Steve p wrote:
Heavens above what next i wonder no maritime partol capabilty or carrier strike force
I assume this is a sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek comment considering the MoD have no MPA capability or carrier strike force
Whilst the MoD have orders for types to cover both of these roles (P-8 and F-35), the MoD currently lack both capabilities and relying on other nations to cover the MPA role does not give the MoD its "own" capability.
However, the types on order may not even cover the role they are required for. The P-8s won't have the mission suite fitted that meets the MoD requirements, and who knows what the hell the F-35 will be capable of, if anything. One flight per airframe every six months to a year sounds about right.
As others have stated already in this post, there is no requirement for two-seat "training" aircraft as so much work is now done in the simulator. If the spares source for the F-35 is as elusive and expensive as is being touted, then Marham is going to one very quiet airfield...