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RAF Faces Pilot Shortage

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TEHRAN, April 3 (ICANA) – British Royal Air Force has faced shortage of pilots for the military action in Libya as the government applied defence budget cuts to the front-line.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 12:49:47 PM
RAF Faces Pilot Shortage

The lack of qualified fighter pilots is so serious that the RAF started to teach trainee Typhoon pilots and let the instructors to go to the front line.

Because of the defence budget cut over the past ten years, the number of Typhoon pilots has remained low.

The British government has decided to decommission HMS Ark Royal, Harrier jets and the Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft, which only would make the situation worse for they played role in Libya crisis.

“We have a declining pool of pilots,” one Libya serving RAF pilot said. “There's less people to do twice as much work. If we are not training any more we are going to run out of personnel very soon.”

“There is a great concern in Parliament about the Government's cuts to RAF pilots. We would be very worried if government cuts were to impede future operations,” Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, said.

The shortage of Typhoon pilots is a big embarrassment for the government as they were forced to postpone scrapping warships in Libyan crisis.

Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former RAF pilot who served in Bosnia and Iraq war, said the operation in Libya could become shaky.

“We should put a halt to all defence cuts,” he said. “It does not make sense. The world is getting less stable and if the Government cannot see that, we have a problem bordering on the irresponsible.”

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