On Sept 5 French and British defense ministers officially refutedpreviously emerged reports that France and the UK planned to use theiraircraft carriers jointly, informs AFP.
Herve Morin and Liam Fox said that project was "absolutely unreal". Atthe same time, the ministers pointed out that in future the joint useof 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 onstation, increase combat readiness of their navies, and at the sametime reduce expenses.
The parties allegedly planned to coordinate maintenance dates ofaircraft carriers in such a way that at least one of them wouldpermanently stand by when urgent reaction was needed. The Timesalso reported of special protocols regulating behavior of the partieswhile contingency situations – for instance, when during French patrolexclusively Britain's interests would be under threat and vice versa.
Numerous British experts criticized this initiative having noted thatthe UK was making itself subordinate to France what might bedetrimental to Britain's interests. An undisclosed source in Britishdefense 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.