One in three of the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) planes are "unfit to fly," according to a damning expose by the Mirror.
The report reveals the shocking extent of the UK's decrepit air force — once the envy of militaries around the world. Allegedly, around 142 of 434 aircraft are stashed away in the force's so-called ‘sustainment fleet,' which the Mirror says is essentially a storage place for out-of-action jets or those needing "major repairs."
The sad spectacle reportedly includes 55 of Britain's 156 Typhoon fighter jets, worth a whopping £80 million each, which have been used for the extensive bombing campaigns over Iraq and Syria against Daesh as part of the US-led coalition ‘Operation Inherent Resolve.'
Labour's shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith, told the Mirror that, "Conservative cuts have had a crippling effect on this country's defences and our ability to respond to the range of threats the UK faces."
On top of that, a defence spokesman for the Liberal Democrats is quite by the Mirror as saying that, "it is self-evident that aircraft have to be withdrawn from the front line in order for repairs and routine servicing to be carried out."
The @Conservarives boast about being the party of low taxation, but what that means is our military is unable to defend our country. An FOI request confirms that one third of the RAF's aircraft are unfit to fly…https://t.co/zaVFMRPLNM— Neil Marshall #FBPE (@ANMarshall) 21 January 2019
MSN news is giving me a twitter story from the Mirror saying a third of the RAF's Tycoons are unfit to fly. So that's where the Defence budget went — too much high living for the RAF's tycoons and now they're too fat to fight or even get off the ground.— G H Bennett (@h1bennett) January 21, 2019
However, he expressed his concern by adding that, "these figures seem to go beyond what is necessary for repair or service."
The Mirror says that the only aircraft currently operating at full strength are a squadron of planes used by the Royal Family and senior government ministers, including Prime Minister Theresa May, for "short-haul trips."
Sputnik has previously reported on the decaying state of the UK's military infrastructure, detailing the elaborate problems with warship maintenance and massive shortages in personnel, which culminated in a stern July 2018 letter by former US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to his British counterpart, Gavin Williamson. In the letter, Mattis expressed concern that spending cuts were harming London's defensive capabilities.