Sunday, 19 July 2020

The RAF is wasting money on already outdated F35 aircraft

The UK's Royal Air Force stands accused of wasting money on already outdated F35 aircraft according to a special briefing that, according to the media, has been shown to the Treasury.

According to reports in The Telegraph, a massive row is ongoing over the F-35 fighter jets the UK's RAF is buying from the U.S. which are said to be "outdated"  with some not able to take off from the new Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

The newspaper cites sources telling them there are serious concerns about the RAF’s priorities over buying F-35s, as one of the models being purchases - the F-35A ais not able to operate from the new carriers. According to the source it was “nonsensical” the RAF was going ahead with the desire for the aircraft.  “Why do they think they need F-35As when they cannot operate them from an aircraft carrier?”

Whilst the A versions of the aircraft are cheaper,  they do not have the special Rolls-Royce lift system which affords the B variety of aircraft to take off and land vertically from a short runway or flight deck of the aircraft carriers. The Telegraphs source, which is understood to be Johnny Mercer,  claims “they only want the ‘A’ because they want their own toys to play with”.

The chairman of the Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, was said to be concerned “that we are even having such conversations  It could very well be that the purchase of F35As makes strategic sense, but only after you’ve established what you want to do with them,” he said.  “I’m afraid it’s a pattern of behaviour that we see within the MoD. Let’s establish what we need to do. Then you can work out the necessary platforms to implement that strategy."

A spokesperson for the MoD said: “Decisions on future F-35 numbers and aircraft variant will ensure the right capability for our Armed Forces along with value for money. The upcoming Integrated Review will allow the UK to determine the best variant for future F-35 purchases."

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