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Grounding RAF's Tornado jets ‘will save £7.5bn’

By Rosamond Hutt

Grounding the RAF's Tornado jet fleet would save £7.5 billion in defence spending, a leaked Government document has revealed.

Taking the aircraft out of service would mean the loss of half of Britain's total fast jet fleet.

However, it would save billions more than retiring the Harrier jet, according to the document drawn up under the Strategic Defence Spending Review (SDSR) and obtained by a national newspaper.

Withdrawing the Harrier, which is used by the RAF and the Royal Navy, would create savings of around £1bn.

The analysis carried out by the Ministry of Defence makes a direct comparison of “through-life savings” that can be achieved from axing the Harrier GR9 or Tornado GR4 fleets, it was reported.

An MoD spokesman said: “We do not comment on the content of leaked documents.

“The SDSR is considering a wide range of far-reaching options but no final decisions have been made.”

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