List of active United Kingdom military aircraft
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
|Boeing E-3D Sentry||United States||AEW&C aircraft||AEW1||6||Airborne early warning and control aircraft. A seventh aircraft has been withdrawn from use.|
|Raytheon Sentinel|| Canada
|Battlefield surveillance aircraft||R1||5||ISTAR aircraft. Will be retained until suitable replacement is found. Will be kept in RAF service until at least 2018.|
|Beechcraft Shadow||United States||Battlefield surveillance aircraft||R1||6||ISTAR aircraft.|
|Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II||United States||Multirole fighter aircraft||FGR1||4||48 announced for carrier duties from 2016. Decision on final orders to be made in 2015. Aircraft jointly operated with the FAA.|
|Eurofighter Typhoon||United Kingdom||Multirole fighter aircraft||T3
|FGR4 variants will replace the Tornado fleet by 2019.|
|Panavia Tornado||United Kingdom||Strike aircraft||GR4
|98||The GR4A variant performs an additional reconnaissance role. The Tornado fleet will be retired in March 2019.|
|Boeing RC-135W Airseeker||United States||Signals intelligence aircraft||R1||1||The first of three aircraft has been delivered in preparation for the UK aircraft entering operational service in late 2014 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.|
|Airbus Voyager|| France
|Tanker & Transport aircraft||KC2
|11||There are 2 KC2 and 6 KC3 aircraft plus three further currently unconverted planes. 3 more to be delivered by 2016 for a total of 14. The aircraft are jointly operated by the RAF and the AirTanker consortium.|
|Boeing C-17A Globemaster III||United States||Transport aircraft||C-17A-ER||8||Operated by No. 99 Squadron.|
|Airbus A400M Atlas||Spain||Transport aircraft||C1||4||Total of 22 on order, deliveries started November 2014. A total of 7 aircraft are expected to have been delivered by the end of 2015.|
|Lockheed C-130J Hercules||United States||Transport aircraft||C4
|The C4 (C-130J-30) is a stretched version of the C5 (C-130J), which adds 15 feet to the fuselage. Nine C-130J have been upgraded for extended range. To be withdrawn from service by 2022, and replaced by 22 Airbus A400M Atlas.|
|BAe 146||United Kingdom||Transport aircraft||CC2
|The CC2 (-100 variant) is used predominantly for VIP transport and the C3 (-200QC variant) for tactical transport. Operated by No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron A Flight.|
|British Aerospace Hawk||United Kingdom||Trainer aircraft||T1
|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 Super King Air||United States||Trainer aircraft||B200
|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||82||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 Weapon Systems Officer training. 43 of the airframes are in storage.|
|Boeing Chinook||United States||Transport helicopter||HC3
|HC2/HC2As have been upgraded to HC4 standard. The HC3s have yet to been upgraded to HC5 standard. A further 8 HC6 Chinooks are due to be delivered by December 2015. A total of 60 Chinooks will be in service by early 2017.|
|Westland Puma||United Kingdom||Transport helicopter||HC2||24||The last of the 24 HC2 helicopter has completed its conversion with the remaining 7 HC1s already having been removed from service in December 2012. Two of the HC2s are currently with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down for flight trials of the enhanced variant.|
|Agusta A109||Italy||Transport helicopter||A109E Power Elite||1||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. Contracted from FB Heliservices.|
|Westland Sea King||United Kingdom||Search and rescue helicopter||HAR3
|21||To be withdrawn in March 2016 following the phased contracting out of search and rescue services to Bristow Helicopters between 2015-17.|
|MQ-9 Reaper||United States||Battlefield surveillance aircraft||10||Predominantly employed as an ISTAR RPAS but is routinely equipped with Hellfire missiles and Paveway II laser-guided bombs, giving it a secondary hunter-killer role. Operated by 39 Sqn & XIII Sqn.|
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
|Grob G115E 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 Weapons System Officer 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||TX1||81||Used by the Air Cadet Organisation to give basic flying and gliding training to air cadets.|
RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
|Hawker Hurricane||United Kingdom||Fighter aircraft||Mk IIc||2|
|Supermarine Spitfire||United Kingdom||Fighter aircraft||Mk IIa
|United Kingdom||Heavy bomber aircraft||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
|Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II||United States||Multirole fighter aircraft||FGR1||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 will be jointly operated with the RAF.|
|British Aerospace 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 G115E 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.|
|Westland Lynx||United Kingdom||Battlefield helicopter
Naval helicopter (ASW/ASuW)
|To be replaced by the Wildcat starting 2015.|
|AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat||United Kingdom||Battlefield helicopter
Naval helicopter (ASW/ASuW)
|The four AH.1 aircraft will be operated by 847 NAS as part of the Commando Helicopter Force.
Orders have been completed for the extra HMA2 helicopters.
|EH Industries EH101 Merlin||United Kingdom||Naval helicopter (ASW)
|Option exists to upgrade remaining eight HM1 to HM2 standard. HC3/HC3A's officially handed over to the Fleet Air Arm. First HC3/HC3A to undergo the marinisation upgrade to HC4/HC4A starting 2017, entire fleet complete by 2022.|
|Westland Sea King||United Kingdom||Transport helicopter
Search & Rescue
|All Sea Kings have an out of service date of 31 March 2016. HC4's to be replaced by upgraded Merlin HC4/HC4A's. HU5's to replaced by a PFI with Bristow Helicopters. ASaC7 capability to be replaced by Merlin HM'2 equipped with Crowsnest AEW&C. Seven ASAC7's will remain in service until 2018.|
|Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin II||France||Transport helicopter||2||Used in Flag Officer Sea Training to ferry instructors to vessels with minimal delay during periods of intense training.|
|Boeing Insitu ScanEagle||United States||Surveillance UAV||3||Procured as part of a Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) that runs out in 2017, the vehicle is used predominantly on Type 23 frigates and RFA vessels.|
|Hawker Sea Hawk||United Kingdom||Fighter bomber aircraft||FGA6||1|
|De Havilland Sea Vixen||United Kingdom||Fighter bomber aircraft||D.3||1|
|Hawker Sea Fury||United Kingdom||Fighter bomber aircraft||FB11||1|
|Fairey Swordfish||United Kingdom||Torpedo bomber aircraft||Mk.I/II||2|
|De Havilland Canada Chipmunk||United Kingdom||Trainer aircraft||T10||1|
Army Air Corps
|Britten-Norman Islander||United Kingdom||Command and control||AL1||9||Light aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance, command and communications, also has a limited use in transporting personnel. It has a range of 380 nautical miles and can carry two crew and six passengers.|
|Britten-Norman Defender||United Kingdom||Command and control||AL2
|9||Light aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance, command and communications. It has a range of 380 nautical miles and can carry two crew and six passengers. Also has a limited use in transporting personnel.|
|Westland Apache|| United States
|Attack helicopter||AH1||50||16 of the Armys 66 Apache helicopters have been mothballed, leaving 50 in operational service.|
|Westland Lynx||United Kingdom||Battlefield helicopter||AH7
|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.|
|AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat||United Kingdom||Battlefield helicopter||AH1||21||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|
|Bell 212||United States||Battlefield helicopter||AH1||8||Used in the jungle areas of Belize and Brunei.|
|Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin II||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.|
|Westland Gazelle||United Kingdom||Reconnaissance helicopter||AH1||34||The MOD has launched a process to extend the planned Out of Service Date to 31 March 2018.|
|Thales Watchkeeper WK450||United Kingdom||Battlefield surveillance aircraft||30||ISTAR UAV. 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. Operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.|
Defence Helicopter Flying School
|Bell Griffin||Canada||Training helicopter||HT1||11||Contractor owned.|
|Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel||France||Training helicopter||HT1||34||Contractor owned.|
Empire Test Pilots' School
|JAS 39B Gripen||Sweden||Multirole fighter aircraft||1||Leased from SAAB Aviation AB.|
|Avro RJ||United Kingdom||Jet airliner||RJ70
|Beagle Bassett||United Kingdom||Experimental aircraft||CC1||1||Variable Stability System.|
|British Aerospace Hawk||United Kingdom||Trainer aircraft
Advanced Stability Training and Research Aircraft.
|Short Tucano||United Kingdom||Trainer aircraft||T1||2|
|Agusta A109||Italy||Military helicopter||A109E Power||2|
|Westland Gazelle||United Kingdom||Military helicopter||HT2
|Westland Lynx||United Kingdom||Military helicopter||AH7||1|
Ministry of Defence
As well as the military services a number of defence contractors operate military aircraft on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
|Eurofighter Typhoon||United Kingdom||Fighter aircraft||2||BAE Systems, Warton for trials and development.|
|Panavia Tornado||United Kingdom||Strike aircraft||GR4A
|BAE Systems, Warton for trials and development.|
|Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet||Germany||Trainer aircraft||4||QinetiQ, Boscombe Down.|
|Gloster Meteor||United Kingdom||Fighter aircraft||T.7 (Mod)||2||Martin Baker Aerospace, Chalgrove for ejector seat trials.|
|Hawker Hunter||United Kingdom||Fighter aircraft||F58
|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.|
|Agusta AW109||Italy||Military helicopter||AW109E||1||QinetiQ Boscombe Down.|
|Westland Sea King||United Kingdom||Military helicopter||Mk 4X||1||QinetiQ, Boscombe Down.|
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 17 July 2013
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 17 Mar 2014
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 15 December 2014
- "Out of Service British Military Aircraft". Demobbed. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Sentinel R1/ASTOR". RAF. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Farnborough 2014: UK announces GBP1.1 billion in defence projects". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (publications.parliament.uk) 4 July 2013
- "Raytheon touts future roles for RAF's at-risk Sentinel R1". Flightglobal.com. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft:Written question - HL2709, (parliament.uk), 6 November 2014
- "UK set to procure first F-35 Lightning II squadron". Janes.com. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Brooke-Holland, Louisa (12 April 2013). "The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - Commons Library Standard Note". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- Farmer, Ben. "Dambusters to get new F-35 Lightning II fighter". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Manufacturing Fault Suspends Typhoon Deliveries to Germany, Italy, Spain". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- 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.
- Military Aircraft:Written question - 225369 (House of Commons Hansard), parliament.uk, 25 February 2015
- "Tornado GR4 upgrade" 16 July 2014
- 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.
- "Islander BN2T CC Mk2". RAF. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Airbus Defence & Space UK - ATLAS MONTHLY" (PDF). Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- "Voyager fuel costs, A400M levy top UK MoD overspend". Flightglobal.com. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- A400M Atlas delivers the goods for RAF, flightglobal.com, 16 March 2015
- RAF Hercules get extended range upgrade
- BAe 146s enter conversion for Royal Air Force, flightglobal.com, 18 Jun 2012
- First Chinook HC.6 helos for RAF arrive in the UK, janes.com, 14 January 2014
- "South Coast jobs boost with £420m defence contract". Ministry of Defence. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Login - AirForces Daily". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Puma HC2 Training Continues With Qinetiq, airforcesdaily.com, 2013
- Training Now Underway On Upgraded RAF Puma HC2s, airforcesdaily.com, 2013
- Life in 'The Royal' Squadron, gov.uk, 10 June 2013
- UK MoD issues Sea King helicopter support contract, shephardmedia.com, 28 December 2012
- Britain’s Next Search-and-Rescue Helicopters: Civilian Contractors, defenseindustrydaily.com, 24 July 2013
- UK cheers the Reaper UAV, flightglobal.com, 16 Jun 2008
- "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 02 Nov 2011 (pt 0002)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 31 Jan 2012 (pt 0002)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - 847 Naval Air Squadron - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
- "Future Aircraft in Fleet Air Arm". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- UK Royal Navy primed to receive first Lynx Wildcat, flightglobal.com, 12 Dec 2012
- Britain’s AW101 Merlin Helicopters: Upgrading the Fleet, defenseindustrydaily.com, 19 October 2014
- Royal Air Force Hand Over Merlin To Royal Navy, raf.mod.uk, 1 October 2014
- Royal Navy Continues Preparations For Ex-RAF Merlins, airforcesdaily.com, 2014
- "Crowsnest AEW project to costup to 500mn". Flightglobal.com. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "UK extends Sea King ASaC.7 life out to 2018". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - SA365 Dauphin - Individual Aircraft, touchdown-aviation.com
- X-men take to the Cornish skies, Royal Navy, 25 November 2014
- Think Defence. "Royal Navy Scan Eagle Contract Extension". Think Defence. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Royal Navy gets Eagle eyes in £30m deal for unmanned planes, royalnavy.mod.uk, 20/06/2013
- "Royal Navy ready to launch ScanEagle operations", flightglobal.com, 16 January 2014
- "Defender – British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. 1989-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- UK mothballs quarter of Apache fleet with end of Afghan ops, janes.com, 19 March 2015
- "Lynx AH9A Upgrade Program and Lynx Wildcat « Fast Air Photography". Fast-air.co.uk. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "AgustaWestland funded for FASGW integration on Wildcat". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Tim Ripley (10 December 2008). "UK Army Air Corps received Dauphins". Janes Defence Weekly, Vol. 45, Issue 50: 10.
- "UK's Watchkeeper UAV inches towards release to service". www.janes.com. IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- British Watchkeeper UAV Finally Cleared to Enter Military Service, 5 March 2014
- "UK's Watchkeeper Fleet To Be Completed by End of Year". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "UK selects Affinity to conduct fixed-wing training under UKMFTS". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Empire Test Pilots' School - Our Fleet and Facilities, etps.qinetiq.com
- Royal Air Force - Bassett CC2, touchdown-aviation.com
- Royal Air Force - Gazelle, touchdown-aviation.com
- Royal Air Force - Lynx, touchdown-aviation.com