Saturday, December 18, 2010

Britain: RAF Chief alarmed by defense cuts

Air Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell, commander of the RAF’s No 1 Group, which controls all Britain’s fast jet combat aircraft, said that Britain was likely to end up with only six fighter and bomber squadrons, half its current number.

He warned: “That might not be quite enough.”

Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell’s remarks, in a briefing last week to Defense News, a trade journal, are among the most outspoken by any senior RAF commander.

He warned that even the reductions that have been publicly announced — from 12 fast-jet squadrons to eight — would leave the RAF only “just about” able to do its current tasks, with no leeway for the unexpected.

“Am I happy to be down at that number [eight squadrons] next April? No, it worries the hell out of me,” he said. “I can just about do Operation Herrick [Afghanistan], and the QRAs [air defence operations]. Can I do other things? Yes, but it is at risk.”
Read the rest here.

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