@heystoopid & others
Someone in the British Army advocated getting the AK-74 & ammo being made under licence by BAE to replace the SA-80 and multi-million "service pack" upgrades... or better, get them delievered by a bent Russian supplies sargent (a couple of 38 ton containers should do) paied for in cash on a moonlit dockside...
So to replace the Harrier with a ramp take off mach 2 fighter-bomber seems a good cheap deal, plus the fact that BAE could then sell upgraded avionics to the russian navy like the Israelis tried after absconding with Dassault's Mirage design plans and building the Barak.
Was it not the HMS Ark Royal that had a ski ramp to lauch Buccaneers?
Also from what I have heard, the F35 V/STOL version has problems as it seems to have been lifted from a Soviet design with lift jets in the fuselage which take up precious fuel and weapons space...
And finally, WTF happened to Hawker-Siddley's supersonic harrier? I know that they worked on a design....
Voilà : Buy weapons from your ex-ennemies, and make substantial savings (at least on the Rifles), and you have a choice of buying an obscenely expensive aircraft from the Yankees or reactivate a 30 year old plan of finally delievering a bigger, better brother to the already excellent Harrier, oh and keeping the current baby carriers to launch them is an added bonus and saving.
Please also note that the Charles de Gaulle has other problems, like the lowest bidder for the ships screws delievering sub standard goods and the screws screwing themselves off 2 hours into the first shakedown cruse (no-one could be blamed as the design office had a freak fire just after the MOD investigation started destroying the plans), and that the Rafale fighters designed by Dassault for this carrier had serious avionics and integration problems IIRC.
Finally, having a nuclear powered carrier is good, as it needs refuling less often, especially when looking at the state of the current oil markets... so that carriers could still run even when oil runs out... But not their aircraft!
The only solution would then to be running carrier versions of the old Soviet (then) SU-25 that could be converted to run on alcohol or diesel...
This therefore means that the russian nuclear carriers with cold war fighters - if shown the Top Gear episode on making bio-diesel with chip fat and white spirit - would own the world and Lenin's Dream Would Finally Come To Pass.
Everyone sing now the chorus:
Long live our Soviet Motherland,
Built by the people's mighty hand.
Long live our People, united and free.
Strong in our friendship tried by fire.
Long may our crimson flag inspire,
Shining in glory for all men to see.
We're all screwed I tell ya.