The Royal Air Force [RAF] of Great Britain received new fighters. Three new F-35Bs have landed on the island to take over the defense of the country. With them, Britain now has 26 operational fighters. In the coming years, London is due to field a combat defense unit of 47 fighter jets, as planned.
There were supposed to be 48, and they will be that much on paper, but one fighter crashed, so there are 47 left. Sources say that in 2023 the British will acquire seven more F-35Bs, and all 47 will be acquired by the end of the 2025 year.
However, Britain intends to buy more. The original idea of the British was to acquire a total of 138 fighters. Some political insiders in London believe that number is achievable. More information on the exact numbers will be available sometime in 2025 when all 47 fighters are operationally ready. Most likely, then it will become clear exactly how much of the fifth-generation stealth fighter Britain will want to further order.
Statements by various politicians on the island put the total number at around 80 units, but these are figures that are currently being speculated upon.
However, Britain has to solve another, more serious problem. When you have money, buying airplanes is the easiest thing in the whole program. London still needs to find pilots to fly them. The UK pilot training program is a mess. The problem seems to be more administrative than human resources. There are aspirants, but suddenly, the qualification for training in the program is stretched for over five years, while the original idea was a maximum of three.
However, Britain was unable to contain this internal problem within the country’s borders. On the contrary, a military inquiry was launched into why British pilots were training Chinese pilots to counter their Western counterparts in the air. Against the background of all this, the delivery of the F-35 in the coming years will happen, but a part of the planes will remain “parked in the garage”.
But will only the F-35 suffer from “inactivity”? If it takes a decade to enter the training program, then the new fighter will appear around that time, according to the British-Japanese plans. Yes, Japan and Britain are merging their programs to develop a next-generation fighter jet.
Tempest and TF-X go down in history, opening a new page. It takes a team roughly a dozen years to build the first prototype, but here it is assumed that it could happen faster, as the Japanese and British were working together on the British next-generation fighter project.
Thus, the problem with the pilots comes to the fore again. London currently has no pilots to fly the F-35. Seven more fighter jets are arriving next year, according to British sources. Another 14 will arrive by 2025, and Britain is even planning to buy a second tier of F-35s. In the background of all this, a new fighter is being made. It makes sense that when the British-Japanese fighter is ready London will order from its product. It is also logical to ask the question: how much money from the taxes of the British must be spent to get all the plans into some strict, time-acceptable, and optimal schedule at some point?