Articles about royal air force

A Red Arrow, BAE Systems Hawk T Mk.1. Pic: Shutterstock

Happy 100th birthday to the Royal Air Force

This Sunday marks the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force - Britain’s military arm for the skies - as a separate Armed Force in its own right. The RAF has been at the forefront of technological innovations over the last century, many of which are still in use to this day. From the earliest days of biplanes (and triplanes), …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Mar 2018
The cockpit of the F-35 simulator

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m

Britain will spend £345m ($486m) upgrading its F-35B fighter jets to the most recent, combat-ready, version of the aircraft’s operating system. The figure was indirectly revealed by defence procurement minister Guto Bebb, in response to a Parliamentary question. “The UK’s contribution will be around 4.5 per cent of F-35 …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Mar 2018
Space debris field

Brit military boffins buy airtime on HD eye-in-the-sky video satellite

The RAF has acquired a satellite that can beam live video footage from space, the head of the air force told an industry gathering in Surrey today. The Carbonite-2 satellite, built by Airbus Defence and Space subsidiary Surrey Satellites, based near Guildford, will be used by British military intelligence folk as a concept …
Predator

See that over Heathrow? It's not an airliner – it's a Predator drone

Military efforts to approve the flying of Predator military drones through Britain’s skies could pave the way for point-to-point drone deliveries, newly disclosed correspondence has revealed. The detailed discussions, held between various Ministry of Defence (MoD) agencies and the Civil Aviation Authority, took place to enable …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Feb 2018
The RAF Saxa Vord radar head under construction. Crown copyright

Russian-monitoring Shetlands radar station was nearly sold off

The Royal Air Force has moved one of its air defence radars onto the northern tip of the Shetland Islands as Cold War-era fears about Russian military movements start warming up again. The AN/TPS 77 radar – which now resides on top of the island of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, themselves the most northerly …
The Typhoon in Battle of Britain colours

Signing up for the RAF? Don't bother – you've been Capita'd

Capita’s disastrous Recruiting Partnership Project with the UK Ministry of Defence is so bug ridden that the Royal Air Force stopped taking on new recruits except for those in “priority roles”. As revealed by The Register last week, Capita’s crappy DRS system, as foisted on the Armed Forces for managing recruitment, has failed …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Dec 2017
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Once again, UK doesn't rule out buying F-35A fighter jets

The United Kingdom is edging ever closer to buying F-35As, instead of the B model needed to fly from the Navy’s new aircraft carriers, as a senior officer once again refused to rule out a future F-35A purchase. Lieutenant General Mark Poffley, deputy chief of the defence staff for military capability, told MPs “I don’t think …
An RAF Airbus Voyager tanker-cum-troop transport aircraft. Pic: MoD/Crown copyright

RAF pilot sacked for sending Airbus Voyager into sudden dive

The Royal Air Force officer who sent his Airbus Voyager into an accidental dive from 33,000 feet, injuring passengers and crew, has been dismissed and given a suspended prison sentence. Flight Lieutenant Andrew Townshend was captain of an Airbus A330 Voyager which dropped 4,400 feet in about 30 seconds during a flight from the …
An RAF Airbus Voyager tanker-cum-troop transport aircraft. Pic: MoD/Crown copyright

RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive

A Royal Air Force pilot has been cleared of perjury – but will be sentenced at court martial today after admitting he allowed his digital camera to jam his military airliner’s controls, sending it into a 4,000ft plummet. Flight Lieutenant Andrew Townshend was taking photos while flying an Airbus A330 Voyager from RAF Brize …
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 …
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 …

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 …
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 …
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 …
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

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