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  • RAF commander: our air force will be little better than Belgium’s

    Its nice that the only jet in RAF service that has not dropped a gram of ordinance in Afghanistan is the only survivor.



    By Andrew Gilligan 9:37PM GMT 18 Dec 2010

    Air Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell, commander of the RAF’s No 1 Group, which controls all Britain’s fast jet combat aircraft, said that Britain was likely to end up with only six fighter and bomber squadrons, half its current number.

    He warned: “That might not be quite enough.”

    Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell’s remarks, in a briefing last week to Defense News, a trade journal, are among the most outspoken by any senior RAF commander.

    He warned that even the reductions that have been publicly announced — from 12 fast-jet squadrons to eight — would leave the RAF only “just about” able to do its current tasks, with no leeway for the unexpected.

    “Am I happy to be down at that number [eight squadrons] next April? No, it worries the hell out of me,” he said. “I can just about do Operation Herrick [Afghanistan], and the QRAs [air defence operations]. Can I do other things? Yes, but it is at risk.”
    In the medium-term, over the next seven to 10 years, Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell said, the RAF “will be a six-squadron world; that’s what’s on the books”. He said he expected there to be five squadrons of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and just one of the Harrier’s long-term replacement, the Joint Strike Fighter. “I expect a single [JSF] squadron in 2020 and that’s it,” he said.
    Asked whether this left the RAF on the same level as Belgium, he replied: “I think we’re slightly above Belgium, and we are not a Belgium-minded country.”
    He added: “I might, over the next few years, argue that that might not be quite enough.” As recently as the 1990s the RAF had 30 front-line fast-jet squadrons.
    Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell described the decision to axe the RAF’s Harrier aircraft, which went out of service last week, as something that “takes us below what we would have seen as a sensible position.” He said the longer-term “problem” for the RAF was that “you can’t in 2018 go, 'oh hang a on a sec, I’m a bit short of fast jets, can we just hang on a sec …’ it’s going to take a while to build [them]. Will we get caught out? Maybe. Do we know what the risks are? Yes.”
    He said: “Have we gone to a 'compare-the-market’ era and bought the cheapest [defence] we can find, or have we hedged our bets?
    “You can’t just do defence on the cheapest option, you sometimes have to pay more for the right capabilities. The whole thing about procurement is as much about long-term future deterrence and keeping the enemy on the back foot as it is about physically fighting. The deterrence and coercive effect of air power has somehow got lost in the noise.”
    An RAF comprising six fast-jet squadrons would be smaller than at any point since its foundation in 1918. It would take British combat air power back to the pre-RAF days of the Royal Flying Corps.
    Belgium no longer has a stand-alone air force, but an “air component”, with five fast-jet squadrons. In squadron terms the RAF of 2020 will be only slightly larger, but will still have significantly more aircraft, with an estimated minimum of 135 fast jets to Belgium’s 70.
    Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell said that one way around the shortages was to collaborate more with the French.
    “It looks like we are going to twin 3 Squadron [a Typhoon squadron] with one of the [French] Rafale [fighter-bomber] squadrons. I’ll make a prediction we will have British officers flying Rafale from a carrier within a few years. I’m quite sure of it.”
    Ministry of Defence sources said that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff, “did not share” Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell’s views.
    An Ministry of Defence spokesman said that Sir Stephen and all the Service chiefs “stand by the decisions made” in the defence review, which were “collectively reached and supported”.
    Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell insisted last night that his comments had not been “accurately portrayed or placed in context” and said the RAF would “absolutely meet the current task and operational priorities”.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...-Belgiums.html

    Now isn't this better thatn the usual secretions from the MOD press office posted by another poster?
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  • #2
    maybe the Irish DF should make a contribution with their fast jets in Afghan?

    or maybe you should just get out of your armchair?
    RoyalGreenJacket
    Commander in Chief
    Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 19 December 2010, 13:52.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
      maybe the Irish DF should make a contribution with their fast jets in Afghan?
      No thanks.

      Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
      or maybe you should just get out of your armchair?
      I'm at a desk actually, maybe you should put down your can of stella, throw on a coat over your string vest and walk out and go get a nice pint of tepid "bitter" in wetherspoons, Queens speech isn't on for a few days so its safe to leave the house.
      The real Jack
      Non Temetis Messor
      Last edited by The real Jack; 19 December 2010, 14:22.
      Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

      Comment


      • #4
        nah mate i'm enjoying my Christmas and New Year R&R here in Aldershot from my posting in Canada.

        it's snowing outside and the fridge is full of Magners so i'm good where i am thanks.

        but i will be watching the Queens Speech from the comforts of my local pub on Christmas Day
        RGJ

        ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

        The Rifles

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
          nah mate i'm enjoying my Christmas and New Year R&R here in Aldershot
          A lovely spot by all accounts...
          Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

          Comment


          • #6
            my home is, yes.
            RGJ

            ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

            The Rifles

            Comment


            • #7
              This adds nothing to debate or even piss taking.

              I propose a new section be open entitled "the honey wagon" after the septic tank removal vehicles in the Leb.

              into the honey wagon will go threads like this-

              No offence to either contributors in this thread but lads this is a load of shite.
              Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
              Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
              The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
              The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
              The best lack all conviction, while the worst
              Are full of passionate intensity.

              Comment


              • #8
                agreed Hedgie - this is sh|te and should be closed before it gets out of hand.
                RGJ

                ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                The Rifles

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                  agreed Hedgie - this is sh|te and should be closed before it gets out of hand.
                  This is from the guy who posted 10 threads about the all singing all dancing british military in the last month in this subforum?

                  Just because it dosent say OMFG we're awesome it shouldn't be posted?
                  Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The real Jack View Post
                    This is from the guy who posted 10 threads about the all singing all dancing british military in the last month in this subforum?

                    Just because it dosent say OMFG we're awesome it shouldn't be posted?
                    the post is valid, but it should be closed because you are just being a cnut.
                    RGJ

                    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                    The Rifles

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                      nah mate i'm enjoying my Christmas and New Year R&R here in Aldershot from my posting in Canada.

                      it's snowing outside and the fridge is full of Magners so i'm good where i am thanks.

                      but i will be watching the Queens Speech from the comforts of my local pub on Christmas Day

                      Cant understand the need for the Pub on Christmas Day.

                      Doesnt look good for the British Armed forces overall if they allow that to happen to the RAF.

                      The Army need a strong RAF to transport and support

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                        the post is valid, but it should be closed because you are just being a cnut.
                        Aww throw all your toys out of the pram!

                        Is a mean boy on the internet not being nice?
                        Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The article itself could have opened up an interesting debate but this is ****ing ridiculous. No need for some of the attacks and blatant trolling going on in this thread.

                          Hopefully a Mod will be along shortly to deal with it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The real Jack View Post
                            Just because it dosent say OMFG we're awesome it shouldn't be posted?
                            unfortunately for you Jack i already beat you to it.

                            i don't know what you are trying to achieve here Jack other than to stir the sh|t because if you opened your eyes you would see that i already posted this 'negative' post last week where i was also critical of the MoD's decision to scrap the Harrier in favour of the Tornado:

                            Harriers -Final Flight

                            take the Republican blinkers off mate and you will be surprised what's out there

                            Originally posted by Hello Alaska View Post
                            Hopefully a Mod will be along shortly to deal with it.
                            agreed.
                            RoyalGreenJacket
                            Commander in Chief
                            Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 19 December 2010, 15:54.
                            RGJ

                            ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                            The Rifles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                              i don't know what you are trying to achieve here Jack other than to stir the sh|t because
                              How is posting an article thats not all chocolates and roses Sh|t stirring?

                              Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
                              take the Republican blinkers off mate and you will be surprised what's out there .
                              I think the medals in my house from the Boer war and WW1 would rule that out. I am going to join the RAMC after college so for you to call me that it fcuking stupid.

                              One post regretting the loss of harriers does not a neutral poster make.
                              Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

                              Comment

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