Is retiring the RAF's Tranche 1 Typhoons the right move?

In March 2021, the UK announced plans to retire the RAF's fleet of Tranche 1 Eurofighters by 2025. Jon Lake explores the decision to prematurely withdraw roughly one quarter of the air arm's Typhoon force and the ramifications this will bring.

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 [MOD Crown Copyright]
The RAF painted this Tranche 1 Typhoon FGR 4 in the colors of the Union Jack for the 2021 display season. MOD Crown Copyright

The UK is planning to retire its Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons in 2025, leaving it with just 67 Tranche 2 and 40 Tranche 3 aircraft. These are supposed to enable a full force of seven frontline squadrons to serve through to 2040 – and possibly even longer.

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