UK MoD to Shrink RAF Strength

10 August 2010 (Last Updated August 10th, 2010 18:30)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has proposed a plan to significantly reduce the strength of the Royal Air Force (RAF) to save money. The RAF will lose 7,000 airmen, one sixth of its total staff, and 295 aircraft. That will leave the force with fewer than 200 fighter planes for the firs

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has proposed a plan to significantly reduce the strength of the Royal Air Force (RAF) to save money.

The RAF will lose 7,000 airmen, one sixth of its total staff, and 295 aircraft. That will leave the force with fewer than 200 fighter planes for the first time since 1914, according to telegraph.co.uk.

The entire fleet of 120 GR4 Tornado fighter jets will be scrapped to save £7.5bn ($11bn) over the next five years.

Under the plan, the number of Eurofighter Typhoons will be reduced from 160 to 107 planes based at a single RAF air field to save £1bn ($1.5bn).

The entire fleet of 36 Hercules transport aircraft will be phased out and replaced by 22 new A400M planes.

The £3.6bn ($5.7bn) project for nine Nimrod MR4 reconnaissance aircraft is also likely to be scrapped along with a number of other surveillance planes.