Fighters jets will reportedly be based near civilian runways for the first time since World War II
Britain is preparing to station combat aircraft in civilian airports for the first time since World War II in response to the Ukraine conflict, the Daily Express reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The dispersing of planes across the country will help the Royal Air Force’s rapid-response units survive attacks on their bases, the newspaper said.
The Agile Combat Employment (ACE) scheme was initially intended for potential hotspots overseas, such as the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
According to the report, a trial next month will have Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 jet fighters based in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Scotland “scattered in small groups and based discreetly” in several regional airports with suitable runways.
Other jets and larger aircraft will be based in different areas in times of “imminent crisis,” the newspaper said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last month that Britain will boost defense spending to 2.5% of its GDP by the end of 2030 to adapt to “a more dangerous and more competitive world.”