Britain may halve its fast-jet fleet by 2020 or so, according to the commanding officer of the Royal Air Force's No. 1 Group.If you do not think this could happen here, then you are a fool. There are realities in life when you build a huge welfare state built on the fact that people expect the Nanny State to cover them from cradle to grave. The prime reality is that eventually you run out of money. That happens after the people have become addicted to "free" things from the State. Without the right leadership at the right time, it will spend $1.20 for every $1 it gets - regardless of the incoming - until the markets stop it. By then it is too late for a reasonable fix. The only fix is painful and has a whiff of decline.
We are heading for five Typhoon squadrons and one JSF [Joint Strike Fighter] squadron," said Air Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell, who commands the RAF's air combat group. "It will be a six-squadron world; that's what's on the books."
That could mean 107 Typhoons, plus about 40 F-35C JSFs that support a large operational squadron of 20 to 25 crews, Bagwell said.
In 1990, the RAF had 33 fast-jet squadrons; in 2003, 17. Today, the number stands at 12: seven Tornado, three Typhoon and two Harrier squadrons, plus the offensive firepower of a growing fleet of Reaper UAVs.
The State will do everything it can to avoid hard decisions. Unless the wolf is at the door - or even if it is - the easiest place to get it is the defense budget.
We are going this way. WIll it get this bad here? I'll let you know in about 2 years.
Hat tip Lee.