UK Defence Secretary sets sights on next century of British air power
MARHAM, United Kingdom - UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced last week at Roal Air Force Marham that his nation now has nine F-35 Lightning jets ready to be deployed on operations around the world. The F-35 Lightnings will form the backbone of the UK’s combat air fleet alongside the Typhoon jets, which the Defence Secretary also announced have now been fitted with a complex weapons suite to increase its capability.
Under "Project Centurion", worth £425 million ($543m USD) over the past three years, the Typhoon now has deep strike cruise missile Storm Shadow, air-to-air missile Meteor and the precision attack missile Brimstone at their disposal.
It means the jets have boosted capabilities to intercept airborne missiles and strike ground based targets, taking over from the Tornado’s attack role as it nears retirement.
“As we bid farewell to the RAF’s first century, we are setting our sights on the next 100 years," remarked Williamson. "Our nation is moving into a new era outside the EU, and our huge achievements in air capability make our commitment to a role on the world stage clear to both our allies and our enemies.”
He continued, “The incredible F-35 jets are ready for operations, a transformed Typhoon has the power to dominate the skies into the 2040s and we continue to look even further into an ambitious future. The RAF has long shown Britain at its great and global best, and today it lifts our nation to even greater heights.”
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