Folding wings have nothing to do with size of the carrier and everything to do with the size of the wing required for the recovery on deck, approach speeds and glide slope and the fact that LO requirement limited the size and number of flap and slats.Jensy wrote: ↑24 Nov 2021, 22:25Yeah, funny back in the early noughties, you'd think the B was the condemned variant and that the C would be snagged by 'probe & drogue' refuelling users who didn't want to fund the modifications for the A.
Fitting folding wings has seemed a bit of a peculiar choice with hindsight, considering:
1) The vastness of US CVN hangars, that haven't exactly been stretched by post-Cold War airgroups.
2) It's additional weight, alongside the other carrier mods negate most of the increased fuel capacity.
Then again the USN, having wasted a great deal of political capital on the A-12 and NATF, would probably have taken any stealth platform available by the late 90s...
Funny you should mention India. Was reading a rather scathing description of their experiences with the Fulcrum/ongoing Tejas woes last night, and came to think that their best option is probably the F-35B (assuming it would be available to them)....
The C variant was always us navy only it remains to be seen how many of each type will be built regardless of the number of operators.