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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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