Aug 10, 2015
UK to BEG Italy and Germany for spare parts for RAF bombers
The warning comes just days after Defence Secretary extended the RAF mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria until 2017.
That decision, coupled with the last-minute reprieve of a Tornado squadron, has left military planners anxious to secure vital spare parts should their limited stocks run out.
NATO nations that operate Tornado aircraft already have a part-swap arrangement that allows countries to borrow from each other, though this has seldom, if ever, been used.
However, last night senior Whitehall sources confirmed that Air Chief Marshal has recently placed both Italy’s Aeronautica Militare and Germany’s Luftwaffe, which operate the same variants of GR4 Tornado as the UK, on standby.
Britain operates eight GR4 Tornados as part of the so-called Coalition of the Willing against Islamic State.