Sunday, 3 March 2013

Dambusters saved from axe to fly new fighter

The “Dambusters” squadron has been saved from defence cuts because it will be the first to operate the RAF’s new fighter jets.The 617 Squadron was made famous for its heroics during the Second World War when bombers attacked dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley using “bouncing bombs”. It was feared it would be confined to history when the Ministry of Defence replaces its Tornado aircraft with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). But senior defence sources said the squadron has “privileged status” because of its history and its pilots will be the first in the RAF to operate the JSF. The new fighters are due to be introduced in three years while existing Tornados are expected to be gradually phased out by 2019.Five RAF squadrons currently fly around 90 Tornados but it is believed only one or two will convert to the JSF, leaving the others at risk of being axed.Read more HERE

617 squadron deserves its “privileged status” and long may it remain in the defence of our nation.

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