Thursday, June 27, 2019

RAF has smallest combat force in history...

via Daily Mail...
The RAF now has the smallest combat fleet in its history having lost nearly half its aircraft in the last twelve years, MailOnline can reveal.

Britain's new supersonic F-35 Lightning fighter jets have just completed their first operational missions – rooting out the remnants of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq in 14 sorties over the past ten days.

But following the retirement earlier this year of the last of the Air Force's beloved Tornados, the UK's 17 Lightnings are part of a forward available fleet of just 119 fast attack jets, down 43 per cent from 210 in 2007.

It leaves the air force smaller than at any time since its creation during the First World War.

The RAF said number of aircraft does not equate to capability and it has the jets it needs to meet its commitments.

But military analysts have warned that whatever the sophisticated capabilities of the fourth- and fifth-generation planes of which the fleet is now comprised, 'no aircraft, no matter how capable, can be in more than one place at any time'.
Story here. 

I have to wonder.

Not even talking about peer vs peer conflict, how long can an Air Force stay in the air with so few fighters?

More capable but fewer aircraft seems to be chasing a rabbit with no meat on the bones.  I don't think it will end well.

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