Grounded! Almost half of RAF's Typhoon jets unable to fly because they don't have the spare parts to fix them

  • Only 20 jets, which cost £126 million each, available at any given time

Almost half of the RAF's new Typhoon jets are grounded at any given time - because the military does not have the spare parts to fix them.

At times only 20 are available for use in Britain's Forward Fleet - used to protect our skies - because so many are undergoing repairs, Ministry of Defence data revealed.

Normally 40 to 50 typhoons are included in the unit. And the situation is so bad that RAF bosses recently had to scrap three of the planes, which cost a staggering £126 million each, so they could gut them for spare parts.

Grounded: The RAF's Typhoon jets are struggling to get airborne because of a lack of spare parts

Grounded: The RAF's Typhoon jets are struggling to get airborne because of a lack of spare parts

Sources said the jets' computers were the biggest cause of problems.

Tim Ripley, defence analyst for IHS Jane's, said problems had come to a head because of the Libya campaign.

'There was just no provision made for another conflict and the high number of flying hours that entailed,' he told the Express.

MPs on the cross-party Public Accounts Committee earlier this year revealed in a report that only eight pilots had sufficient ground attack training because of the lack of aircraft.

And the problems exist despite the MoD having a five-year maintenance deal with BAE Systems worth £450 million.

Anger: Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris said the news suggested the MoD had signed contracts that were not good value for money

Anger: Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris said the news suggested the MoD had signed contracts that were not good value for money

It also has a ten year deal with Rolls-Royce worth almost £900 million.

Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: 'It suggests that, yet again, the MoD signed contracts that were not good value for money.

'I was told in 2001 when I raised the issue of cannibalised Jaguars that future procurement policy would ensure sufficient parts so that jets could be kept in the air.

'Ten years on and this is clearly not the case.

'I find it frustrating and depressing.'

The MoD said computers were only taken from jets that were already on the ground being serviced.

A spokesman added that it was 'perfectly normal' for such a high proportion of jets to be grounded at any one time.

This was because of the level of sophistication in their systems.

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