Despite speculation that the UK might keep its fleet of 30 early production ‘Tranche 1’ Typhoon jets, the Government have again confirmed they are to be scrapped for parts.

Tranche 1 aircraft are the production versions that meet ‘Initial Operational Capability’, which is just a very basic air defence capability and nothing more.

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, asked via a Parliamentary Written Question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Typhoon Tranche 1’s have been (a) retired from service and (b) donated to Ukraine since February 2022; and what his Department’s policy is for disposing of these planes.”

James Cartlidge The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, responded:

“Since February 2022 no Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft have been retired from RAF service or donated to Ukraine. The Tranche 1 fleet will undergo a Reduce to Produce programme to strip them of useable parts to contribute to the Typhoon fleets spares inventory.”

He also added:

“There are currently 30 Tranche 1 aircraft on the military register of which 26 will leave service by the end of March 2025.”

Late last year, the UK’s plans to phase out 30 Tranche 1 jets prompted questions from the Defence Select Committee over a potential gap in defence capability. The Defence Select Committee, therefore, asked defence manufacturer BAE Systems to discuss whether Typhoon fighter jets could be upgraded out of retirement.

Mark Francois MP said:

“There is one scenario in which you get a brutal capability gap. It’s called war. As we’ve got so few aircraft left, why does it make sense to retire about 30… shouldn’t we at the very least put them in a war reserve?”

BAE had stated that while upgrade work was possible, the Ministry of Defence had not asked for it.

“It is technically feasible to bring a Tranche 1 (T1) aircraft to the standard of a Tranche 2 (T2) or Tranche 3 (T3) aircraft. BAE Systems has previously provided data to the MOD that outlines the scope of structural and avionic modifications that would be required.”

On current plans, the bulk of the RAF’s 30 Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft will go out of service on 31 March 2025, whilst four will be retained until 2027. The retirement of the Tranche 1 Typhoons will leave the Royal Air Force with just 107 Typhoon aircraft in total – 67 Tranche 2 jets and 40 Tranche 3 jets.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mike
Mike (@guest_775024)
5 months ago

All I can say at least it is consistent with the last 30yrs of political madness. So the primary responsibility of any Government is defence of the state and we have no capable Navy, Army or Airforce. Best we do not do anything and join the rest of society!!!!!

Expat
Expat (@guest_775270)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Unfortunately it’s not set to change Labour at the last election offered a far worse choice on defence and whilst they may change the posture with a lean towards land forces and Europe we’ll not see any increase in spending. The reality is the UK needs a completely new political party not revamps of old ideologies which as we know fail if we’re going to see any real change and defence taken seriously.

Price
Price (@guest_775289)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

I think we need to move away from this first past the post system, it too often forces voters to choose between the only two parties and choose the option they dislike the least. With a system more towards proportional representation people could actually vote for the party they want without the fear of their vote being wasted. This would likely result in a large range of parties more accurately representing the country. Parliament should be updated to accommodate this with the focus being on cooperation between parties instead of endless opposition. The most common argument against this I hear… Read more »

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago) (@guest_775329)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

It’s amazing the capability Australia gets for 2.04% of GDP but 37% the population of the UK.

Today…..
+/- 96 front line fast jets (60 x f35 plus F18s
10 x p8 maritime PA
5 x Wedgetail AEW
11 x frigates and destroyers (fully armed)
2 helicopter carriers
6 x Collins diesel subs
Army of 50k highly trained regulars and reservists with a couple of thousand armoured vehicles of various forms.

Building 10 x Hunter frigates
Committed to 10 x SSN via AUKAS
Ordered 1000 LRASM

Questions have to be asked of UK MOD.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_775503)
5 months ago

Totally agree.

Like why does Australia not have 4 bombers with 4 more in production and why does she not have 7ish SSNs.

Totally reasonable question from you.

Oh, did I mention two mahoosive aircraft carriers?

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago) (@guest_775523)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Australia are ordering SSNs The 4 x bombers gross of operating costs, disposal and capital amortisation = +/- 7% of mod budget ( but only recently got pulled into the 2%) australia has 2 x helo flat tops but setting that aside, even the QE class operating costs are only +/- 100m pa ea (mod statement in 2021 stated 96m ea) Amortise capex over say 25 year life and add to opex and you get to */- 400m pa to own and run both carriers….or less than 1% of mod budget of 46 billion pa So yea. It’s amazing what… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_775530)
5 months ago

Your numbers can be skewered very easily.

50k regulars and AR…
Diesel subs

But nowhere do you mention the fact that the UK has more star Braid than understrength infantry Bns or any other kind of manpower.

More star RN Braid than ships… of any kind.

F. knows about the RAF, they have the RAF Regt to worry about.

So there, when you can bring 74+/- Braid to the fight with their pension liabilities, kids schooling fees and other associated costs, we can sit down mano a mano, digger!

Darryl2164
Darryl2164 (@guest_810904)
2 months ago

Maybe because we have a wasteful procurement system in the UK and an mod grossly overstaffed and inefficient and a government that refuses to get to grips with it . I,ve been saying for a while why do other nations with similar budgets to ours get more bang for their bucks .

Dave
Dave (@guest_776470)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

The need today is to add to the aircraft we have not to reduce them. Given the obvious very real dangers this country faces i would say we do without the 80,000 a year nhs positions for inclusion and all that politixally correct bullshit, kick the illegals out of the country back where they came from, scrap local councils, halve the number of mps, reduce the department of defence to the a quarter of the size of the armed forces, scrap dhss and inland revenue by having a single flat benefit and a single flat tax and use all the… Read more »

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_775027)
5 months ago

Best we buy some new ones. Added to those already planned for Spain and Germany should reduce costs. The number of fighter aircraft presently available to the RAF (including F-35) is laughable.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_775121)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

Don’t think that will happen , to much of a good idea for our government 🙄

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_775134)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

No worries Sooty, the World is in a good place with little or no conflicts of note. In such an environment, defence cuts are in financial terms, inevitable such is the peace dividend. In reality, the 70+ US fighters stationed at RAF Lakenheath when added to UK aircraft totals make for an impressive fleet. Thank goodness for the Americans. So in the meantime, the MOD/Treasury can continue to diminish the UK’s ability to defend itself. Well, that’s what a bloke who works at the MOD told me and he should know.

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_775188)
5 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Must be right then . . .

Jim
Jim (@guest_775255)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

Yes I agree , even just keep these aircraft in long terms storage would be better than using them for spare parts.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jim
Expat
Expat (@guest_775271)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Agree or sell them as that would generate revenue in 2 ways firstly from the sales and then from the support. Then build new with the funds which will keep our lines open providing 2 further benefits, prevent skill fade and therefore reduce costs with no need to retrain people if you need to reopen the lines or build Tempest. The other benefit is with open assembly lines we remain a viable export supplier for complete Typhoons.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_775868)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Or possibly use them to intercept/monitor Russian ships/aircraft thus extending the life of more modern operational aircraft. If practical, a few of these in every squadron for day to day use and training purposes… just to reduce fatigue in the regular force.

TR
TR (@guest_775468)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

New ones would be more expensive than upgrading and there’s no order, this is a cut in capability.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg (@guest_775028)
5 months ago

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills reading this. Even if they are obsolete, surely they could be of use garrisoning places like the Falklands or augmenting forces in the Gulf? Madness. Even donating to Ukraine would be a fantastic use of them.

Just because they’re aren’t the creme de la creme doesn’t mean they aren’t useful

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_775095)
5 months ago

They are really hard to support – T1 has a different loom and electrical system to the later tranches. It is full of 1980’s bits of electronics that are really hard to replace. The only thing you can do is to upgrade the whole thing to T2 or T3 standard. Problem is they are structurally different frames and some of the outer bits are different too. So it is a big deal to upgrade them. I’d be happy if RAF got even 12 – 18 more T3. As ever the problem is money. Do we want lots of pilots/missiles/bombs and… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_775256)
5 months ago

Every aircraft we have had since the 70’s has come up with the same problem and we have always found a way to upgrade them. Spain and other European countries are upgrading T1 and BAE says it can upgrade T1 but the MOD has never asked for it.

Some how the MOD seems to be the only organisation in the world that thinks T1 can’t be upgraded even though they have never even asked the aircraft manufacturer for a costing.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775273)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I think BAe have given a cost probably just Rough Order of Magnitude or ROM cost but knowing BAe it’s unlikely to look like a bargain.

Spain are upgrading the T1 but its not to a standard T2 or T3 spec it’s more of a swap out of older systems for newer systems but it will offer a limited update compared to a T2 or T3.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775275)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yeah the T1 is probably less cost effective than having some F35A which will exist in volume across Europe and be well supported. Core equipment like flight simulators will be the same as the B.

The concern is the number reduction without adding either F35s or new Typhoons.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_775548)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

The RAF do Not have the right kind of tanker refuelling
mechanism to support F-35A! Only for refuelling the B and C versions.

Mark
Mark (@guest_775362)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I can’t remember were I read it but I’m sure article I read said that the Spanish upgraded T1’s would cost around £30 million each which seems a lot for a half worn out aircraft

Longburn
Longburn (@guest_775574)
5 months ago

Tranche 4 is the current build and I suspect that, with the F35B being the disaster that it is, we will end up buying more Typhoons.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_775123)
5 months ago

👍 sure can be put to use some were 🤔 🇬🇧

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_775316)
5 months ago

Don’t see the Russians disposing of capable aircraft just because they aren’t the gold plated standard anymore.
If they can still fly, intercept pesky Russian or Chinese aircraft. Shoot off missiles and hit their targets they should be retained.
We don’t have any depth in our armed forces, this is just reducing our capacity to endure any sort of prolonged conflict Vs a near peer or peer enemy.

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere (@guest_775029)
5 months ago

Given servicing of aircraft etc and the Mount Pleasant Aircraft and commitments to allies that means about fifty aircraft in defence of the Nation. I remember the RAF requirement was for 250 plus when I worked at Warton. Is this a cut too far?

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_775032)
5 months ago

not even a different one for every week in the year then…answered your own question methinks

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_775124)
5 months ago

Agreed 👍

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_775317)
5 months ago

I think we are miles past the point of a cut too far. Those have already happened. This is a journey into surreal ignorance and ignoring the deteriorating international security picture.
We are heading for military defeat and it will entirely be due to this Tory government.

Coll
Coll (@guest_775033)
5 months ago

There’s no excuse. They must be replaced. Maybe we should get Germany to pay for them if they are going to block sales. It is wishful thinking. “It was in October 1986 when Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany signed a government agreement that brought the « traffic light » in Berlin a lot of trouble. The partners, it says, should not hinder the sale of the jointly developed « products » by another partner country. If a country does not approve the export of its supplier part to the Eurofighter, it is obliged to compensate the other country financially.… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_775080)
5 months ago
Reply to  Coll

That’s interesting. I wonder if that part of the program was ever signed and if it was why is it not being used. Also how much compensation does it allow?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_775096)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

It is called simplistic diplomatic suicide to use those kind of clauses.

They are the kind of clauses the EU Commission loves (OK it isn’t formally an EU project but it might as well have been) as it gives them the power of the pork barrel……

Mark
Mark (@guest_775099)
5 months ago

At the time the Eurofighter was agreed, the EU was the EEC and staying far away from military procurements.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_775102)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

True

But the general sense of the way Europe does things is embodied.

Mark
Mark (@guest_775108)
5 months ago

I don’t recall any complaints when the U.K. has been able to use its position to frustrate or block Arms sales to Argentina for example, even if that hurt the arms industries of other nations? The US also maintains restrictions on arms or second hand sales of their equipment, so why the complaints.

Pretty much every nation that has arms exports exercise some level of control over where their equipment ends up.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_775110)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

‘82 is a bit different as the UK fought a major war and suffered casualties.

So there is a stronger and direct argument.

In this case it just means that Germany have excluded themselves from further collaboration with the UK.

Coll
Coll (@guest_775118)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Because all contracts are different.

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine (@guest_775154)
5 months ago
Reply to  Coll

I don’t recall Saudi Arabia ever invading any German/French/Italian territory either! The UK has the right and it would look bloody stupid if it allowed Argentina to get European equipment that is used to later attack it. It would be the T42’s all over again! That’s the difference, Mark!

Coll
Coll (@guest_775159)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Is the message for me or Mark?

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine (@guest_775165)
5 months ago
Reply to  Coll

Mark mate, it says that.

Coll
Coll (@guest_775176)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Ok. You replied to me, that’s all.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_775039)
5 months ago

I never thought I would agree on anything with Mark Francois but he is absolutely correct. The threat of NATO getting into a war on at least one front quite possibly two. If we must take these airframes, which still have a substantial number of hours of life left. They should be replaced with tranche 3 or better.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_775070)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The RAF may wish to reconsider refurbing Tranche 1 a/c, after reviewing the lesson
learned from current USN procurement. Article stated USN is currently at an impasse w/ Boeing over acquisition of 20 F-18 E/Fs. Boeing has apparently nearly doubled the per copy price since the last purchase lot. 🤔😳☹️

Coll
Coll (@guest_775073)
5 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

There was an article at the start of the year mentioning that BAE System was feasible to upgrade Tranche 1 to Tranche standard.

RobW
RobW (@guest_775093)
5 months ago
Reply to  Coll

The article above says the same. What we don’t know is cost. I bet it would be exorbitant.

Jim
Jim (@guest_775257)
5 months ago
Reply to  RobW

£20 million per airframe was the previously banded about price however as the MOD has never actually asked BAE for a price they clearly pulled that number out their backside.

If it was £20 million that’s a hell of a lot cheaper than then £100 million or so new price for an F35B or Tranche 5 Typhoon.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775276)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The F35A would be cheaper at 75m USD, so around 60m GBP and has cheaper life cycle costs than the Typhoon or B. But personally I think a new built Typhoon has more economic advantages, if you believe the Unions they recon 65% of a defence purchase from the UK goes back to the Treasury, I think that % is to high, probably more like 30%, but the argument is sound.

Mark P
Mark P (@guest_775367)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I’ll try and find the article but I’m sure the Spanish T1’s upgrade will cost around £30 million each

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_775172)
5 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Every major war this country ignores the signs and gets caught out.
The smaller NATO countries are depending on the bigger dogs to help them. Right now. This big dog couldn’t go toe to toe with a chihuahua.
And the politicians will ring their hands and demand “ how could this happen”

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_775287)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Pundits have stated that while history seldom repeats, it often rhymes. Recently have accepted this proposition. Firmly convinced that there were multiple commentators/observers that foresaw the gathering storm in the mid-to-late 1930’s, but we’re either ignored or rendered powerless to affect the course of events. Believe the same concept holds true across economic, military, political and social spheres. Current events will be judged to have been entirely predictable by future historians, w/ benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Jim
Jim (@guest_775258)
5 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I know China is your number one enemy but surly Boeing has to be number 2 above Russia 😀

Boeing is now pulling out of any contract it can’t get a cost + contract on. It’s crazy what the company is doing to US military and NASA.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_775293)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Probably difficult to believe, but in days of yore, Boeing enjoyed a sterling reputation, at least among some elements of the US military-industrial complex. Corporate cultures, or at least public perception of the same, can change over time, either positively or negatively. Currently, believe both BAES and RR are generally viewed in a positive manner in the US.

CJH
CJH (@guest_775378)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

My thoughts entirely! Detest Francois but have to admit his participation on the Defence Committee is usually spot on and very well informed. The prospect of a war in which – after initial contact losses, damage or simple wear and tear to our aircraft, equipment and naval assets – will leave us pretty much defenceless and resorting to throwing stones. I remember a glimmer of hope after the Falklands when Hawk T1 was equipped with Sidewinder as a point defence system after the lessons learned that attacking aircraft at extended range were limited in speed and time over target and… Read more »

James Hogan
James Hogan (@guest_778848)
5 months ago
Reply to  CJH

Imagine being in a Soviet bomber attacking the UK and finding yourself with a freshly repainted Red Arrow after you.

Loved when they hung Sea Eagle off it and when they paired them with the Phantoms to direct them in.

Not sure how effective it really was though

Finney
Finney (@guest_775047)
5 months ago

Makes sense to strip them down, but they must be replaced by at least 24 new ones. Since the Saudi deal has been scuppered by Germany, we really need some production ticking over until Tempest gets going.

DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_775059)
5 months ago

A tiny army, a tiny air force, a tiny navy, despite having one of the biggest defence budgets in earth, pathetic.

Marked
Marked (@guest_775069)
5 months ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Even the nuclear deterrant subs are fitted with fewer tubes than the ones they replace! The countries a sick joke.

Louis
Louis (@guest_775141)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

The Vanguards only carry a max of 12 Tridents anyway. No point having empty tubes.

Vanguards carry 12 missiles and 48 warheads. That would destroy Russia or China completely. I wouldn’t call a country with that capability a ‘sick joke’.

Marked
Marked (@guest_775144)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

They should be carrying the full 16. It’s about the only capability the country does have and should be maximised. The rest of what is left of the military is laughable.

Louis
Louis (@guest_775149)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

Why? 48 warheads will destroy any adversary. What’s the point carrying more?

Chris
Chris (@guest_775249)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Destroying two adversaries. From the North Sea you could hit China and Russia simultaneously in the same launch. Not an unthinkable scenario if they join forces for mutual gain.

Louis
Louis (@guest_775251)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris

12 Tridents could carry 144 warheads which again would be more than enough, you wouldn’t need 16 Tridents.

24 warheads each to China and Russia would do them both extreme damage.

A handful of ballistic missiles would destroy the UK, why would both China and Russia launch against us knowing they would be hit back?
The chance of this scenario happening is so low, add in the fact that no other country is responding and it becomes even lower.

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_775634)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Siberia is very big. 48x 100kt warheads, wouldn’t even scratch it.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_775082)
5 months ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Nuclear costs amongst other things are a big user of the budget

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine (@guest_775161)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

If it meant a decent Navy, Air Force and Army, I would happily give up our Nuc’s. Use the money for something we WILL use. The US has enough to make Russia a smoking wilderness without our few warheads. I got fed up having to juggle poor equipment, shortages in air transport, not enough gear to be able to train properly. If you took that *12% of the defence budget and used it on conventional forces, it would make a big difference. (based on UK spend of £8.9bn in 2020 on nuclear weapons, according to Global Campaign on Military Spending,… Read more »

David Smile
David Smile (@guest_775186)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Isn’t thst the whole point of nukes that you don’t use them?, a sure sign of their success if they stay in their launch platform. Seems cheap to have a weapon system that cannot be defeated, or bettered, without the aggressor state signing they own total destruction. MAD, and us not playing out Threads, or likely worse, in real life is good enough for me to want to keep funding a UK nuclear deterrent. Fund extra warships, fighter jets etc and the like from cutting all the dead wood like DIE (diversity inclusion and equality) and all the other woke… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_775277)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Smile

Yes irony is the provided the peace dividend that resulted in cuts but the political class.

Chris
Chris (@guest_775203)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

I think if we saved money on the nukes that money would be filtered off to some other “worthy” cause by the politicians. No chance of building a few more frigates or Typhoons.

James Hogan
James Hogan (@guest_778849)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Agreed but that money would be list from the budget.

Defence of the reslm isn’t a biggy for the politicians because it isn’t a biggy for the population

Marked
Marked (@guest_775067)
5 months ago

A war reserve? In the UK? Over rishi’s dead body. Unless his wife can profit from it of course…

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_775072)
5 months ago

One word. Ridiculous!

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775074)
5 months ago

Interestingly I just go a letter through the door from the the primimister with a survey asking me what was import to me…it gave a list of ten things defence was not even on the list…this government are not even bothering to ask the population if it’s a priority.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775278)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sadly. You, me and the hand full of posters on this board are probably the only ones interested 😀

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775343)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Unfortunately Expat you are correct, but in the end we are all going to suffer for it ( as in the whole world) when china ( and it’s axis) hits the point it thinks it can win a world war against the US and it Allis. What irritates me is it’s actually the job of our politicians/government to do the right thing and defence is their first job…they then need to show the public that it is the right thing to do…in reality defence is so far removed from the public that it’s one of those areas it just leaves… Read more »

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_775285)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I had a copy of that letter. In the section asking about concerns I ticked thr box marked “other” and put “defence. I wonder if HMG will take any notice?

farouk
farouk (@guest_775075)
5 months ago

Why is Clive Lewis asking questions regards the defence of the realm he’s on record of openly hating the Uk, and everything about it. such as gloating over the death of the Queen: Lewis said his initial response to the idea of people queueing for many hours to file past the Queen’s coffin was “one of bemusement followed by a touch of despair”. In 2019 he demanded that the country puts in place a open door policy for anybody and every because apparently non British people have a right to a life here: Labour Must ‘Open The Borders’ And Back… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_776172)
5 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Agreed. The usual deafening silence.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_775077)
5 months ago

Not great.

I look forward to a Labour government doing the right thing and retaining them!

Matthew
Matthew (@guest_775105)
5 months ago

Lol is that a joke

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_775297)
5 months ago
Reply to  Matthew

Partly, yes, as I trust them in defence as much as I trust a monkey.
But who knows? If Labour are as wonderful on defence as their supporters here say, may be things like that, while other unfunded programs like T32 are cut, would be an effective way of retaining still effective kit?

Rgh
Rgh (@guest_775107)
5 months ago

Under which government were the QE and PoW carriers laid down? Who took the final decision not to opt for Cat and Trap? Just curious as it has forced adoption of only one type of fixed wing jet aircraft. Not a good place to bargain from IMHO.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_776173)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rgh

Irrelevant. I look at their record 97 to 2010. That the Tories were just as bad afterwards does not negate my concerns.
I’m pleased we don’t have cats and traps.
.

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_776166)
5 months ago

Hi mate, hope that both you and your better half have a good Xmas, trust that next year wont be as trying!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_776174)
5 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Merry Christmas mate. Respect.
God, I hope not!!

Mr M R Handley
Mr M R Handley (@guest_775081)
5 months ago

Absolutely mad decision, can no one see the sense to upgrade this very capable aircraft, in fact make sell 40 for Turkey and finish off the 48 for Saudis and while doing at add 12 to the raf as well,and please update these old tranche 1 to 2 or 3 Please!..or rishi ain’t getting my vote.

Louis
Louis (@guest_775212)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr M R Handley

The Saudi deal is pretty much dead. Saudi are entering serious talks with France and Dassault for Rafale. Turkey needs a jet fast, they won’t wait as long as Saudi (5+ years) for Germany to say yes. I don’t think either of those deals will go ahead which is a massive shame.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775286)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yeah, even if Germany approved the deal Saudi is not very likely to see the next UK government as its friends. They’d be pretty stupid to sign then be under embargo from the next UK government. And if Republicans win in the US then they will have other options beyond the French.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_775296)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr M R Handley

Can’t see Rishi doing any update what so ever , no interest in Defence 🙄

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_775083)
5 months ago

If the government thinks that current combat aircraft numbers are sufficient for the next decade, how many Tempests will we eventually acquire? The number is likely to be so low that unit cost including development will be enormous, which calls into question the viability of the whole programme.
For the foreseeable future, it is more important to order more Typhoons; we seem to be using those we have quite intensively and of course need an attrition reserve.

Marked
Marked (@guest_775145)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

4. 1 in service, 1 in maintenance, 1 in the ocu, the other to display in willy waving exercises to show how wonderful we are.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_775148)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Again, I contrast what Alex Hollings stated on Sandboxx the other day; that US Airforce will be unlikely to afford enough 5th Gen aircraft, so has maintained production of the F15 to the by now dramatically updated EX version as a sustainably-priced, 21st century second echelon. For the US Navy, a similar outlook taken with regard to the successful Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, not proving too shabby right now in the Red Sea; right up to the latest SEWIP Mk 111 version (understandably coined ‘muffin tops’). I like it when you can comprehend a strategy from a military power as… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_775196)
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Indeed. If the USA recognizes the need to make the most of existing proven equipment, to maintain credible numbers, why the hell can’t we?

Chris
Chris (@guest_775250)
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

It’s called the “high-lo strategy”. Most countries abandoned it for cost cutting in the 90’s.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775084)
5 months ago

Ok. Let’s not bite at the usual comments of impending doom. The RAF want rid of T1 because its cost them a small fortune compared to the return in capability. They are very different aircraft compared to the T2/3 airframes. They require a different training and supply pipeline. They way information is displayed to the pilots is also very different. And they would cost a fortune to upgrade. The RAF has 137 Typhoons. Of around 100 are in the forward fleet, and 37 are in the sustainment fleet in longer term maintenance or as attrition replacements. The number of T1… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Robert Blay
Will
Will (@guest_775216)
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Excellent summary of the situation and its ultimately the correct decision for the RAF. Despite what the doom mongers would have you believe.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775996)
5 months ago
Reply to  Will

It is. And it frees up a big chunk of cash for the very expensive upgrades. But, ultimately, the RAF will take capability over numbers every day of the week. 40 extremely capable Typhoons give force commanders many more options than 60 less capable jets. As I said, in a perfect world, we would order more. But the money isn’t available. And if it was, it would go to F35. Or Tempest.

Expat
Expat (@guest_775294)
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Sensible comments but there’s a couple of arguments to build new Typhoons, of our lines close the we are out of the export game, the cynic it me thinks Germany may be playing us, with orders for their lines and ours running dry keeping the Saudi order on hold could play out well for them. Also us building new keeps skills alive, it really does take long for skill fade to kick in, it occurs within months. This would be important if we wanted to restart production and for Tempest. Of course these are not points that impact the RAFs… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775965)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

I think the experience from building and the involvement in F35 will bring bigger gains for Tempest. 👍

Darryl2164
Darryl2164 (@guest_775085)
5 months ago

This is taxpayers money they are throwing down the drain , mothball them to keep them in reserve or use them as trainers or give them to ukraine but don’t scrap perfectly good aircraft

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_775087)
5 months ago

Why can’t they mothball them in reserve in case there is a pressing need for them in the future?

Ronnie
Ronnie (@guest_775126)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Because they’re unsupportable. An aircraft requires parts, a trained groundcrew and aircrew familiar with the aircraft. Plus the aircraft have to be kept in the right conditions to be recoverable and this expensive so we have a track record of doing it badly. It’s just not cost effective to mothball, if budget exists for that then it makes much more sense to buy newer more capable and less obsolete aircraft

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775140)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

But who will then fly and maintain them?

RobW
RobW (@guest_775088)
5 months ago

It isn’t great, but without extra money the MOD has little choice. At least we’ll have more F35s by 2025, so total 107 Typhoons and 48 F35B. Seems rather bare mind. We should be ordering more Tranche 3 or 4. In fact we should have done so several years ago.

I’m not for upgrading the Tranche 1s. It would be costly, may not give them that many more hours of service, and takes them out of use. Far better to order new. All eyes on Labour as an OSD of March 2025 will be after the next GE.

Marked
Marked (@guest_775146)
5 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Should be following Germany’s lead and having a squadron or 2 of dedicated electronic warfare platforms so the typhoons we do have can actually fly into harms way.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_775232)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

I think Radar 2 has dedicated electronic attack modes, so we are sort of covered there, if it ever actually sees service before nots obsolete!

Unfortunately, they only intend to equip the tranche 3 jets and I’ll wager not all of them, so in reality, two squadrons worth.

The sad reality is that Radar two will have been eclipsed by the time it enters service in 2030, as Tempest development aircraft will be flying with a radar a generation on.

Eric cruickshank
Eric cruickshank (@guest_775162)
5 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I agree with you w hole heartedly , so to pay for them they will have to increase taxes on the public, say another ten percent as they are not cheap, then say another five percent to maintain them, another couple percent to train new pilots, so let’s say everyone pays fifty percent tax , are you ok with that?.

Jonny
Jonny (@guest_775089)
5 months ago

Bunch of clowns

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775100)
5 months ago

Perfectly good aircraft really compared to it’s likely opponents it’s still materially better p, especially if used for the quick reaction roll and home defence…personally I think they should keep the tranche ones and used them exclusively for the QRA role and down in the Falklands…let the Russians burn the airframe hours of these older aircraft. Im also struggling a bit with the numbers..the RAF thinks it’s can just about do three front line F35 squadrons, a OCU and the test evaluation squadron with 78 airframes..but with only 107 typhoons they will run 5 full front line squadrons, one QRA… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_775122)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Of the 107 Typhoons only 45-50 would be immediately available on any one day. I did a study on Typhoon availability earlier this year using only open source information and posted it on UKDJ. Apart from the lack of serviceable airframes (which is mainly due to a lack of spare parts) the RAF does not have enough trained Typhoon pilots

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775125)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

So basically we have 5 front line squadrons, 1 QRA squadron and one QRA flight…but only 40ish available typhoons…that’s a bit shite and very worrying.

we really do need to buy another tranche of typhoons while the production line is still open.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_775143)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Ever since the Hawk trainers were grounded the RAF has had trouble training enough fast jet pilots. It’s not just the spare parts, the lack of availability of trained Typhoon pilots is part of the problem. The RAF does have Typhoon simulators but most RAF officers join up because they want to fly fast jets, not to play computer games. It does look like the RAF (which is now headed up by Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton – an engineering officer) is making an effort to get more airframes serviceable by cannibalizing an obsolete early tranche for spares. I… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775153)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Indeed, to be honest I think we need another tranche of typhoons to replace the tranche ones so having 130+ tranche 2/3/4 typhoons as well as keep the F35 buy at 78..that gives 210ish fast jets. Which is reasonable.

we really need

6 squadrons of typhoon ( 5 front line, 1 QRA) + the Falklands flight+ the 3 second line/support squadrons
4 front line squadrons of F35 + two support squadrons

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon (@guest_775163)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I can say there are at least 63 flying Typhoon airframes this last month. I’ve been casually counting them on ADS-B… unless their transponders are lying! They don’t always fly with transponders on, I don’t suppose and so I haven’t caught them all. And I do do other things and not just watch the radar! Even so there’s 40 odd I have’t spotted yet! What is the “flying to maintenance” ratio of a fast jets? Anyone know?

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_775178)
5 months ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

Front line is 50% of the total. That’s the immediately available squadron strength that would take to the skies on day 1 of a conflict. That’s about 53 Typhoons. 4 or 5 would be in the Falklands, up to 6 in flights in Estonia and Cyprus, leaving little over 40 in the UK to defend our great nation. The other 50% do a multitude of other roles: * probably 8 in the Aggressor training squadron * 3 in the OEU doing trials, certification etc * maybe 15 as the squadrons’ first line maintenance reserve * 6 in attrition reserve *… Read more »

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon (@guest_775318)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Thank you, that’s really helpful. I’ve clocked 7 airframes (so far) currently on Operation Shader. They are each flying 2.7 hours a day if my maths is right! I guess that’s a lot, or am I wrong?

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_775432)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Even so, none of our Typhoons have the latest ECRS Mk2 radars, destined to equip Typhoon Tranche 3 fighters. Despite BAE and Leonardo UK getting an £870 million contract, the first Typhoons fitted with ECRS will not fly until 2027 at the earliest

Marked
Marked (@guest_775147)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

In a full on shooting war the RAF could quite feasibly cease to exist as a viable force within a matter of days. And that’s without nukes joining the party.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775268)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

I don’t what kind of shooting war you are thinking about. But a combined air component air group with NATO allies ( Which is what we train for at exercises like Red flag) would dominate any battle space against any enemy. Again. Look at Russia’s abysmal air campaign over the Ukraine. Not even close to achieving air superiority.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon (@guest_775319)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

Yes and no. A full on shooting war who who? Russia? Well then you have to factor in the whole of Nato. France? Spain? Argentina? We’re not on our own in Europe… other places, well …and then China, well I don’t think we’d get many Typhoons out there before it was all over anyway. It’s all about subs and nukes out there, it seems. Horrifying truth is were 90 seconds to midnight (Bulletin f Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock)

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_775433)
5 months ago
Reply to  Marked

They might do better than that, judging by the very poor performance of the Russian warplanes over UkR. Even so, a pre-emptive drone and/or ballistic missile attack on the few remaining RAF airfields would be nasty

Ronnie
Ronnie (@guest_775128)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Only 10 aircraft in a squadron presently. Would a T1 replace a lost T3 anyway? Absolutely not so the UK really needs to be buy more

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775204)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ronnie

Hi Ronnie, but we do have a couple of squadrons that could happily just stick with the tranche 1.. IX bomber squadron is pure QRA and aggressor..never leaves the UK, 1435 flight is tranche 1 and never leaves the Falklands, 12 squardon is the joint Qatar squadron and only needs tranche 1..so we have 2 squadrons and a flight that simple don’t need more that tranche one and could be happy serviced by tranche 1 until the airframes are out of hours….that leaves the 5 front line squadrons and OCU 107 airframes….which is better. I agree 30 new tranche 4s… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_775218)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

IX squadron isn’t a frontline squadron and doesn’t do QRA. Given the Qataris are using Tranche 3s, I doubt the joint training squadron will use Tranche 1s. That squadron will decommission soon anyway

Currently there are only 5 frontline squadrons each of 10 Typhoons.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775222)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Well the RAF clearly says that IX squadron is a QRA squadron….are they lying ?

your missing out 1345 flight with is extra to the front line squadrons as well.

I have not seen any information on the disbanding of 12 squadron ? Do you have a reference.

RAf squadron numbers are meant to be above 12 ( around 12-16) so the fact they are operating 10 airframes is a failure not normal practice…

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Louis
Louis (@guest_775242)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It was never planned to be a permanent thing, once Qatar has enough aircraft they won’t need it. The Typhoon fleet isn’t large enough to support another frontline squadron so 12 Squadron will stand down. Whether it will reform for a different aircraft type I do not know, but it won’t reform as a Typhoon squadron unless more aircraft are ordered. You are correct, 9 squadron is QRA, not sure why I thought otherwise. It deploys quite frequently though. 1435 is counted separately as it doesn’t affect the main fleet. 4 Typhoons are there but they aren’t all operational at… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_775846)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Do recall during Ch4 RAF Top Gun series two pilots heading out to respective Typhoons, one of which failed to start, necessitating ground crew rustle up a spare to complete two-ship requirement. Unsure if that was a live QRA video? but know I felt ‘mild alarm’ just the same.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775267)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

9sqn isn’t a dedicated QRA sqn. All the sqns crews share the QRA rota. 9sqn was recently deployed to RAF Akrotiri supporting op Shader.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775992)
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

IXB squadron is a very interesting case really, the RAF are very very clear it’s not a front line squadron….but it seems to clearly do a lot of front line stuff….Not sure why it’s not listed as a front line squadron…politics maybe.?

Paul
Paul (@guest_775112)
5 months ago

This gets worse. How that’s even possible, I don’t know, but it is getting worse.

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere (@guest_775113)
5 months ago

To think we had GR4, Harrier and many more Typhoons – I expect someone will chirp up and suggest we buy or lease more US aircraft and weapons, because its cheaper and offers commonality and the Americans will reward someone with some shares and a directorship. Carry on at this rate and it will ensure the destruction of the last bits of our industry – then. we can look forward to more competent contractors like GD….. look at their track record on Bowman, Ajax, Morpheus etc. They seem to buy up good companies, like Computing Devices, Force Protection etc and… Read more »

Gareth D
Gareth D (@guest_775116)
5 months ago

About time the production of defence products was undertaken by a specific Government agency. Private sector companies just fleecing the armed forces now for everything.

Ronnie
Ronnie (@guest_775132)
5 months ago
Reply to  Gareth D

Haha, you’d be amazed. It is a government agency in the form of DE&S’ job to get value for money for the armed forces and BAE SYSTEMS expends an awful lot of effort guiding them to not waste their money. Far more effort is spent on that over profiteering than you might think, as this isn’t retail, this is a long term industrial partnership which is not well served by “fleecing” as you put it

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775266)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ronnie

Well said. 👍

J c
J c (@guest_775119)
5 months ago

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” spoken by Churchill at a time when Britain had 749 fighter aircraft. What on earth would he have said about the pathetic numbers of front line aircraft we have now. In terms of numbers we have slipped way down the worlds pecking list. Our politicians sacrifice our security to support the needs of the millions of extra people that have settled on our small island in the last 50 years

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_775120)
5 months ago

War in Europe and yet still HMG refuse to leave our force levels alone cut cut again , one word from me bloody crazy 😕 🇬🇧

Frank
Frank (@guest_775127)
5 months ago

For once…. It’s good to see virtually everyone here bemoaning these cuts and woeful lack of numbers rather than making lame excuses for such a complete shameful situation. Quite how any government can see these cuts as anything other than a disgrace with all that is happening around this crazy World, is way beyond me…… This Country is being F….D over by Rich Elites who care not one jot about anything that actually matters. Cuts cuts cuts is all we get.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775138)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

See my comment when it comes through.

Louis
Louis (@guest_775142)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

The actual cutting of these aircraft is not a bad decision. As always, it’s the fact that no replacements are being bought that is shameful.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775156)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I would not mind them cutting the tranche 1s if they were replacing with a 30 tranche 4 buy…if not they need to keep them and burn the airframes hours for QRA flights. Preserving the life of the tranche 2 and 3 airframes…which will need to last until the 2040s.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_775173)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agreed, this is a decision driven by accountants, they really should be upgraded. Even if they weren’t, a T1, equipped only for air to air combat, would be extremely useful if the northern horizon suddenly became thick with Russian aviation.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775182)
5 months ago

Indeed, let’s be honest a tranche 1 typhoon is pretty much as good at air to air combat as almost any 4 generation fighter out there..it’s only in air to ground it’s limited ( paveway 2 laser guided and organic laser designation..so even that is worthwhile). Even if they keep the for QRA and air defence they are fine..it certainly better than any Russian offering it may be up against. And the UK has a number of squadrons that would be perfectly served with tranche 1s: IX bomber squadron that provided QRA and aggressor training ( basically it’s a home… Read more »

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids (@guest_775189)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This government is probably on the delusion that Tempest will replace the Typhoons in 2035 so why invest more in the Typhoons. The reality is that Tempest will be introduced in 2035, assuming it doesn’t slip and it will be 2045+ before it will be fully integrated into the RAF, with so little few Typhoons that will remain after the scrapping of the tranche 1, they will be on their last legs through being overworked even if WW3 doesn’t happen.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775202)
5 months ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

Agree thats one of the reasons we do need the tranche 4 buy..as you say best case you have one operational squadron of tempest in 2036 ( very best case)..so you are still going to have operational typhoon squadrons well into 2045 even the newest of the tranche 3 airframes will be 26 years old at that point… the other very important point is that with Germany screwing over the saudi deal BAE will struggle to keep the UK assembly line open into the 2030s and we may need a UK order to keep the line open..as we will need… Read more »

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids (@guest_775205)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I wish France/Germany/Spain all the best with their FCAS but I can’t see it ever happening, my prediction is that Germany will just increase F35 order and then go with US gen 6 when it happens down the line. A tranche 4 order of about 40 would be ideal to fill the gap, if the Saudi deal goes through as well then even better.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_775207)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes. By all accounts, Russia has moved to a war economy footing and is re arming, stockpiling and if reports from allied military sources are correct , are shaping for a possible military confrontation with Nato. Meanwhile, government mandarins are stuck in a post cold War peacenik bubble, shedding numbers and gapping capabilities in the hope of funding smaller numbers of exquisite platforms that can still only be in one place at any time. Numerical resilience is still important in war, enemies will always seek to stretch us, who could have predicted the recent Red Sea tasking for the RN… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775221)
5 months ago

Indeed. The reality is that china has willingly sacrificed around 2% of economic growth per year to harden its ecconomy against war shock..its putting in the water around 5-6 major surface combatants every year and it already out numbers the USN and has the edge if not in quality most definitely quantity and any engagement in the south China see is going to be an attritional nightmare for the US…china will be throwing 3000 ton electric boats at irreplaceable 8000 ton SSNs in waters that suit the electric boats… At the same time there is more and more evidence that… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_775280)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s the cognitive dissonance from the political class that I just cannot understand. We’ve seen throughout history what happens when dictatorships re – arm and re – equip., it always culminates with conflict, and always seems to be mirrored by Western naivety and complacency. Just off the top of my head, recent cuts have seen the RAF Sentinel fleet prematurely retired, just months before Russia invaded Ukraine (just how useful would they be right now?), Hercules retired, Wedgetail reduced, the army medium helicopter procurement in no man’s land, Spear and FCASW still a long way off, HMS Echo and Enterprise… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Posse Comitatus
Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_775321)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Correction. Under this government and fellow EU and NATO allied countries governments there is no political will.
It is high time the NATO alliance took a leaf out of Poland’s book and rearmed, with a sense of urgency.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_775538)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Cuts to the Police Service were finally reversed, with 20,000 being recruited in the last few years to replace the 20,000 ‘let go’ by Home Secretary Teresa May.

HMG claim it is recruiting lots more doctors and nurses.

I wonder if they will ever reverse manpower cuts made to our three armed services.

Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor (@guest_775129)
5 months ago

Surely if the defence of the United Kingdom is the primary role of air defence aircraft and the government are hell bent on the destruction of the RAF, we should be focusing on the development and procurement of long range ground based air defence missile systems. Any conventional attack on the UK mainland would most likely originate from sub launched Russian cruise missiles or stand off missiles. We should be developing and procuring a next generation missile system capable of protecting all of the UK mainland. There should also be investment in scoping the possibility of conversion of existing Typhoon… Read more »

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine (@guest_775151)
5 months ago

Shameful! 100 years ago, the United Kingdom’s Empire was at its zenith. It had the most advanced Air Force, an Army that had gone through hell and come out on top and a Navy that was over 2:1 larger when compared to the collective navies around the world.

Today, British politicians have made the United Kingdom irrelevant, a hollowed-out shell!

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775157)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

We ( as the British people) have the politicians we voted for..we cannot blame the politicians for this, in a democracy it’s ultimately the voters fault.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Frank
Frank (@guest_775167)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I don’t ever vote because there are and never have been any politicians i want to vote for….. The Blame is 100% the politicians in my mind…. I’m not alone either. It’s not them that go to war, it’s all the expendables and to be honest when you actually think about the way this country is being over run by Immigrants, I’d be F….D If i’d want to go fight for this country to come home and be living on the streets whilst so many others are milking us dry…… Don’t care what grief I get for saying that either…..

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775183)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Always try and find someone to vote for frank…it’s really important, even if it’s a independent..it’s not a party for me but check out reform UK, it may be a party you feel you can vote for….as a last resort walk into the booth and spoil you ballot paper…by writing “none of you”or something similar..spoiling your paper is a recognised protest as they get counted and called out…actively using our right of suffrage is important or some ruling class tosser will decide we don’t need it anymore.

Frank
Frank (@guest_775261)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Nah mate, I can’t bring myself to Vote as I don’t believe we should live like this… ruled over by the Elites and corrupt…. take me back to the stone age, we are all just slaves and canon fodder. i live life under my own terms and try not to allow these people anywhere near me.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775344)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Frank sounds like you’re a libertarian, I can respect that. Id still go and spoil my ballot though…but I’m a person who tends to make points even when it’s not worth it and no one listens…I live in hope.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_775264)
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I’ve been to conflicts Frank, withthe RN Irag/Afghanistan. And I have very good life.

Last edited 5 months ago by Robert Blay
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_775850)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Cannot really buy that, other than it endorses what politicians like to trot out (someone on here said they’d received a pamphlet asking what voters thought most important, with defence being absent from choices list). How about, staying alive long enough to appreciate all of the above? Interesting to me of late was the Times Radio broadcast with Michael Clarke finish with the comment, that oft quoted “voters not interested in defence” did not accord with his view. Suggest contrasting that with the similar interview with Sean Bell, much more in line with the political meme to my mind, if… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_775862)
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Unfortunately it’s pretty much true…the political parties spend a lot of money and time…getting peoples views via various polls etc and they tend to develop their manifestos on what people are stating are the priorities for them…..and simply put defence never gets to the majority of peoples top 5 ( or even 10) I’ve done a fair bit of political campaigning myself and literally no one has ever said to me defence is an issue they would or would not vote on….and I’ve walked around married quarters getting views.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_776031)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Certainly agree it’s usual for Defence to be low on voters minds when grouped with issues of day-to-day living (your own findings, even at married quarters, could endorse this maybe) i.e. a ‘what’s on your mind at present’ issue, I’d describe it as – including for myself during erstwhile voting years. Nonetheless, the Armed Forces consistently score high (3rd behind NHS 2nd) for organisations most admired within the UK. This arguably indicates some uniformity in peoples minds, with regard to correlating war as an urgent health issue, perhaps? based on the below YouGov / Statistica figures following the full scale… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_775166)
5 months ago

The shrinking number of RAF combat aircraft relegates us to Division 2 (North) in the international league table. We have far fewer than our peers France and Germany, fewer than Italy and even Spain. Despite droning on about global Britain, we have next to nothing to spare for any sustained out of area presence. I think we should keep 24 of these 30 F2s (aka Tranche 1s) in service until replaced by Tempest c 2035. They remain a very good interceptor and air2air fighter and are little over halfway through their planned life. We effectively only have 20 frontline fighters… Read more »

criss whicker
criss whicker (@guest_775175)
5 months ago

did not a wise leader once say, never interrupt your opponents when they are making a mistake, do you think we are making a mistake, cutting back, reducing , scrapping, cannibalising, slow build, ???? our government thinks not, what you lot think?

Frank
Frank (@guest_775179)
5 months ago
Reply to  criss whicker

I think our “Leaders” should go and fight any war….. Leave the rest of us to scrabble a living in peace….. for a change. Love to see Rishi in a trench and Gove in a CH2….. These humans are just not viable anymore.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_775181)
5 months ago

An opportunity for Labour to prove a point. Commit themselves to bringing the Tranche 1 up to standard. Ten squadrons of ten (?) sounds good to me.

Micki
Micki (@guest_775185)
5 months ago

The number of fighters in the R.A.F. is ridiculous.
Defence is the lowest priority for this government.

Bradley Craven
Bradley Craven (@guest_775192)
5 months ago

At a time when the world is becoming increasingly dangerous and more unstable, we seem to be stripping our military instead of bolstering it, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

I’m pretty sure BAE has already said these can be upgraded to T2/T3 standard which is what we should be doing, either that or buying a batch of F35A as a stop gap measure to keep numbers where they are.

David
David (@guest_775217)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bradley Craven

I’m only a plumber, I say get rid off them to whoever will buy them or go to Ukraine, get them off the books , and get the Poseidon sub hunting aircraft we don’t have but should have , tracking enemy subs is our top priority, also getting more aircraft on the aircraft carriers , and also more multi role surface fleet warships, any future war when using our air craft , America will provide air superiority as it always does, and we’ll tag along as a loyal dog , knowing we’re only there to put on a face off… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_775552)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bradley Craven

We would Not be able to refuel F-35As! Different refuelling machinisim.

Last edited 5 months ago by Meirion X
Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_775760)
5 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I mean, by air to air refuelling.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_775233)
5 months ago

I will never understand how you can take an early 1970’s designed fighter that was delivered in 1982, i.e the F16A. Apparently easy to comprehensively update it to the latest specs, including structurally modifying it for thousands of extra flights hours and adding ASEA radar …. Yet a Tranche 1 Thypoon, designed 15 years later is incapable of being upgraded unless you spend many millions to rebuild it! You can’t help thinking the RAF should have just bought 150 F16’s in the mid 90’s, delivered from 2000 onwards, those aircraft could be happily still in service, a single fleet wide… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by John Clark
Sooty
Sooty (@guest_775305)
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Typhoon is capable of being upgraded but there is no will to do so. Simple as that.

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_775236)
5 months ago

Our political class is truely incompetant….

Frank
Frank (@guest_775262)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Add Corrupt to that, going by the last 13 years of Lies, deceit and pocket lining.

Tullzter
Tullzter (@guest_775269)
5 months ago

Give em to Ukraine

Jamie1986
Jamie1986 (@guest_775332)
5 months ago

Tranche 2 be next 🙈 leave us 40 to be replaced with 10 tempest in future 😔

Frank
Frank (@guest_775333)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jamie1986

You joke but by the time Tempest is operational I’ll bet we will have lost quite a few.

Iain
Iain (@guest_775335)
5 months ago

So out of 160 manufactured,take out 30 T1s and that leaves 107, something don’t add up ???

hulahoop7
hulahoop7 (@guest_775347)
5 months ago

Will the run down of the Tranche 1 squadrons create head room for the stand up of more F35s squadrons? NAO report mentioned that the 3rd front line F35 squadron was currently unfunded.

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding (@guest_775466)
5 months ago

Sadly. Our country is skint. We are paying for covid and all the money we have borrowed to keep the country afloat. So every department has to make sacrifices. I’m ex air force and I am deeply saddened at the state of our armed services. These jets have a roll to play and shouldn’t be scrapped. These aircraft should be used to defend our skies as QRA. IT IS CHEAPEST OPTION TO SCRAP. They should be replaced but the government are doing this to save money. I don’t understand the government thinking. We have Russian hostile actions in Ukraine and… Read more »

TR
TR (@guest_775467)
5 months ago

How on earth does the MOD manage to swallow such a large budget and fsil to maintain any sort of numbers, potentially if Ukraine collapses (quite possible if there is insufficient western support) in 2 years we’re facing a Russia with a fully ramped up war economy Russia. Is this really the time to retire a quarter of the RAFs air defence fleet?

TR
TR (@guest_775470)
5 months ago
Reply to  TR

Forgot to mention UK Air defence (as in the recent parliamentary committee meeting) assumes the US is there to back it up. In a couple of years the US could be facing down China over Taiwan. (Not to mention 1939, 1914, Suez etc)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_775540)
5 months ago
Reply to  TR

I remember that it was an interesting exercise to compare ‘our bang for the buck’ with the French – and we had less of everything. One of the issues is a procurement system with far too many expensive cock-ups and less efficient Defence Industry.

Christopher
Christopher (@guest_775629)
5 months ago

C,mon

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_775632)
5 months ago

Ukraine & Gaza should have been a reality check, but no getting through to the Westminster bubble. Italy & Spain, did a simple upgrade to their T1 Typhoon. We could just copy them. The MoD trots out the line that RAF T1, don’t meet the latest civil navigation standards. Leonardo offered Austria a navigation upgrade on their T1 Typhoon at 175,000 euros per aircraft. Cheap in comparison to the 100 million of a new combat jet.

No my King
No my King (@guest_775675)
5 months ago

Uk can’t afford it. Close down the air force,merge it with a reduced full time army. Reduce our navy to a self defence force. Leave NATO and give our seat on security Council to a more relevant country with an economy and not falling apart, Germany,Japan, India.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_776474)
5 months ago
Reply to  No my King

Russian or Chinese perhaps with that sort of comment?

Badger.
Badger. (@guest_775792)
5 months ago

Some of the people round Trump are talking about a USA withdrawal from NATO, or at the very least a serious down-grade in the commitment. Not an obvious time to be cutting back on the RAF.

Geo stat
Geo stat (@guest_778838)
5 months ago

Criminal neglect again re defence…….the UK forces really are tragic state of affairs

Darryl2164
Darryl2164 (@guest_810901)
2 months ago

It’s madness to retire these tranche 1 aircraft in this uncertain world . At the very least they could be placed in reserve or better still upgraded . As I understand it the airframes are nowhere near end of life . It makes you wonder if HM government are aware of the dangerous times we are living in , reducing the air force numbers yet again when we should be increasing them . The typhoon has proved itself the workhorse and go to aircraft of the RAF unlike the lightning ii which for some reason is being wrapped in cotton… Read more »