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List of active United Kingdom military aircraft

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Title: List of active United Kingdom military aircraft  
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List of active United Kingdom military aircraft

Tri-service badge of the United Kingdom's armed forces.

List of active United Kingdom military aircraft is a list of military aircraft currently in service with the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom. For RAF aircraft no longer in service see List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force. For aircraft expected to enter service with the RAF in the future, see Future of the Royal Air Force.

Royal Air Force

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number[1][2] Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Boeing Sentry  United States AEW&C AEW1 6 Airborne early warning and control aircraft. A seventh aircraft has been withdrawn from use.[3]
Raytheon Sentinel  Canada
 United States
Battlefield surveillance R1 5 ISTAR aircraft. Will be retained until suitable replacement is found.[4] Will be kept in RAF service until at least 2018.[5]
Beechcraft Shadow  United States Battlefield surveillance R1 6[6] ISTAR aircraft.[7]
Lockheed Martin Lightning II  United States Multirole fighter F-35B 4[8] 48 announced for carrier duties from 2016.[9] Decision on final orders to be made in 2015,[10] Aircraft jointly operated with the FAA.[11]
Eurofighter Typhoon  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft
Multirole fighter
T3
FGR4
22
102[2][12]
FGR4 variants will replace the Tornado fleet by 2019.[13]
Panavia Tornado  United Kingdom Attack aircraft
Multirole fighter
GR4
GR4A
80
22[2]
The Tornado fleet will be retired in March 2019.[14]
Boeing RC-135  United States Signals intelligence RC-135W 1 The first out of three aircraft has been delivered in preparation for the UK aircraft entering operational service in late 2014[15] and will be flown by No. 51 Squadron RAF. The squadron is due to be fully operational by mid 2017.
Britten-Norman Islander  United Kingdom Surveillance aircraft CC2A 3 Used for photographic mapping and light communications.[16]
Airbus Voyager  France
 Spain
Tanker & Transport aircraft KC2
KC3
10[17] There are 2 KC2 and 6 KC3 aircraft plus two further currently unconverted planes. 4 more to be delivered by 2016 for a total of 14.[18] The aircraft are jointly operated by the RAF and the AirTanker consortium.
Boeing Globemaster III  United States Transport aircraft C-17ER 8 Operated by No. 99 Squadron. A ninth aircraft is under consideration.[19]
Airbus Atlas  Spain Transport aircraft C1 1 Total of 22 on order, deliveries started November 2014. Two more to be delivered by the end of 2014.[20][21]
Lockheed Hercules  United States Transport aircraft C4
C5
14
10
The C4 (C-130J-30) is a stretched version of the C5 (C-130J), which adds 15 feet to the fuselage, increasing usable space (two more pallets of equipment) in the cargo compartment. To be withdrawn from service by 2022, 10 years earlier than planned. Due to be replaced by 22 Airbus A400M Atlas.
BAe 125  United Kingdom Transport aircraft CC3 5 The CC3 is used predominantly for VIP transport. Operated by No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron C Flight.
BAe 146  United Kingdom Transport aircraft CC2
C3
2
2
The CC2 is used predominantly for VIP transport and the C3 as tactical transports.[22] Operated by No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron A Flight.
BAE Systems Hawk  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T1
T2
129[1]
28[1]
Hawk T1 and T2 are used at RAF Valley for fast-jet training with No 208(R) and No 4(R) squadrons. Additionally, the Red Arrows use the T1 at RAF Scampton. The T1A is used for weapons and tactical training with No 208(R) Squadron at RAF Valley, and by No. 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming for advanced fast-jet weapons systems officer training and operational support flying.
Beechcraft King Air  United States Trainer aircraft 10 Used as an advanced, multi-engine pilot trainer by No. 45(R) Squadron, which is part of No. 3 Flying Training School based at RAF Cranwell, in Lincolnshire. Contractor owned.
Short Tucano  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T1 92 Operated primarily from No. 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, to provide basic fastjet flying training to RAF and RN student pilots and basic WSO training.
Helicopters
Boeing Chinook  United States Transport helicopter HC2
HC2A
HC3
HC4
HC6
16
6[23]
8[24]
16[23]
3[25]
HC2/HC2A's being upgraded to HC4/HC4A standard, and the HC3's to be upgraded to HC5 standard in an effort to standardise them as much as possible. A further 14 new build HC6 aircraft, based on the American CH-47F, are on order and are due to be delivered by December 2015 and fully operational by early 2017.[24]
AgustaWestland Merlin  United Kingdom Transport helicopter HC3
HC3A
21
6
25 Merlin aircraft are to be upgraded to HC4/HC4A standard and transferred to the Fleet Air Arm. The first HC3/3As to undergo the marinisation programme are expected to be completed around September 2017, with all 25 due for completion by March 2022.[26]
Westland Puma  United Kingdom Transport helicopter HC1
HC2
14[27]
15[28]
24 Puma HC1 aircraft will be upgraded to HC2 standard by the end of 2015 with the other 7 already having been removed from service in December 2012.[29] A further two Puma are with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down for flight trials of the enhanced variant.[29]
Agusta A109E  Italy Transport helicopter 1[30] Used predominantly for VIP transport. Contractor owned. Operated by No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron B Flight.
Bell Griffin  Canada Utility helicopter HAR2 4 Used at RAF Akrotiri for search and rescue duties and support of the UN in maintaining the Buffer Zone.
Westland Sea King  United Kingdom Search & Rescue HAR3
HAR3A
18
6
To be withdrawn in March 2016 following the phased contracting out of search and rescue services to Bristow Helicopters between 2015-17.[31][32]
UAVs
MQ-9 Reaper  United States Battlefield surveillance 10 Predominately employed as an ISTAR RPAS but is routinely equipped with Hellfire missiles giving it a secondary hunter-killer role. Operated by 39 Sqn & XIII Sqn.[33]

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Grob Tutor  Germany Trainer aircraft T1 119 Used for Elementary Flying Training by the 14 University Air Squadrons and 12 Air Experience Flights in UK. It is also used by the Central Flying School and for elementary WSO training at the RAF College Cranwell. Contractor owned.
Grob Vigilant  Germany Trainer aircraft T1 65 Used by the Air Cadet Organisation to give basic flying and gliding training to air cadets.
Grob Viking  Germany Trainer aircraft T1 81 Used by the Air Cadet Organisation to give basic gliding training to air cadets.

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Hawker Hurricane  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft Mk IIc 2
Supermarine Spitfire  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft Mk IIa
Mk Vb
LF.IXe
LF.XVIe
PR.XIX
1
1
1
1
2
Avro Lancaster
PA474
 United Kingdom Heavy bomber B.I 1
Douglas Dakota  United States Transport aircraft C.3 1
De Havilland Canada Chipmunk  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T.10 2

Fleet Air Arm

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number[34][35] Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Lockheed Martin Lightning II  United States Multirole fighter F-35B 4 To be operated by 809 Naval Air Squadron "The Immortals". First squadron flights from HMS Queen Elizabeth expected during 2018. 48 aircraft initially ordered for carrier operation and aircraft will be jointly operated with the RAF.
BAE Systems Hawk  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T1 17 Used for fast-jet training and target facilities as part of 736 Naval Air Squadron. Has been used for short range reconnaissance.
Beechcraft Avenger  United States Trainer aircraft T1 4 Contractor owned and operated by 750 Naval Air Squadron for observer training.
Grob Tutor  Germany Trainer aircraft T1 5 The Grob Tutor is operated by 727 Naval Air Squadron and is used for Air Experience Flights. Contractor owned.
Helicopters
Westland Lynx  United Kingdom Naval helicopter (Anti-submarine warfare/Anti-surface warfare) HMA8
HAS3
AH7
20[36][37]
16[36][37]
4[38]
To be replaced by the Wildcat starting 2015.
AgustaWestland Wildcat  United Kingdom Battlefield helicopter
Naval helicopter (ASW/ASuW)
AH1
HMA2
4[39]
12[40]
Four of the AH.1 aircraft ordered for the Army Air Corps will be operated by 847 NAS as part of the CHF
A total of 28 aircraft have been ordered for the Fleet Air Arm with all deliveries due to be completed by January 2015.[41]
AgustaWestland Merlin  United Kingdom Naval helicopter (Anti-submarine warfare) HM1
HM2
33[42]
5
A total of 30 Merlin HM1 to be upgraded to HM2 standard.[43] The final helicopter to be upgraded has started its upgrade[44]
Westland Sea King
 United Kingdom Transport helicopter
Search & Rescue
AEW&C
HC4
HU5
ASaC7
11[45]
15
10[46]
HC4's to be replaced by 25 former RAF Merlins upgraded to HC4/HC4A standard for the Commando transport role.

HU5's to be withdrawn in March 2016 following the phased contracting out of search and rescue services to Bristow Helicopters between 2015-17.[32]

ASaC7's planned to be replaced one-for-one by Merlin HM2 helicopters from the Fleet Air Arm under Project Crowsnest.[46][47]

All Sea Kings have an out of service date of 31 March 2016.[31] However, 7 Sea King ASAC7's will remain with the FAA until 2018.[48]

Eurocopter Dauphin  France Transport helicopter 2[49] Used in Flag Officer Sea Training to ferry instructors to vessels with minimal delay during periods of intense training.
UAVs
ScanEagle  United States Battlefield surveillance 3[50] Procured as part of a Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) that runs out in 2017,[51] the vehicle is used predominantly on Type 23 frigates and RFA vessels.[52][53]

Royal Navy Historic Flight

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Hawker Sea Hawk  United Kingdom Fighter-bomber FGA6 1
De Havilland Sea Vixen De Havilland Sea Vixen at Yeovilton 2009  United Kingdom Fighter-bomber D.3 1
Hawker Sea Fury  United Kingdom Fighter-bomber FB11 1
Fairey Swordfish  United Kingdom Torpedo bomber Mk.I/II 2
De Havilland Canada Chipmunk  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T10 1

Army Air Corps

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number[34][35] Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Britten-Norman Islander  United Kingdom Reconnaissance aircraft AL1 7 Also has a limited use in transporting personnel.[54]
Britten-Norman Defender  United Kingdom Reconnaissance aircraft AL2
T3
9 Also has a limited use in transporting personnel.
Helicopters
AgustaWestland Apache  United States
 United Kingdom
Attack helicopter AH1 66[55]
Westland Lynx  United Kingdom Battlefield helicopter AH7
AH9A
50
21
The AH7 aircraft are due to be replaced in 2015 by 34 Wildcat, the AH9A were upgraded to have the same engine as the Wildcat for increased 'hot and heavy' performance and part commonality.[56]
AgustaWestland Wildcat  United Kingdom Battlefield helicopter AH1 21[40] A total of 34 aircraft have been ordered, 4 in the LAH configuration to be operated by the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing. The Wildcat will enter operational service in 2014[41]
Bell 212  United States Battlefield helicopter AH1 8 Used in the jungle areas of Belize and Brunei.
Eurocopter Dauphin  France Special forces 5 The Eurocopter Dauphin is used by No. 658 Squadron AAC in support of the United Kingdom Special Forces attached to the SAS.[57]
Westland Gazelle  United Kingdom Reconnaissance AH1 34 The MOD has launched a process to extend the planned Out of Service Date to 31 March 2018.
UAVs
Elbit Hermes 450  Israel Battlefield surveillance 12 Temporary use in Afghanistan by the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery following delays in the Watchkeeper programme.[58][59]
Watchkeeper WK450  United Kingdom
 Israel
Battlefield surveillance 30 ISTAR UAV.[60] A total of 30 air vehicles and 14 ground systems have already been produced with an additional 24 air vehicles and one ground system to be delivered.[61][62] Operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.

Defence Helicopter Flying School

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Helicopters
Bell Griffin  Canada Training helicopter HT1 11 Contractor owned.
Eurocopter Squirrel  France Training helicopter HT1 34[63] Contractor owned.

Empire Test Pilots' School

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
JAS 39B Gripen  Sweden Fighter aircraft 1[64] Leased from SAAB Aviation AB.
Avro RJ  United Kingdom Jet airliner RJ70
RJ100
1[64]
1[64]
Beagle Bassett  United Kingdom Experimental aircraft CC1 1[65] Variable Stability System.
Hawker Siddeley Hawk  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft
Experimental aircraft
T1
ASTRA
2
1[64]


Advanced Stability Training and Research Aircraft.
Short Tucano  United Kingdom Trainer aircraft T1 2
Helicopters
Agusta A109E Power  Italy Military helicopter 2[64]
Westland Gazelle  United Kingdom Military helicopter HT2
HT3
1
1[66]
Westland Lynx  United Kingdom Military helicopter AH7 1[67]

Ministry of Defence

As well as the military services a number of defence contractors operate military aircraft on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet  Germany Trainer aircraft 4 QinetiQ, Boscombe Down.
Eurofighter Typhoon  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft 2 BAE Systems, Warton for trials and development.
Gloster Meteor T.7 (Mod)  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft 2 Martin Baker Aerospace, Chalgrove for ejector seat trials.
Hawker Hunter F58  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft 2 Hawker Hunter Aviation, used as airborne targets for naval trails and exercises.
Hawker Hunter T8B  United Kingdom Fighter aircraft 1 Hawker Hunter Aviation, used as airborne targets for naval trails and exercises.
North American Harvard  Canada Trainer aircraft 1 QinetiQ, Boscombe Down for trials and photographic chase aircraft, active in military service since 1944.
Panavia Tornado  United Kingdom Strike aircraft GR4A
GR4
1
1
BAE Systems, Warton for trials and development.
BAE Systems, Warton for trials and development.
Helicopters
Agusta A109E  Italy Military helicopter 1 QinetiQ Boscombe Down.
Westland Sea King Mk 4X  United Kingdom Military helicopter 1 QinetiQ, Boscombe Down.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 17 July 2013
  2. ^ a b c House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 17 Mar 2014
  3. ^ "Out of Service British Military Aircraft". Demobbed. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Sentinel R1/ASTOR". RAF. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  5. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/40747/farnborough-2014-uk-announces-gbp1-1-billion-in-defence-projects
  6. ^ House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 4 July 2013
  7. ^ "Raytheon touts future roles for RAF's at-risk Sentinel R1". Flightglobal.com. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  8. ^ Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft:Written question - HL2709, (parliament.uk), 06 November 2014
  9. ^ "UK set to procure first F-35 Lightning II squadron". Janes.com. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  10. ^ Brooke-Holland, Louisa (12 April 2013). "The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - Commons Library Standard Note". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Farmer, Ben. "Dambusters to get new F-35 Lightning II fighter". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  12. ^ http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141002/DEFREG01/310020026/Manufacturing-Fault-Suspends-Typhoon-Deliveries-Germany-Italy-Spain
  13. ^ MoD to speed up Typhoon upgrade for Iraq campaign "The MoD announced earlier this year it planned to fit the missiles to Typhoons by 2019 so they can take over the Tornados ground attack duties when the jets retire that year.", Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  14. ^ Tornado GR4 upgrade" July 16, 2014
  15. ^ Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support (2013-11-12). "First Rivet Joint aircraft delivered to the UK - News stories". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  16. ^ "Islander BN2T CC Mk2". RAF. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  17. ^ http://www.airtanker.co.uk/news-centre/news-item/2014/08/14/tenth-delivery-for-voyager-programme
  18. ^ "Voyager fuel costs, A400M levy top UK MoD overspend". Flightglobal.com. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  19. ^ "UK Shows Interest in Buying Another C-17 publisher=Defense News". 2013-11-24. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  20. ^ RAF Takes Delivery of First A400M Atlas, defensenews.com, 17 November 2014
  21. ^ "Airbus Defence and Space officially delivers first A400M to Royal Air Force". November 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ BAe 146s enter conversion for Royal Air Force, flightglobal.com, 18 Jun 2012
  23. ^ a b Aviation Feature – Chinook HC4, globalaviationresource.com, Sep 26, 2013
  24. ^ a b First Chinook HC.6 helos for RAF arrive in the UK, janes.com, 14 January 2014
  25. ^ RAF Flying High in new Chinook helicopters, gov.uk, 16 June 2014
  26. ^ Royal Navy Continues Preparations For Ex-RAF Merlins, airforcesdaily.com, 2014
  27. ^ Puma HC2 Training Continues With Qinetiq, airforcesdaily.com, 2013
  28. ^ http://www.aviationtoday.com/rw/topstories/Puma-HC2s-Put-Through-Their-Paces-in-Portugal_83182.html#.VFKohod3ZAZ
  29. ^ a b Training Now Underway On Upgraded RAF Puma HC2s, airforcesdaily.com, 2013
  30. ^ Life in 'The Royal' Squadron, gov.uk, 10 June 2013
  31. ^ a b UK MoD issues Sea King helicopter support contract, shephardmedia.com, 28th December 2012
  32. ^ a b Britain’s Next Search-and-Rescue Helicopters: Civilian Contractors, defenseindustrydaily.com, Jul 24, 2013
  33. ^ UK cheers the Reaper UAV, flightglobal.com, 16 Jun 2008
  34. ^ a b "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 02 Nov 2011 (pt 0002)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  35. ^ a b "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 31 Jan 2012 (pt 0002)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  36. ^ a b Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - 701 Naval Air Squadron - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
  37. ^ a b Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - 815 Naval Air Squadron - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
  38. ^ Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - 847 Naval Air Squadron - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
  39. ^ Future Aircraft in Fleet Air Arm
  40. ^ a b Agustawestland funded for FASGW integration on Wildcat
  41. ^ a b UK Royal Navy primed to receive first Lynx Wildcat, flightglobal.com, 12 Dec 2012
  42. ^ desider - the magazine for defence equipment and support, gov.uk, November 2011, Issue 42
  43. ^ Merlin Upgrade Programme (News Story), defencemanagement.com
  44. ^ https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/11735
  45. ^ Royal Navy Continues Preparations For Ex RAF Merlins, airforcesdaily.com, 2014
  46. ^ a b UK Accelerating Crowsnest AEW Capability For New Carriers, airforcesdaily.com, 2014
  47. ^ "Crowsnest AEW project to costup to 500mn". Flightglobal.com. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  48. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/37615/uk-extends-sea-king-asac-7-life-out-to-2018
  49. ^ Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - SA365 Dauphin - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
  50. ^ X-men take to the Cornish skies, Royal Navy, 25 November 2014
  51. ^ "Royal Navy Scan eagle contract extension"
  52. ^ Royal Navy gets Eagle eyes in £30m deal for unmanned planes, royalnavy.mod.uk, 20/06/2013
  53. ^ "Royal Navy ready to launch ScanEagle operations", flightglobal.com, 16 January 2014
  54. ^ "Defender – British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. 1989-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  55. ^ UK weighing options for Apache attack helicopter upgrade, flightglobal.com, 28 Nov 2012
  56. ^ "Lynx AH9A Upgrade Program and Lynx Wildcat « Fast Air Photography". Fast-air.co.uk. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  57. ^ Tim Ripley (10 December 2008). "UK Army Air Corps received Dauphins". Janes Defence Weekly, Vol. 45, Issue 50: 10. 
  58. ^ House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk), September 2013
  59. ^ desider - the magazine for defence equipment and support, gov.uk, Feb 2014, Issue 64
  60. ^ "UK's Watchkeeper UAV inches towards release to service". www.janes.com. IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  61. ^ British Watchkeeper UAV Finally Cleared to Enter Military Service, 5 March 2014
  62. ^ UKs Watchkeeper Fleet Completed by End Year
  63. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/45014/uk-selects-affinity-to-conduct-fixed-wing-training-under-ukmfts
  64. ^ a b c d e Empire Test Pilots' School - Our Fleet and Facilities, etps.qinetiq.com
  65. ^ Royal Air Force - Bassett CC2, touchdown-aviation.com
  66. ^ Royal Air Force - Gazelle, touchdown-aviation.com
  67. ^ Royal Air Force - Lynx, touchdown-aviation.com

External links

  • United Kingdom Defence Statistics - 2014 (gov.uk)
  • United Kingdom Defence Statistics - 2013 (dasa.mod.uk)
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