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Friday, July 03, 2015

RAF faces struggle to find extra firepower after cuts

RAF TornadoThe admission by the UK government that it would not increase the small number of combat aircraft committed to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) in Iraq should it get a mandate to launch strikes in Syria reflects the reality that the Royal Air Force would struggle to muster much extra firepower.

After five years of relentless defence cuts, the armed forces are struggling to sustain the current level of commitments after more than a decade of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under strategic planning assumptions, which were defined by the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, the RAF is required to have 40 combat aircraft available for operations at various states of readiness.

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