Only a crab would have the neck to say this. Obviously, those Sea Harriers putting lots of bombs on that runway in Port Stanley in 82 hasn't been forgotten and the RAF don't ever want it repeated. Obviously now that they are stuck with Typhoon (nothing to shoot down), won't get a strike replacement for Tornado (strike anyone?) and have neglected close air support since god knows when (quick! - scrap Jaguar! - scrap Harrier!) they are beginning to look a bit irrelevant. So - get rid of naval jets before anyone else gets in on the game. I'm surprised he isn't casting round for the army's Apaches and RN Sea Kings to go.... Head of Royal Navy threatens resignation over push to scrap HarriersMichael Smith THE RAF is trying to use a major cash crisis within the Ministry of Defence to get rid of the Fleet Air Arm, defence sources said last week. Its campaign, which is being fought under the slogan âone nation, one air forceâ, has led to the head of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band threatening to resign. Air Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, chief of air staff, is attempting to push through proposals to scrap the 75 Harrier jump jets currently shared between the navy and the air force. Torpy believes that the lack of a carrier-borne attack aircraft until the first of the new aircraft carriers comes into service, now 2015 at the earliest, will not be a problem. He argues that with the main focus of UK military operations for the next decade likely to be land-locked Afghanistan, there is no current need for carrier-borne aircraft. When the new carriers come into service the RAF can fly the Joint Strike Fighters that are currently due to fly off them. Scrapping the Harriers five years early in 2013 is seen as a relatively painless way of saving Â£1bn, the cost of keeping the aircraft flying. The Â£1bn is what the National Audit Office says will be the cost of two Harrier support contracts, one with BAE Systems and the other with engine supplier Rolls Royce. It is the only aircraft support contract that has yet to be signed so the MoD could decide not to go ahead with it without incurring penalty clauses. Getting rid of the Harriers will also lead to the closure of the Joint Harrier Force base at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland, adding to the cost savings. Torpy is thought to have the support of Air Marshal Jock Stirrup, the chief of defence staff, for the measure which is set to lead to a major clash between the RAF and the navy. But senior naval sources said last week that Band will resign if the RAF proposals are pushed through. "He's had enough," one said. "The navy has been cut and cut and cut again to get the carriers." The conflict comes amid what the sources said was the worst inter-service fighting since Labourâs notorious âeast of Suezâ defence cuts of the mid-1960s. Band is furious that the navy is taking the brunt of the cutbacks caused by a Â£2bn black hole in the defence budget, the sources said. John Hutton, defence secretary, will announce this week that the navyâs cherished two aircraft carriers will be delayed by up to two years. The navy agreed to a string of cuts to its ship numbers to keep the carriers and is now facing not only the loss of all its fixed-wing aircraft but also major cuts to its submarine force. One of a number of options designed to save money involves the accelerated retirement of the navyâs current Trafalgar-class attack submarines and delays to the Astute replacements. This would leave the navy with only four attack submarines for the five years between 2020 and 2025, compared to the current eight. It has also been told its new frigates, known as the future surface combatants, have been indefinitely postponed and plans to get rid of aging Type-22 frigates have been scrapped. Hutton has told the defence chiefs that they must come up with a final plan to save the Â£2bn shortfall by a meeting of the defence board on Friday December 19. The Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the issue ahead of Huttonâs anticipated announcement this week.