An interview of DefenceManagement with Brian Johnson, UK business development director at BAE Systems, about the Type 26, contains the only useful information that the Flexible Deck, also known as "Mission Bay" is still an option being considered. Final design will be settled upon only at Main Gate, in the middle of the decade.
However, one would hope that they do have some clear ideas to work upon from now to 2014. If they have them, though, they are not sharing.
Possibly even more uninteresting is the House of Commons report on F35/JCA just released.
Frankly, coming on this blong and reading my articles, the PAC would have been able to put more detail in it. You can give it a look if you want, but it really adds nothing new.
A real news is the fact that AirTanker is having trouble refueling Tornado GR4s: 20% of the time, the contact results in fuel leaking around the Tornado probe.
The problem must be fixed with money coming from the AirTanker consortium due to the type of contract. This is a good news in the bad news. It also means that it is in the interest of AirTanker to fix the problem quickly, or they will shoulder the losses.
The core fleet of 9 air tankers, including five 3-points tankers (Voyager KC3) is still planned to be delivered in time, by 2014.
Already this year the first RAF crews and Voyagers will be ready to work as flying hospital / medical evacuation airplane, and obviously as troop transports, but air to air refueling training and operations won't start until the Tornado problem is fixed.
No news about the Typhoon AAR trials, which had been cause of delays in the last few months due to the MOD being unable to provide Typhoon jets for the trials...!
Hopefully there won't be further problems.