What would Lord Nelson have thought of this? There were various news reports out recently that the British and the French may share aircraft carriers.
Britain and France are moving closer to a deal to share aircraft carriers, a British newspaper reported Tuesday — a move that could save the one-time rivals money in an age of austerity. The possibility of pooling carriers has been suggested before, but The Times of London claimed that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron were due to outline the proposal during a planned November summit.
The idea has been kicking around since at least 2008. Nevertheless, the news reports were met with protests and an immediate denial by the UK Ministry of Defence.
It is an intriguing idea, not the least because it would involve two traditional nautical enemies. In some respects it would be a manifestation of ”Augustine’s Laws,” which were formulated by Norman Augustine, a former chairman of Martin Marietta, a major US defense contractor. “His Law XVI was “In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3 1/2 days each per week, except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marine Corps for the extra day.” The serious truth behind this law is that since the end of World War II the cost per weapon for airplanes, tanks, and ships has risen much faster than the defense budget has, so every single category of weapon has declined in numbers.” (from James Fallows, Uncle Sam Buys an Airplane)
Thanks to Irwin Bryan for passing on the news.