which carrier would the BAC Navalised Canberra have operated of? the wing span would have precluded Audcious, Malta and CVA01.
What if we'd gone Phantom much earlier with the Navy getting F4K and the Airforce getting the F4M to replace Lightning and the F4L (F4E with UK modifications) and Buccaneers replacing Canberra B(I)'s and Hunters?
Sea Canberra was envisaged for the 1952 post war carrier design as we were watching the US developments with Forrestal, Savage and Skywarrior and thought we could do the same using the Canberra. The size of carrier wouls have been similar to Forreatal at a 1000ft long and without the drydock and dockyard facilities available we moderated our plans accordingly.
They probably could have got a Naval Canberra suitable for for use on CVA-01, but by then it was a 40s design and they had moved forward on with design and technology and were looking at follow on designs to the 50s Buccaneer.
We were touted early on as a potential Phantom Customer with the RN getting the F-4B, however as an Aircraft the Phantom actually failed to live up to its marketing hype and proved itself unsuitable for smaller carriers (the USN were supposed to replace all its Crusaders with Phantoms includiing those on the angled deck Essex class !). If we had pressed ahead with the Malta class instead of the Audacious then we would have had a more capable ship more adapt for the F-4B. The RAF may possibly have gone for the F-4C/D initially as a Javelin replacement and picking up E models later for the strike fighter role