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RAF needs more money and more airmen to deal with Russia

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier says the RAF is more important than ever due to its 13 ongoing operations in 21 countries, and must modernise if it is to continue to thrive

The Royal Air Force needs more funding if it to face off challenges from Russia, the head of the service has warned today, ahead of its 100th birthday.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier says the RAF is more important than ever due to its 13 ongoing operations in 21 countries, and must modernise if it is to continue to thrive.

Sir Stephen chose the eve of the RAF’s centenary to issue a frank assessment of the service’s future, amid military budget cuts and mounting pressure from Russia.

Worryingly, he pointed to frontline gaps caused by military budget cuts leading to compromises undermining the air superiority Britain has come to take for granted.

‘The RAF needs to grow the next generation airforce,’ Sir Stephen wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

Cautioning that the RAF must ‘fill gaps, such as with P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft and in information capabilities; to give give greater resilience and sustainability to a hard-pressed front line,’ he urged that the service must also increase its number of airmen to stave off the growing threat from Putin’s forces.

Adding: ‘We need to show that the consequences of what Russia are doing are painful, and we can inflict pain on them, and we have the will to inflict pain on them.’  

Sir Stephen chose the eve of the RAF's centenary to issue a frank assessment of the service's future, amid military budget cuts and mounting pressure from Russia (RAF: F-35B Lightning II)

Sir Stephen chose the eve of the RAF’s centenary to issue a frank assessment of the service’s future, amid military budget cuts and mounting pressure from Russia (RAF: F-35B Lightning II)

Worryingly, he pointed to frontline gaps caused by military budget cuts leading to compromises undermining the air superiority Britain has come to take for granted

Worryingly, he pointed to frontline gaps caused by military budget cuts leading to compromises undermining the air superiority Britain has come to take for granted

While telling The Sun that: ‘If you don’t give me resources, you’re going to have to make compromises.

‘It will mean that we will not be able to do all of the things that we need to do in order to defend the nation and protect our interests overseas.’

His message comes amid calls for greater military funding, including by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who congratulated the RAF on it’s milestone birthday. 

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson congratulated the RAF on it's milestone birthday and called for greater funding for the service

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson congratulated the RAF on it’s milestone birthday and called for greater funding for the service

He said: ‘I am delighted to send my congratulations to the whole of the RAF, the world’s oldest independent air force, on its 100th anniversary.

‘From the brave pioneers flying bi-planes in the First World War, through to the heroic fighters of the Battle of Britain and the ever-vigilant aircrews of the Cold War, the RAF has continually ensured our safety.

‘Now as we introduce the stealth fighters of the 21st century the RAF continues its proud tradition of being at the forefront of innovation, offering a potent force in defence of UK interests.

‘They can be proud of what their predecessors have done, celebrating this important milestone and be full of confidence for the future.’ 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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