Lord Jim wrote:We will probably purchase additional F-35s down the line but these will not increase the number in service but rather replace older versions maintaining a pool of available airframes at around 50.
To me this shows how perfectly sad our situation is, for a nation that is aspiring to global influence and a 2 super carrier force to only have 50 aircraft suitable for this role is down right abysmal.
HMG need to recognise that to have any real global influence you need a strong armoured forces, nothing shows this better that Russia. Despite what we like to think Russia has global influence but why ? It’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, it’s manufacturing exports are smaller than our own, it’s cultural export / impact is almost non existent. Yet it has global influence due to a large and powerful armed forces.
Another example is China, 20 odd years ago is was still an economic force in the world but wasn’t seen as a real power, now it has a large modern armed forces it seen to be the next superpower.
Closer to home you could look at Germany, been an economic power house for decades now but it’s voice on the world stage is no where near a big as it’s economy due to it very weak forces.