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Britain's Queen to name UK's biggest warship as doubts swirl

Published on Jul 4, 2014 10:04 AM
A worker sweeps in front of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of two aircraft carriers being built by British defence firm BAE Systems, at the Rosyth Dockyard in Fife, Scotland on June 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Queen Elizabeth will officially name the biggest warship Britain has ever built on Friday, the latest step in a 6.2 billion pound (S$13.3 billion) project to build a new generation of aircraft carriers.

But the stage-managed show of military might and engineering expertise comes at a time of financial uncertainty and it remains unclear if the vessel, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be the only carrier of its kind to be deployed by the Royal Navy.

How many US-built F-35 jets it will carry is an open question too for the project 2.6 billion pounds over the original budget set out seven years ago.

For Britain's naval commanders, it's a moment to savour and to lobby for greater and continued spending as politicians eye further cuts to the country's defence spending to help try to reduce large public debts.

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