Military Review

The bleak future of the British Air Force

22
We have already posted on our blog the number of the Royal Air Force of Great Britain as of September 2015. In continuation of this topic, our blog publishes an abstract of Jon Lake's article “A moving target”, published in the October issue of Combat Aircraft magazine, where the author discusses the future of British fighter and strike aviation. A number of provisions of the article are of undoubted interest.


Thus, the author notes that in 2010, the then vice-marshal of aviation, Greg Bagwell, noted that the Royal Air Force command expects to have five Eurofighter Typhoon fighter squadrons and one F-35В fighter squadron in service. That is, the 2020 will have six squadrons of combat aircraft as part of the Air Force. According to him, in their composition in 2020 will be registered 107 fighter Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 series, as well as approximately 40 F-35В in a single squadron of increased staff. The author notes that at that moment there were 12 squadrons under command of Begwell (three on Typhoon, seven on Tornado and two on Harrier). However, in the same year 2010, two squadrons of Tornado and all squadrons with Harrier were reduced. For comparison, in the UK 1989 there were 30 fighter squadrons.


First flight of the third British fighter Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II (military number ZM137, serial number VK-03), 02.04.2013 (c) Lockheed Martin


Today, the RAF has eight squadrons of combat jets: five squadrons on Typhoon fighters (105 machines of the Tranche 1 and 2 series), and three squadrons on Tornado GR4 fighter-bombers (with a total of 87 aircraft), (total number of 192 airplanes) (bombers of Tornado fighter planes (total number of XNUMX airplanes) (total number of XNUMX aircraft) (I am an aircraft) (I have a total of Tornado fighters (the total number of XNUMX aircraft), (total number of XNUMX airplanes) (the total number of XNUMX airplanes is fighter-bombers (total number of XNUMX aircraft) (the total number of XNUMX aircraft is total (I). the aircraft.

In accordance with today's plans, three squadrons with Tornado (2019 aircraft) will be reduced to 87, then all the remaining 53 Typhoon Tranche 1 fighters will be decommissioned. The loss of 140 vehicles will be partially offset by purchasing Typhoon Tranche 3 fighters, bringing the number of Tranche2 / 3 fighters to 107, as well as a small number of F-35В (maximum 20 machines to 2019 year, but most likely closer to 14 aircraft). Four F-35Bs have already been ordered, another 14 is “approved” for purchase.

That is, at best, the RAF will have no more than 127 combat aircraft, but more likely no more than 121 - the smallest number of first-line aircraft since the creation of the RAF 1 on April 1918. This number of aircraft will be able to complete no more than six squadrons (five on Typhoon, one on the F-35В). Although the UK has plans to buy the 138 F-35, few people believe that, even in the long run. Although the military numbers on the F-35 were issued a few years ago, it seems that there are only 66 of them, and today most analysts and experts are inclined to believe that no more than 48 F-35 will be purchased. That is, the total number of combat aircraft in the RAF will be 155. At the same time, the F-35B is unlikely to become fully operational earlier than the 2023 of the year, when the UK expects to declare it fully ready for operations from land-based airfields and sea platforms [aircraft carriers of the CVF type].

The author notes that five squadrons are the minimum for solving only the tasks of the air defense of Great Britain, the Falkland Islands, and the necessary minimum for conducting operations outside the country.

"Combat Aircraft" conducted an informal survey among the current and former Royal Air Force personnel, who showed that five squadrons are the bare minimum; it would be optimal to have eight squadrons.

According to the author, even the current Air Force fleet is facing difficulties in solving peacetime tasks and participating in local conflicts, and does not have a reserve for engaging in major military operations.

The author believes that there may be discussions about the need to decommission the Typhoon Tranche 1 fighter jets, which by that time will have worked out only a third of the assigned resource. Their preservation will allow to have six, or even seven squadrons.
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22 comments
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  1. Arktidianets
    Arktidianets 24 October 2015 06: 42 New
    +6
    Write off fighters that have worked out only a third of the resource ?! In the British Parliament, the influence of the third column is clearly, how else to explain such a desire to please American aircraft manufacturers?
    1. corporal
      corporal 24 October 2015 07: 10 New
      +2
      Quote: Arctidian
      Write off fighters that have worked out only a third of the resource ?!

      They will sell it to third countries at residual value - they will help out money for something else. (If someone wants to buy winked )
      1. cosmos111
        cosmos111 24 October 2015 07: 45 New
        +7
        now the British are armed with their Air Force:
        1.117 Typhoons as of March 2014 of the year, total ordered 160 aircraft, the start of operation from 2003 of the year.
        2.Tornado - 117 units, years of production 1979 — 1998
        3.Eurofighter Typhoon - 100 units research of a promising aircraft began back in the 1979 year, the first flight of the 27 on March 1994 of the year.
        3.BAe 146 - 2 units , years of production 1978 - 2003
        4.Boeing C-17A - 8 units , years of production 1991 - 2015 Development of 80's
        5.HS.125 - 5 units , years of production 1962 - 1990
        6.Lockheed C-130K - 22 units , years of production with 1955
        7.Lockheed L-1011-500 - 9 units , years of production 1968 - 1984
        8.Lockheed Martin C-130J - 9 units years of production since 1955 of the year
        9.Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 - 14 units , years of production from 1955 of the year 10.Vickers VC10 - 16 units years of production 1962 - 1970
        11.Boeing E-3D 7 units , years of production 1991 first flight made 31 October 1975 year
        12 British Aerospace Hawk T.Mk 1 - 99 units , years of production with 1974
        1. War and Peace
          War and Peace 24 October 2015 10: 04 New
          +3
          Quote: cosmos111

          1.117 Typhoons as of March 2014 of the year, total ordered 160 aircraft, the start of operation from 2003 of the year.

          3.Eurofighter Typhoon - 100 units research of a promising aircraft began back in the 1979 year, the first flight of the 27 on March 1994 of the year.

          Is it different planes or something?
    2. avt
      avt 24 October 2015 08: 38 New
      +2
      Quote: Arctidian
      Write off fighters that have worked out only a third of the resource ?!

      Compare this news with what the Germans voiced about the marriage found in Typhoons. It’s not surprising at all, well, not everything is so beautiful and high-quality that they do in the West. The same Angles put on a joke and wrote off a bunch of submarines because of problems with Reactors - the cracks went into the metal. So they probably write off the emergency batches in the hope of a Fu-35, and the Harriers are already worn out.
      1. cosmos111
        cosmos111 24 October 2015 21: 54 New
        +1
        Quote: avt
        ,, Harriers "are already quite worn out.

        the most successful plane of the English ...

        cockpit-AV-8B Harrier II


        and -F-35 Lightning
    3. inkass_98
      inkass_98 24 October 2015 09: 01 New
      +2
      Quote: Arctidian
      In the British Parliament, the influence of the third column is clearly

      And this column from which side on Madrid London was walking lol ?
      1. Angro Magno
        Angro Magno 24 October 2015 15: 35 New
        +2
        Below, through the sewer.
    4. beitar
      beitar 24 October 2015 09: 05 New
      +13
      No wonder ... They also need to pay benefits to Pakistanis, Arabs and other "hard workers" ... This is more important than the purchase of new F-35s ...
      1. Angro Magno
        Angro Magno 24 October 2015 15: 36 New
        +2
        It's right. Called tolerast-pay membership dues.
    5. Pimply
      Pimply 24 October 2015 12: 33 New
      0
      Quote: Arctidian
      In the British Parliament, the influence of the third column is clearly

      The third column is strong.
  2. d.pavel
    d.pavel 24 October 2015 07: 02 New
    +2
    And we have 3 units of military equipment (600% -10% support aircraft, i.e. not combat aircraft), as well as 15 in storage (for 833). Who is the thread tell me how are you doing now?
    1. velikoros-xnumx
      velikoros-xnumx 24 October 2015 08: 01 New
      0
      Quote: d.pavel
      And we have 3 units of military equipment (600% -10% support aircraft, i.e. not combat aircraft), as well as 15 in storage (for 833). Who is the thread tell me how are you doing now?

      I am joining. The layout of our Air Force is very interesting, if anyone who owns the issue do not find it difficult to report it to the townsfolk. Thanks in advance.
      1. mvg
        mvg 24 October 2015 14: 25 New
        +4
        Alignments 10 times have already been drawn .. both in the context of the Celestial Empire, and in the "overpower" with the USA.
        By the way, the British Typhoons are the most “advanced” of all Europeans. More interesting than the Luftwaffe, Spain and others. For example, advanced electronic warfare systems. Therefore, I do not understand the "great desire" to write off the "tranche 1".
        In general, the Britons have a very compact and well-armed army in the qualitative sense: very good Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, possibly the strongest Dering destroyers, Astyut nuclear submarines - one of the most successful, Challenger II tanks, Typhoons .. so it's silly to laugh at them. This army will not provide imperial ambitions, but it will not give itself an insult.
        1. Angro Magno
          Angro Magno 24 October 2015 15: 37 New
          +2
          He will not give himself an insult? And who is going to take her offense?
  3. Steppe
    Steppe 24 October 2015 07: 55 New
    +1
    request I don’t understand why NATO wants to attack Russia, if there’s nothing to fight even with Great Britain? I understand that they are afraid for the dollar. But if none of them survived, then why would they need this dollar? A couple of days of bombing with cool bombs - and there is no more Britain on the globe. It turns out that in the event of a NATO attack, only the one and only US needs to be beaten the longest?
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 25 October 2015 12: 43 New
      +2
      "why does NATO want to attack Russia, if there’s nothing to fight even with Great Britain?" ///

      NATO, even in the most delusional scenarios, has no plan to attack Russia.
      They are the most modest defensive plans, and then hardly embody
      due to chronic underfunding and reductions.
      5-6 years ago, in general, seriously discussed the possibility of disbanding
      NATO (leaving only a couple of quick response teams).
      Crimea saved NATO smile .
  4. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 24 October 2015 09: 56 New
    +1
    Nothing to fight? Count the total number of aircraft and other weapons
    About nuclear weapons a separate conversation
  5. Zheka40
    Zheka40 24 October 2015 11: 32 New
    +3
    * Yermo, not a plane (f-35)
  6. glavnykarapuz
    glavnykarapuz 24 October 2015 12: 56 New
    +2
    So in fairness it will be- Small Britain, small with aviation. To worry that NAGLOSaksaks have few planes and yes they are not the ones I’m not going to. I hope these "animals" will die out when the thread is like dinosaurs, otherwise during all the time of its existence they only did that "crap".
    P.S. Sorry people. Well, I have a strong hostility towards those who have always wanted (want and will want) to destroy me, my family and my homeland.
  7. INF
    INF 24 October 2015 19: 15 New
    +3
    All of Europe lived happily ever after, selling equipment and sucking it from the United States, asking for protection from the evil Russians, the Americans seem to be okay, the dead people feed their army, the dead people can be turned on whatever you want and how you want, but if you’re dead just have your army - goodbye to them the budget and certainly the evil Russians will appear, and be sure to wear caps with earflaps and quilted jackets.
  8. Vadim237
    Vadim237 24 October 2015 20: 03 New
    +2
    Great Britain is likely to switch to drones in the future.
  9. Sterlya
    Sterlya 25 October 2015 00: 24 New
    0
    But what about the "threat" from Russia? what Aw, petty Britons? It is necessary to arm all the same to the teeth
  10. sharp-lad
    sharp-lad 25 October 2015 02: 50 New
    0
    The little British lion somehow begins to slide into the image of a battered domestic cat, but we will keep the hats, what they have is quite a big nuisance for several years ahead.