There has been some lively discussion in the media here about the rescue operation to get foreign nationals out of Libya; one route being via HMS Cumberland (Type 22) currently disembarking civilians in Malta before returning for another evacuation. In the light of the scrapping of the Ark Royal (not that long after a major refit) and of course, the Harrier force, there has been some criticism of the British goverment not being able to deploy a larger unit that a frigate - itself earmarked for disposal.
Of course, it doesn't follow that (even if we still had the Ark), she could be in place off the Libyan coast at present; but the shortage of naval units - soon to be further decreased - has raised the question of how handy it would now be to have a floating airfield, what the Queen Elizabeth will be, to project some clout into an area in which the British goverment has vested interests. And this is part of the growing debate, some coming from senior military officers, about the deep cuts being made into the amed forces.
Anyway, our prime minister is currently busy in the area with a sizeable contingent of defence firms as part of an accompanying trade mission.