Morale: RAF Orders Pilots To Die For Less


May 5, 2011: Britain is pleading poverty for not paying their Typhoon and Tornado pilots in Libya the $48 a day "dangerous duty" bonus that pilots receive in Afghanistan, or anywhere they are getting shot at. This has not helped pilot morale, because the dangers from ground fire are actually higher in Libya than in Afghanistan. While the Taliban have some old Russian heavy (14.5mm) anti-aircraft machine-guns, a few 23mm automatic cannon, and occasionally some shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, none of these weapons can reach the altitude (over 6,000 meters/19,000 feet) that NATO fighter-bombers operate.

Libya is a different story. There, the hostile government forces have far more anti-aircraft weapons than the Taliban, including some larger anti-aircraft missiles that can hit high-flying fighters. While NATO, especially American, aircraft have gone in and found many (hopefully all) the Libyan missile radars, and many of the missile launchers, there's still the possibility that some of these high-altitude missiles could still be put into action. NATO aircraft carry countermeasures against these missiles, but these devices don't make you absolutely missile-proof. You are still at risk, more at risk than you would be in Afghanistan, and $48 a day poorer.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) says it is constantly monitoring the situation. This apparently means that if a NATO aircraft gets shot down by Libyan missiles, the RAF will start paying the thousand or so dollars a day that the bonuses would cost.


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