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Britain’s F-35B jets arrive at RAF Marham in Norfolk. Courtesy of PA Images/Joe Giddens

The RAF’s Force Structure Plan and Future Threat Scenarios

Justin Bronk
RUSI Journal, 8 August 2018
NATO, Russia, UK, Defence Policy, UK Defence
In a lengthy conflict with a major rival, the RAF would struggle to sustain operations.

Heading into the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) review process, the RAF has a force structure composed of assets that on a platform level are appropriate and relevant for the high-end state threat posed by Russia, while also being effective during overseas interventions. However, Justin Bronk argues that the force structure itself is too small to sustain attrition on any significant scale without rapidly running short of both aircraft and trained aircrew. While the RAF can, therefore, demonstrate the continuing relevance of its force structure in the new reality where deterrence against Russia is NATO’s key focus, questions remain about its sustainability in the unlikely but necessary planning scenario of a major war.

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Justin Bronk
Research Fellow, Airpower and Technology

Justin Bronk is the Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology in the Military Sciences team at RUSI. He is also Editor of the... read more

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