Europe

Back to the Cold War! RAF plans to thwart Russian missile threat with Soviet era tactics

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The decision taken by the Royal Air Force to reincorporate the Cold War tactics was revealed by Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston to The Telegraph. Speaking to the broadsheet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, ACM Wigston confirmed fighter jets will be given ‘no-notice’ scatter drills that will see them disperse towards civilian airfields and other locations, including motorways.

“It sounds a bit Cold War-ey”, he said, “but we have a pressing requirement to remember how to do it.”

ACM Wigston added that this practice was used by RAF Jaguar fighters when tensions were running high between the USSR and the West after the Second World War.

Specific locations have not yet been identified and Britain’s larger airports are said to be unlikely locations.

However, airfields in Teesside, Southend and Liverpool are said to be viable options for the RAF.

The Air Chief Marshal said new Russian missiles, air defence systems and Moscow’s tendency to use force had prompted the move.

Concerns have risen in recent times over the possibility that Vladimir Putin could move Russian missiles to Kaliningrad.

Sir Wigston warned if this was to occur then Britain would “be in range” and added Russia’s air defence was “very sophisticated”.

“They’ve murdered people on the streets of Britain and annexed part of Europe. They’ve got the threat systems. We are concerned about them”, he said.

ACM Wigston, who was appointed as Chief of the Air Staff in 2019, argued that by spreading out RAF jets it would be “harder” for our enemies to target them.

The Air Chief Marshal claimed he would station all of his Typhoons across a dozen bases rather than positioning them all on two sites.

He also added that RAF jets would travel to their designated airports in small groups called “fighting fours”.

The 53-year old states using fixed bases would leave the RAF vulnerable to surprise attacks similar to when the Japanese ambushed the Americans at Pearl Harbor on December 7 in 1941.

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Recently, ACM Wigston has welcomed the American announcement to build a space base in the United Kingdom.

Sir Wigston said the plans, which many hope will help fend off threats from Russia and China, will support us in defending “our critical infrastructure in space”.

He added: “Right now, there are countries like Russia and China that are doing things, developing systems that are … a threat to satellites that we rely on in our day-to-day lives”.

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