The loss of a British F35 stealth jet from the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, which will soon be visiting Palma, was not only a blow to the Royal Navy it has even further depleted the British F35 force. Britain has accepted 24 of the jets into service, each at a cost of 100 million pounds.
Now losing one aircraft may not sound like a big deal but it is for the Royal Navy/Royal Air Force which operate the planes. When they were first ordered the Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship Prince of Wales were dubbed the aircraft carriers with no aircraft. This was a major exaggeration but at the moment the Royal Navy and Royal Navy do not have enough of the jets equip one ship let alone.
The Royal Navy has been forced to call in the U.S. Marine Corps to overcome the shortage of aircraft and there are more U.S. jets on the Queen Elizabeth than British ones. Infact, when she was first built it was said that she would carry about 40 aircraft but at the moment that figure stands at 17 (10 American and 7 British).
Britain has ordered 48 F35s but it is a slow process and it will take many years for all the aircraft to come into service. The Ministry of Defence have said that they will be ordering more planes but haven´t said when.
So Britain has a Premier League aircraft carrier but only a very small squad which has now got even smaller. Thankfully, the U.S. is always willing to help but for the ships to be effective Britain needs to speedup its purchase of more aircraft.