Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq appear to place the greatest stress on the Royal Air Force's fixed- and rotary-wing transport capacity. In simple terms, the RAF just does not have enough support helicopters. While the shortfall is recognized by the government, the Future Rotorcraft Capability program to identify and procure successors has been repeatedly delayed. In terms of "strategic" airlift--with the exception of four Boeing C-17s (and a fifth on order)--the air force is ...

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