On Sept 5 French and British defense ministers officially refuted
previously emerged reports that France and the UK planned to use their
aircraft carriers jointly, informs AFP.
Herve Morin and Liam Fox said that project was “absolutely unreal”. At
the same time, the ministers pointed out that in future the joint use
of military transport aircrafts A400M would not improbable.
The information of possible co-operative use of three aircraft carriers was published in The Times on Sept 1. The question was British carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious, and French one Charles de Gaulle.
It was reported that France and the UK were about to keep carriers on
station, increase combat readiness of their navies, and at the same
time reduce expenses.
The parties allegedly planned to coordinate maintenance dates of
aircraft carriers in such a way that at least one of them would
permanently stand by when urgent reaction was needed. The Times
also reported of special protocols regulating behavior of the parties
while contingency situations – for instance, when during French patrol
exclusively Britain’s interests would be under threat and vice versa.
Numerous British experts criticized this initiative having noted that
the UK was making itself subordinate to France what might be
detrimental to Britain’s interests. An undisclosed source in British
defense ministry said to The Daily Mail that the UK might be at risk to plunge into a difficulty when deciding to deploy French carrier and France would oppose.