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DELAYS to the Royal Navy’s new fighter planes could see US squadrons fly off the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

The carrier, which will be based in Portsmouth, will be ready by 2017 but there may be a delay of some years before the first British squadron of F35s is operational.

According to the BBC, the American Marine Corp may be asked to bridge that gap.

A fire in the engine of the American-built Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II in the summer has already delayed the build.