Military spy plane cut to save cash
Britain’s fleet of spy planes will be cut from five to four in order to save funds, it has emerged.
The UK’s military is struggling financially and discussions have been made to cut the whole fleet of Britain’s spy planes, according to the Times.
The fleet has been beset with problems because of a shortage of money and a requirement to make savings.
This has created a shortage of crews and a lack of spare parts to keep all five aircraft flying, defence sources said.
“The Sentinel is in deep trouble,” one source said. “They are struggling to knock a single serviceable aircraft together.”
Spy planes have provided information in the fight against ISIS and is one of the most valuable contributions to NATO because the block has no spy plane itself.
A second source said that the entire Sentinel fleet “is the most likely thing to be cut” early if the RAF is required to make significant savings to plug a hole in the defence budget of at least £10 billion over ten years.
“The RAF does not want to do that because it shows what a bad state everything is in,” he said.
In a sign of the strain, one of the five planes will now be “removed from the forward fleet pending long-term fleet management decisions”, according to an RAF source.
The aircraft had been due to be retired last September but had been given a reprieve until this year.