According to the Sunday Times, the expected size of the British F-35 squadron could be reduced from 138 to 48.

There is no specific information on why Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government wants to drastically reduce the F-35 squadron. It is believed that the big cause is attributed to the fact that the UK defense budget has been on a declining trend in recent years, and continues to be heavily influenced by the Covid-19 epidemic.

In addition, the general problem of the F-35 program is the equipment of too much modern technology, which causes its costs to increase sharply, but cannot operate effectively according to the schedule.

RAF F-35B
RAF F-35B

Prime Minister Boris Johnson once mentioned new UAVs and energy weapon programs as part of the new strategy. Another reason is that the UK is cooperating with the Italian Air Force to develop a new 5th generation fighter called the Tempest. Buying too many F-35s was deemed unnecessary.

Britain’s plan to scale down equipment is part of an extensive program of modernization and restructuring of the investment sector. The country wants to focus more on creating exceptional units and developing advanced technology. The budget to buy 90 F-35s is enough to create a new cyber warfare force and to build new artificial intelligence research facilities.

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