Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe.

New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe) Sep 5, 2010

Royal Air Force's transport aircraft fleet provides a example of the dilemma now facing the nation If the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is all about "tough choices", then the Royal Air Force's transport aircraft fleet provides a striking example of the dilemma now facing the nation. With its objective being to deliver massive departmental savings, the Ministry of Defence says: "Work has been set in hand to review all major equipment and support contracts to ensure the future program is coherent with defence needs and can be afforded." Chief of the air staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton has voiced his desire to emerge from the process with a more balanced service, and warns that "platform-level" cuts will be a likely consequence of government-enforced cost savings. While public attention has so far been focused on the likely effect of such a strategy on the UK's manned combat aircraft inventory, through the rumoured retirement of its BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9 or Panavia Tornado GR4 fleets, the possible implications for its air transport assets have not been aired widely. But with the Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter and Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport already in use and Airbus Military's A400M due to enter operational service in 2015, one must fall casualty of the budgetary bloodletting if Dalton's vision is to be realised. Aug 31, 2010

EADS, Airbus Neil Smith has a tough assignment. For the...

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