The UK announced the initial operating capability for its Lightning force and upgraded ‘Centurion’ Typhoons in January, marking a significant step forward in future capability.

A ‘Centurion’ Typhoon, F-35B and the Tempest mock-up inside the new maintenance and final finishing facility at RAF Marham.
Jamie Hunter
Armed to the teeth — this Tranche 3 RAF Typhoon FGR4 carries Paveway IV and Brimstone, two crucial weapons for the air-toground role.
Jamie Hunter

BRITISH ‘COMBAT AIR’ appears to be back on the agenda for political leaders as a means of underscoring the UK’s standing on the world stage. While overall mass — the number of aircraft and squadrons — in the UK fast jet community remains at an all-time low, and budgets are still stretched, there are signs of both capability and numbers being on the rise.

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