Articles about Raf

Radioactive leak riddle: Now Team America sniffs Europe's skies for iodine isotope source

The US military has sent one of its atmosphere-analyzing aircraft to Europe to hunt the source of a radioactive leak on the continent. Last week, the French nuclear watchdog the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) issued an alert after sensors in Norway, and then much of the rest of Europe, detected …
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2017
RAF F-35B ZM137, visiting the UK in 2016. Crown copyright

USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

The head of US Marine Corps aviation wants to buy more F-35Bs per year than the UK will receive in the next five. At a press conference yesterday, Lieutenant General Jon Davis, USMC deputy commandant for aviation, said he wants the service to increase its purchase rate to 37 F-35Bs per year. Under current plans, the USMC …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Feb 2017
An RAF Airbus Voyager tanker-cum-troop transport aircraft. Pic: MoD/Crown copyright

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

An RAF pilot sent his military airliner into a dramatic dive after the DSLR camera he was mucking about with became wedged in the aircraft's controls, a court martial heard yesterday. Flight Lieutenant Andrew Townshend caused his Airbus Voyager – a militarised A330 airliner – to plummet 4,400 feet in 33 seconds during a flight …
Gareth Corfield, 07 Feb 2017
gold abacus via shutterstock

National Audit Office: UK's military is buying more than it can afford

Military kit costs are going to skyrocket, according to the National Audit Office, which claims the Ministry of Defence now needs to slash an extra £5.8bn from its budget over the next 10 years. “The affordability of the Equipment Plan is at greater risk than at any time since its inception,” intoned Sir Amyas Morse, the head …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jan 2017
Hornet_Carrier_takeoff

US Navy runs into snags with aircraft carrier's electric plane-slingshot

The US Navy is having difficulties with its latest aircraft carrier's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) – the same system which the UK mooted fitting to its new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. The US Department of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) revealed yesterday, in its end-of-year report [PDF] for …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Jan 2017
drone

New British flying robot killer death machines renamed 'Protector'

The UK Ministry of Defence has tried to rebrand its latest batch of airborne death machines as “Protector” drones rather than their actual trade name of Reaper. The so-called Protector drones are actually based on the latest model of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone – known in its latest variant as the Predator – which …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Dec 2016

RAF Club members emailed fake invoices. Has it been hacked?

The Royal Air Force Club appears to have been the victim of a hack, following members being sent fake invoices for staying at the club's London HQ. A source contacted The Register with a copy of the fake invoice, which was for £200 and spoofed to appear as if it had come from the club itself. An emailed update sent to RAF …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Dec 2016
Remote control

Britain must send its F-35s to Italy for heavy overhauls, decrees US

Britain will have to send its supersonic F-35 fighter jets to Italy for heavy overhauls, the UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed to The Register. BAE Systems will maintain an airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) capability at RAF Marham in Norfolk, according to a US announcement earlier this week. …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Nov 2016
Breadboard Pi Cobbler

European F-35 avionics to be overhauled at Sealand, says UK.gov

The UK's Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) will be overhauling European nations' F-35 fighter jet avionics at a collection of sheds in a busy enclave of north Wales. DECA won the £2bn "global repair hub" contract, which will last until 2040. The agency will be partnered with BAE Systems and US company Northrop …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Nov 2016
A Red Arrow, BAE Systems Hawk T Mk.1. Pic: Shutterstock

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Poll The Red Arrows aerobatic team will get new aircraft when their ageing Hawk T1s finally give up the ghost, the British Ministry of Defence said Tuesday. What should replace the Hawks, though? The venerable jet has been the mainstay of the Reds' fleet since 1979, wowing crowds at air shows around the world with their nail-biting …
Gareth Corfield, 02 Nov 2016
Cable confusion, image via Shutterstock

No, Russia is not tapping into Syria's undersea internet cables

Rumours abound on odder corners of the internet that a Russian signals intelligence ship has tapped into one of the main internet cables serving Syria. Sadly for the conspiraloons, it's almost certainly not true. Various tinfoil hat nutters on Twitter – and, rather embarrassingly, Vice Media's tech offshoot Motherboard – are …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2016

UK will buy 138 F-35s

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier confirmed today that the UK will be making a full buy of 138 F-35 fighter jets as planned. The Chief of the Air Staff made his remarks during a keynote speech at the Royal Aeronautical Society's Air Power conference at the RAF Museum Hendon this morning. RAF in future - 2 extra Typhoon …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Sep 2016
Ejector_seat_action

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

The American F-35 Joint Project Office says ejection seat and helmet modifications will stop emergency ejections from breaking petite pilots' necks. Pilots who weigh less than 62kg (9¾ stone, 136lb) are currently banned from flying the state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jet because an emergency ejection using the currently fitted …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Sep 2016
drone

RAF Reaper drone was involved in botched US Syria airstrike

A British Reaper drone was part of the US airstrike that killed 62 Syrian government soldiers on Saturday, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. A terse statement from the Ministry said the UK “participated in the recent coalition air strike in Syria, south of Dayr az Zawr”, adding: “The UK would not intentionally target …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Sep 2016
RAF Tornado GR.4 flying down the Mach Loop in Wales

Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets

Britain's Tornado fighter jets may soon be deploying with missile-jamming decoys on board after the MoD signed a £2.5m order with Leonardo-Finmeccanica. The BriteCloud decoys are about the size of a can of Coke and can be fired from the jets' flare dispensers. The electronic gizmo uses “powerful radar emissions” to draw enemy …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Sep 2016
F-35

US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that the US Marine Corps will be flying F-35Bs from HMS Queen Elizabeth on the aircraft's carrier's maiden operational deployment. He said: “I can welcome the commitment of the United States to deploying F-35s on the first operational deployment of Queen Elizabeth – the HMS Queen …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Sep 2016
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

UK Labour man Owen Smith: If you wanna be a leader, you gotta stop with that lens

The campaign for a leadership candidate for the UK's Labour party, Owen Smith, accidentally tweeted a photo that showed the login details for the campaign's phone bank system over the weekend. Security experts have chided the Labour leadership candidate for the cockup, which follows similar mistakes by organisers of the World …
John Leyden, 06 Sep 2016
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Publishing military officers' names 'creates Islamic State hitlist'

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of creating an Islamic State hitlist by publishing the names and ranks of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force officers. Made available to the public since the 18th century, the Army and Navy Lists contain the names, service numbers, ranks and date of seniority of every serving officer …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Sep 2016
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

A £1m British Army Watchkeeper drone had to be scrapped after crashing at an airfield in Wales when the ex-RAF officer piloting it disabled the unmanned aerial vehicle's anti-crash systems. Although the official main cause of the accident was given as the automated Vehicle Management System Computer functioning “as designed …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Aug 2016
White House drone

Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk. The flight – BE804, which arrives at Newquay from London Gatwick airport and shares codes with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways – was at 900 feet and about two …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Aug 2016
F-35

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

US restrictions on the F-35 fighter jet's targeting system will make it “almost impossible” for training to be carried out in the UK, the Ministry of Defence fears – but its press office insists the constraints are normal. The F-35's electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) includes a target designator laser and a laser …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Aug 2016
Vladimir Putin

Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Vladimir Putin's air force is flying strategic reconnaissance missions over the UK. Not only is the Ministry of Defence relaxed about it, they're even hosting the Russians in Oxfordshire. What's this all about? The UK and Russia, along with 32 other countries, are signatories of the Open Skies treaty. This was originally …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Jul 2016
F-35Bs fly past HMS Queen Elizabeth at Rosyth dockyard, Scotland. Crown copyright

Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

The UK is “on target” for its new F-35B fighters to reach initial operating capability by 2018 – and will own a whopping 24 of the state-of-the-art jets by the year 2023, junior defence minister Philip Dunne told a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) this morning. Dunne was speaking to a morning briefing at …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Jul 2016
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

The first of the Royal Air Force's new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets landed on British soil last night, heralding a new era for the Royal Air Force. The supersonic Lightning II, as it will be known in RAF service, was flown across the Atlantic by RAF Squadron Leader Hugh Nicols, in the company of two US Marine Corps F-35Bs …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jun 2016

Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Our report yesterday into NASA's high-altitude, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) mission - lofted by a stadium-sized sandwich bag and weighing in at 1,000 cats - prompted the traditional provocative reader input. First up, since the SPB's orb is crafted from 22 acres of polyethylene film, swelling to a whopping 516,499 …
Lester Haines, 08 Apr 2016
Pulsar, image via Shutterstock

The field at the centre of the universe: Cambridge's outdoor pulsar pusher

Geek's Guide to Britain A field full of bits of old wire and an abandoned garden shed: it doesn't look like the place where Nobel prize-wining research was conducted, pushing the frontier of radio astronomy. But it was. This is the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, at Lords Bridge – site of a disused railway station just outside Cambridge – which …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2016
Lancaster B.I PA474. Credit: John5199, Flickr

Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

This week marked the 97th birthday of one of the world's greatest ever airmen, Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown RN, who flew nearly 500 different types of aircraft. Here's a quick look at some notable daredevils from World War Two. Eric “Winkle” Brown Captain Brown began his aviation career after being taken for a flight in a …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jan 2016

RAF web survey asks for bank details via unencrypted email

An online survey of the Royal Air Force’s website aimed at journalists has invited would-be participants to send their banking details using unencrypted email to third-party organisers. Independent experts told El Reg that the badly thought-out advice left media pros exposed to a heightened risk of fraud. The survey invite …
John Leyden, 26 Nov 2015

How NSA continued to spy on American citizens' email traffic – from overseas

Newly revealed documents (not from Snowden this time) show that the NSA has continued to collect Americans' email traffic en masse using overseas offices to get around curbs introduced domestically. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to collect bulk metadata on emails sent by Americans ( …
Iain Thomson, 20 Nov 2015
Welchman’s book and a portrait of him painted by his second wife, cubist painter Fannie Hillsmith. ©ShaunArmstrong/mubsta.com

Bletchley Park remembers 'forgotten genius' Gordon Welchman

An exhibition has been launched at Bletchley Park to commemorate the work of Cambridge lecturer and "forgotten genius" Gordon Welchman at Britain's wartime codebreaking centre. Titled Gordon Welchman: Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence, the exhibition is based on the book of the same name by the great man's …
BloodhoundSSC

Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

The Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car (SSC) has been shown off to the public for the first time, ahead of its attempt to break the world land-speed record next year. Bloodhound SSC cover off Lifting the hood on Bloodhound SSC The 13.5m-long vehicle will use a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine normally found in a Eurofighter Typhoon …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015
Bond tries to decipher is tailor

UK.gov finally unveils new parly spook-watching panel

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the long-awaited new line up of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has been appointed to the spook-eyeballing panel. Other senior Tories include Sir Alan Duncan, who has described himself as a "respected voice on the Middle East within the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Sep 2015
drone

British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

Two British citizens fighting for terrorist group ISIS in Syria were killed in an RAF drone strike on 21 August. The Register understands it is the first time British nationals have been targeted and killed in a strike by an RAF Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. The deceased British passport holders were revealed to be Cardiff- …
Team Register, 07 Sep 2015
RAF Chinook throws up dust cloud. Pic: MoD under Open Government Licence

MoD splashes £1.5bn on 10-year IT deal to 'keep pace with threats'

The Ministry of Defence has inked a ten-year deal worth £1.5bn with HP, Fujitsu, Airbus and CGI for IT and comms. The department estimates the mega contract will save £1bn over that period. However, the MoD is not known for having the best track record in delivering cost-efficient IT programmes. For example, the …
Kat Hall, 04 Aug 2015
Vulcan bomber bomb bays, photo Phil Holding

Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time

Visit a British air show before September and it's possible you’ll get the opportunity to witness the last Vulcan bomber in flight - and this is definitely the last year you'll get the chance, this time. Alongside the staple leather-clad wing-walking ladies, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, simulated Apache attack- …
BAE Systems' wireless through-hull comms demo at Farnborough 2010.

Stealing secret crypto-keys from PCs using leaked radio emissions

Your encryption keys can accidentally leak from your PC via radio waves, computer scientists have reminded us this week. This is a well-understood risk, but as these guys have demonstrated, it can be done cheaply with consumer-grade kit, rather than expensive lab equipment. Tel Aviv University researchers Daniel Genkin, Lev …
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2015
Christopher Lee as Dracula

In memoriam: Christopher Lee, Hammer's Count Dracula

Obit Christopher Lee, the iconic British actor best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in a series of films from Hammer Studios and for roles in the recent Lord of the Rings and Star Wars film trilogies, has died at age 93. The deep-voiced Lee made his film debut in Corridor of Mirrors in 1948 for future James Bond director …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2015
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Unable to log on to online games? Blame cheap-rate DDoSers

Running botnets-for-hire to mount DDoS attacks has become cheaper and easier than ever, according to a new research. Imperva Incapsula reckons botnet-for-hire services might be acquired for for as little $19.99 per month, via underground forums and payable in Bitcoins. Short, single-vector attacks associated with botnet-for-hire …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015
Concorde. Pic: Dean Morley

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Infosec 2015 The Edward Snowden leaks might imply that electronic espionage is a relatively new innovation but an under-publicised story from the supersonic age bursts that myth, as well as highlighting the French as a major power in activities these days more closely associated with China and the US. Ed Wallace, director of incident …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
The Typhoon in Battle of Britain colours

RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

The RAF is commemorating this year's 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a fetching makeover for one of its Eurofighter Typhoons, repainted with the markings of 249 Squadron's Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC. Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2015
RAF Chinook throws up dust cloud. Pic: MoD under Open Government Licence

Hold on to your hats people, the MoD's found the cloud

The Ministry of Defence has inked the single largest Microsoft Enterprise Agreement across the public sector, designed to gradually shift users to the cloud, specifically Office 365. The EA was tendered under Lot 2 of the Technology Products agreement, a framework that kicked off in November last year, and Comparex beat …
Paul Kunert, 20 May 2015

Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

The Vulcan To The Sky Trust has announced "with considerable sadness" that this summer will be the public's last chance to catch Avro Vulcan XH558 thundering through British skies, as the legendary V-bomber will be permanently grounded at the end of this flying season. The trust explains that the axe will fall because "three …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2015

RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

Update We invite readers to spare a thought today for the operatives at the Royal Air Force's Remote Radar Head (RRH) Staxton Wold tentacle which, while forming a vital part of the UK's Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS), is apparently no better suited to civilised living than when the Romans first planted a beacon there in …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2015

Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

The vital question as to whether it is humanly possible to watch celluloid trainwrecks Gigli, Pearl Harbor and Battlefield Earth back-to-back was answered last weekend when a crack El Reg Special Projects Bureau squad endured 403 minutes of continuous cinematic outrage and emerged alive, if somewhat shaken. As part of its pre- …
Lester Haines, 08 May 2015
Derailed train wagon. Pic: New York MTA

Major London rail station reveals system passwords during TV documentary

Updated What looks like system passwords at one of London's busiest railway stations – printed and attached to the top of a station controller's monitor – were exposed to viewers during a BBC documentary on Wednesday night. The login credentials were visible just before the 44 minute minute mark in the documentary Nick and Margaret: The …
John Leyden, 01 May 2015

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has narrowed its shortlist of potential locations for Europe's first spaceport, which would provide a UK base for future commercial space flights and satellite launches. In response to a three-month consultation on the plans, the UK government said that it had received "widespread …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Mar 2015
Fear Of Landing Tiger Moth review

Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Vulture in the Air Stepping up from our usual car reviews, we’ve got an aeroplane this weekend. The guest pilot is Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, who runs the Fear of Landing website. What’s it like flying a Tiger Moth? Absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think I can do the experience justice, but I have to try. You can imagine my excitement when Into the Blue …
Sylvia Wrigley, 07 Feb 2015
Guinevere gets a clean

Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE

Geek's Guide to Britain Big data? Pah. Arthur is big hardware. He weighs in at 1,118 tonnes, has a diameter of 25.9 metres and is 52 years old. From his home, a high plateau on Cornwall’s remote Lizard peninsula – as far south as you can go on the island of Great Britain without falling off – he has played his part in Space Age history, appropriate …
SA Mathieson, 25 Nov 2014
The MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight

British drones target ISIS for the first time

The RAF has launched its first drone strikes against Islamic fundamentalists ISIS, marking an escalation of Blighty's air war in Iraq. A British Reaper drone attacked a terrorist encampment near Bayji, north of Baghdad, where militants were planting improvised explosive devices. It then circled the area, providing real-time …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Nov 2014
Sea Harriers

Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Geek's Guide to Britain He learned to fly aged 22, set up his first aircraft factory aged 24 and by 30 his fighters dominated the skies over the Western Front. Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith - later, Sir – founded the Sopwith Aircraft Company in 1912, turning out aeroplanes from a Edwardian roller-skating rink in Kingston upon Thames. Yes, the …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2014