A third of Royal Air Force’ frontline fighter-bombers are unfit to fly, according to a Freedom of Information request.
Of the 434 aircraft, 142 of them, which include 55 Typhoons are sidelined, Mirror reported citing a FOI request Monday.
Military top brass revealed 55 of the 156 Typhoons are in the RAF’s “sustainment fleet” – planes which are either mothballed or undergoing major maintenance or upgrades – rather than the “forward fleet”, ready to be deployed on ops or with only minor repairs needed, the news daily reported.
“It is self-evident that aircraft have to be withdrawn from the front line in order for repairs and routine servicing to be carried out, Lib Dem defence spokesman Lord Ming Campbell was quoted by the news outlet as saying.
“These figures seem to go beyond what is necessary for repair or service,” Campbell added.
The figures are a major embarrassment for the air force, which marked its centenary last year.
The only aircraft types at full strength are the RAF’s four-strong squadron of BAe 146 planes – used by the Royal Family and senior ministers, including Theresa May, for short-haul trips – and the F35-B Lightning II jets, the latest stealth fighters.