Is it really that bad, or is this just popular whinge? I thought the RAF Air Crew all loved them.
Nobody's saying its a bad plane, just that it is completely unneccesary to spend billions on an air superiority fighter when we are unlikely in the foreseeable future to take on an enemy who is in any position to contest air superiority with us or, more particularly, the USA...
... but granted, when we signed the contract, the Russians were giving away FULCRUM and FLANKER for pocket change, to every third-world country with a few million and an attitude. So it probably comes under "seemed like a good idea at the time".
From the Crabs point of view, cancelling it would be right up there with reducing our holdings of Warrior and Challenger because (of course) we need more rapidly deployable forces. Yeah, right.
PS Unfortunately for this point of view, the RAF haven't shot down an enemy aircraft since WW2, while the Navy have apparently shot down over a hundred. This is, of course, why the Fleet Air Arm are having their fighters taken away from them.
PPS Yes, individual Crabs have shot down aircraft, but they were serving with USAF squadrons at the time.
I'm afraid that everyone without a vested interest in this (the MOD, BAe, the RAF, etc) agrees that this is totally the wrong aircraft for UK PLC at this moment in time. We have bought a brilliant dogfighter (without a gun) when what little air combat there is these days is done by missile engagements at 10's of NMs. We desperately need all weather ground attack with some sort of loiter capability which Typhoon will never, ever do. The reason the aircrew like it is that frankly a skip with wings would be better than Tornado F3 and its got a cockpit that is less than 30 years old...