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Just how 'fit for purpose' is the RAF?

Hansard has some rather alarming figures:

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Air Force aircraft of each type are (a) in service, (b) in the forward air fleet and (c) fit for purpose

Quentin Davies - ....In service” has been taken to mean the effective fleet, which covers all aircraft barring those which are redundant, declared as surplus or awaiting disposal.

The number of aircraft in the forward fleet comprises aircraft which are serviceable and those which are short term unserviceable. Short term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or any other unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. Serviceable aircraft available to the front-line commands for operational and training purposes are termed fit for purpose.


The turncoat Davies gives a figure of 790 RAF aircraft, including helicopters, trainers and so on, and a some stabbing at the calculator gives 427 as fit for service, or 54%. If tbe Typhoon and the Tornado F3 are taken as being the air superiority division, and our first line of defence against incoming bombers from the enemy du jour, just 49 of 122, or 40% are 'fit for purpose'.

Let's hope we don't have a falling out with the French anytime soon, as even supposing they are as bad at keeping the fighters flightworthy as we are, some back of the envelope calculations suggest that they would be able to put up 80 or so Mirage and Rafale air defence / multirole aircraft. And that excludes strike and reconaissance versions.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:37 am

Errr so whose incoming bombers are you talking about?

The RAF is a redundant organistation, its ground support aircraft, plus helicopters should be returned to the army, the Nimrod's etc to the navy.

Airdefence, would be a seperate organisation many of whose staff including pilots would be auxilarys  



Blogger Nick Drew said... 5:53 pm

so whose incoming bombers ...the French, man, the French !the natural enemi  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:03 pm

They are the traditional foe after all.  



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