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RAF and RN row over jets capability

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Britain risks reducing the fighting power of two new aircraft carriers and damaging ties with the United States because of a row over jets, defence sources have warned, Sky News reports.

Two sources, who are close to the Royal Navy, accused senior Royal Air Force officers of privately pushing for a version of a supersonic warplane that can only fly from the land to be included in an initial purchase of 48 F-35 Lightning II jets, instead of them all being able to operate from ships at sea.

They said any cut in the number of next generation F-35 aircraft that can take off and land from HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales would be a huge mistake, shrinking the size of the squadrons each £3bn carrier will be equipped to carry in the coming years.

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