There is another reason two that I ought to relate.
There was an interesting youtube video (and im damned if I can recall this) that related, making these ships nuclear vessels would add to the maintainance, and put a great strain on Royal Navy which has to keep 4 Vanguard class boats (soon to be replaced by 4 Dreadnaught class SSBN's) and keep 7 Astute class submarines in operation. That is a big ask for a European navy. In fact, its would in reactor terms be approaching our cold war peak. Then you have disposal to think of, and considering we have every nuclear submarine we ever built still tied up waiting for disposal, clearly there is something of an issue finding room for 2 60000 ton warships, not least whilst we find somewhere other than India to break them up. You also have the reduction in life. You have 50 years of potential use built in these ships. Put a reactor in it, you are getting at least 10 years less, maybe more through the metal around the reactor getting brittle.. And then there is the time you have to take out to refuel it.
Its like with the cats and traps. Its undoubtedly a greater capability, but is it worth it, to us, to put a kettle in it to get it? Possibly not.And as the US ONLY builds Nuclear powered carriers these days, clearly its not an option for us. It begs the question of what we replace these with in 2070 or so. Maybe the carrier with be an irrelevance by then and it wont matter.
What would I like to buy off the Americans? LCS, in the doubtless to follow fire sale. They will make highly useful patrol ships to keep the French fisherman at bay....
I Feel like being able to embark Hawkeye would be worth it going with a more traditional design alone. Also we do build the amphibious assault ships and the newest ones can embark 20+ F35s i believe if configured for it so a pretty good airgroup. I know it is just a game but I was playing that Command Modern operations the "Canarys Cage" Scenario with the Spanish Navy. The QE is obviously much more capable vessel then the Spanish carrier but it would have been really nice in that scenario to be able to put up a Hawkeye for AWACS work instead of a helicopter. Obviously the Assault ships mentioned above would not have the capability of QE.
It depends if you are in range of land based radar aircraft. In most of the occasions which the US has operated since the 1960's, they are, tankers as well. Sure in theory a land based ASW and radar capability is a very good idea. In reality, with long range refueling and knowing the range of systems like the Poseidon or Sentry, is it really necessary? Possibly not. I dont think its quite the be all and end all it was, say, 50 years ago.
CMANO is a truly great game, and ill not knock it. It made me realise how hard it actually is to find a carrier on teh open ocean, particularly when its surrounded by civilian sea traffic.
The "civilian" sea traffic are going to be calling in its position, in addition to which, you may recall the Soviets used to tail US CVBGs with old DDs that were essentially expendable. Until fighting actually starts there is nothing you can do about that. Carriers are also mighty easy to find in port, where they are vulnerable to everything from cruise missiles to a nutter with an off the shelf drone, one of which landed on one of them unannounced.
As for using them for disaster relief, that's great, but just imagine how much more disaster relief you could do for a fraction of the money buying appropriate platforms for the job.
No, we don't have to defend the Falklands - they're a self-imposed burden. If Argentina is serious about wanting the Falklands back, they should be investing in land-based cruise missiles, a few of which could negate the islands defences and airfield and render them pretty much uninhabitable.
Someone claimed the carriers are the point of our sword - can you point out to me the key role carrier air power played in the war in NW and Eastern Europe in WW2, where our only likely geographically close adversary is located? Can you point out anything British CVs did in the theatre that was particularly useful, other than using up enemy torpedoes and cruiser projectiles?
The supposed linkage between the maintenance of national wealth and aircraft carrier ownership. How many carriers do Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Norway and Monaco have?
So you do one of two things. Either you turn off any reporting system (a relatively easy matter to shut down ship tracker) or you send out a spoof message claiming your aircraft carrier is the Vital Spark, a container ship carrying rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong. Yes, the 21st Century presents new problems, but lets not pretend there are not as many solutions to those problems
Yes, you can attack them in port. But what with? You know, there was a military novel written at the turn of the last century when a German terrorist sinks most of the Royal Navy at the spithead review. It makes for a might entertaining novel. But how practical is it to sink 60000 tons of warship at the dock with a drone? Not very. Even most light aircraft would bounce off the deck. That is what they are pretty much designed to do after all. And once again, what makes ours inherently vulnerable but the American and other European ones not?
Well you must ask the Americans how useful our carriers were in the Pacific. They borrowed one for several months, which seems to have been appreciated. And at the end of the war, the RN was undertaking combat air patrols over Tokyo in Seafires. Not I submit a distinct lack of use. it also airbrushes how useful they were in the mediterranean, without which Malta, and probably a lot else, would have been lost. If they had limitations it was in design and the aircraft they had, although I submit, I still do not believe the last word on armoured decks has yet been written.
Once again, if Carriers are so useless, why do Japan, China, Russia, India, even south Korea want them? Because, contrary to narrative, it is useful to have your own airfield you take place anywhere on the planet. We have kicked this around the garden a dozen times Chris. My concerns are purely about whether the Government decides to pay for their use, not whether they do not have a viable use. They were not my first choice for investment in 21st Century security, but we have them, so why not use them?