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Reduced fleet size and weapons integration issues put squeeze on future RAF air combat missions

22nd September 2022 - 10:11 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast


An F-35B gets ready to depart from the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. (Photo: UK MoD)

As the RAF manages NATO missions and faces increased pressure from Russia, defence experts argue that additional fighter jet deployments to the Asia-Pacific to maintain leading strategic ambitions signposted by the UK's Integrated Review looks to be out of the question.

The state of international security and defence has markedly changed since the UK government published the Integrated Review (IR), largely shaped by Taliban resurgence after the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan, increased Chinese interference and surveillance around Taiwan and most alarmingly Russian forces illegally invading Ukraine.

The strategic implications of these events are already beginning to be unravelled not only from the collective effort across the US and Europe to urgently supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons, air defence systems, EW equipment, helicopters, tanks, UAVs and loitering munitions to counter Russian expansion but also based on

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Tim Martin


Tim Martin

Tim Martin is Air Editor for Shephard Media, based in Belfast. 

Tim has experience writing …

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