost, (or even hit), was a graphic illustration, albeit in an extreme situation, of the RN
's core role, whether as a worldwide deployed force, or as in 1982, one largely equipped for ASW in the Atlantic.
You heard it all the time in the run up to CVF
being confirmed, why do we need these carriers, or even a half decent Navy, when we are stuck in Iraq and fighting in Afghanistan?
Ignoring the fact that these assets are for the next four or more decades.
The world has changed plenty in a similar preceding time-line.
Churchill reckoned the tougher times of the Battle Of The Atlantic worried him more than the Battle Of Britain.
Certainly no liberation of Europe by the Western allies had the U-Boats not been defeated, Donitz's surface fleet neutralised.
No victory in the Mediterranean would have meant the Axis could have grabbed vital oil supplies, but Rommel lost in part due to the interdiction of his supply lines.
The Arctic Convoys helped keep Russia in the war in their desperate times too.
But one thing the RN
could not do, while so heavily engaged in Europe, was to protect the British influence in the Far East against the Japanese.
But had there been no war in Europe, you have to wonder if Japan would ever have started the Pacific War, even if the main threat to them was of course the US Fleet.
In 1940, the RN
was still the largest in the world after all.
Even in WW1, now rightly known for the carnage in the trenches, saw the eventual grinding down of the Kaiser's war effort on his home front, due to the RN
blockade that his prized fleet never broke.
It was in this respect, more successful at eroding the enemy populations morale, than WW2 bombing.
But against a land power, this effect could never be overnight.
Russian however is perhaps the ultimate land power, you have to question their need for a very substantial carrier fleet that this thread is about.
Today, there is the modern day piracy, the best answer to which are vessels like the Planned USN
LCS, or the bigger USCG assets.
are looking at a range of smaller, simpler vessels, under the FSC programme too.
A 76 or 57mm gun, 30mm cannon, Future Lynx chopper, Fire Scout UAV, Royal Marine party, fast inflatables.
Provision if need be, for SSM's and a basic SAM, like the ASRAAM derived CAAM now under development.
Almost weekly, we hear of the RN
's West Indies Guardship, usually a Type 23 Frigate, carrying out substantial drug busts.
A role which a FSC Corvette style vessel could do just as well, but more economically.
Leaving the fewer higher end ships now available as escorts for carrier/amphibious groups.