Future UK deployments will use fewer combat aircraft as the Royal Air Force replaces BAE Systems Harriers and Sepecat Jaguars with multirole Eurofighter Typhoons and Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters).

The Defence White Paper - published last week - says that the stand-off MBDA Storm Shadow missile and increasing use of precision-guided weapons such as the Raytheon Paveway IV will allow the RAF to produce the same results with fewer aircraft.

The paper says: "We are now considering how and when we should reduce the numbers of combat aircraft in order to reflect these developments." It is unclear whether this refers to reducing overall numbers.

Source: Flight International