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The UK Government has selected the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F35-B variant of the Lockheed Martin-built Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the country’s Future Aircraft Carrier programme in a major policy U-turn.

The government originally declared the first Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier would fly a version of the fighter jet requiring a catapult and arrester wire or ‘cat and trap’ but has now backed down after cost estimates soared by up to £3billion.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said in parliament earlier: “I can announce to the house today that the National Security Council has decided not to proceed to the cats and traps conversion, but to complete both carriers in the STOVL configuration.”

Source: Naval-technology.com

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