Russia’s ability to deploy bombers in Iran for sorties in Syria has less operational significance than either Moscow or Tehran would have us believe. But the geopolitical impact is substantial, both for Russia’s claims to superpower status, and for Iran’s positioning as a pre-eminent regional power.
The British government has confirmed that it is ordering nine Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to fill the gap in UK capabilities left by the retirement of the Nimrod MR2 and cancellation of the follow-on Nimrod MRA4 in 2010.
The new £2 billion Tempest programme aims to both keep the UK in the combat aircraft business and secure for it a place in the next major European fighter project. Initial mock-ups unveiled with the announcement give some clues about design priorities, but funding the project long term may be challenging
With an inherently high thrust-to-weight ratio and modified digital flight control system, an F-35 variant could operate off the Queen Elizabeth class carriers with fewer penalties to the baseline F-35A design than the current F-35B and hence fewer performance trade-offs