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Colegiul Dobrogean Spiru C.

Haret

Realizat de: Ana-Simona Dumitru Clasa a XII-a D Profesor coordonator: Violeta Ivanof

- 2013 -

Table of contents

British Armed Forces


The British Armed Forces, officially Her Majestys Armed Forces and sometimes known as the Armed Forces of the Crown, are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Armed Forces encompass three professional uniformed services: The Naval Service, including The Royal Navy and Royal Marnes, The British Army and The Royal Air Force. The Commander-in-Chief of Her Majestys Armed Forces is the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, to who members of the forces swear allegiance.Under British constituional law, the armed forces are subordinate to the Crown, however this power is qualified by the requierment for parliamentary consent to the maintaining of a standing army. Under the Bill of Rights (1689) no standing army may be maintained during time of peace without the consent of Parliament, which nowadays is given every five years by passing an Armed Forces Act. The armed forces are managed by the Defence Council of the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. The British Armed Forces are charged with protecting the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and Crown Dependencies, as well as promoting Britains wider security interests and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. They are active and regular participants in NATO and other coalition operations, as well as party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

Today
The British Armed Forces is a professional force with a strength of 184.160 regular and 35.190 volunteer reserve personnel, being the second-largest military force in the European Union. Furthermore, United Kingdom constantly fights for maintaining its position as one of the worlds top military powers, as well as being one of NATOs top military forces.

Command organisation
As Sovereign and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is Head of the Armed Forces and their Commander-In-Chief, to whom the military personnel swear allegiance. Long-standing constituional convention, however, has vested de facto executive authority, by the exercise of Royal Prerogative Powers, in the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence, which make the key decisions on the use of the armed forces. Responsibility for the management of the forces is delegated to a number of committees: the Defence Council, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Defence Management Board and three singleservice boards. The three constituent single-service committees, Admiralty Board, Army Board and Air Force Board, are chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the Armed Forces and is an appointment that can be held by an Admiral, Air Chief Marshal or General. The CDS, along with the Permanent Under Secretary, are the principal advisers to the departmental minister. The three services have their own respective professional chiefs: the First Sea Lord, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff.

Services Branches
Naval service
The Naval Service consists of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Reffered to as the Senior Service by virtue of its being the oldest service within the British Armed Forces, The Royal Navy is a technologically sophisticated naval force, consisting of 78 commissioned ships and around 170 aircraft. Command of deployable assests is exercised by the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, who also has authority over Royal Marines and the civilian Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Personnel matters are the responsibility of the Second Sea Lord, an appointment ussualy held by a vice-admiral. The United Kingdoms nuclear deterrent is carried aboard the navys Vanguard-class of four ballistic-missile submarines. The infantry component of the Naval Service is the Corps of Royal Marines and it consist of a single manouvre brigade (3 Commando) and various independent units. Royal Marines specialise in amphibious, arctic and mountain warfare. The 19 commissioned ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary primarily serves to replenish Royal Navy warships at sea and also augments the Royal Navys amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay0class landing ship dock vessels.

British Army
The British Army is made up of the Regulr Army and Territorial Army. The army has a single command structure based at Andover and known as Army Headquarters. Deployable combat formations consist of two divisions and eight brigades. The core of the Army is the 50 battalions of regular and territorial infantry, organised into 17 regiments. The majority of infantry regiments contains multiple regular and teritorial battalions. Modern infantry have diverse capabilities and this is reflected in the varied roles assigned to them. There are four operational roles that infrantry battalions can fulfil: air assault, armoured infrantry, mechanised infrantry and light role infantry.

Royal Air Force


The royal Air Force has a large operational fleet that fulfils various roles, consisting of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. The royal Air force operates multi-role and single-role fighters, reconnaissance and patrol aircraft, tankers, transports, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and various types of training aircraft. Ground units are also maintained by the Royal Air Force, most prominently the RAF Police and the RAF Regiment.

Role of the British Armed Forces


Peacetime Security: To provide forces needed in peacetime to ensure the protection and security of the United Kingdom, to assist as required with the evacuation of British nationals overseas, to afford Military Aid to the Civil Authorities in the United Kingdom, including Military Aid to the Civil Power, Military Aid to Other Government Departments and Military Aid to the Civil Community. Security of the Overseas Territories: To provide forces to meet any challenges to the external security of a British Overseas Territory or to assist the civil authorities in meeting a challenge to internal security. Defence Dimplomacy: To provide forces to meet the varied activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence to dispel hostility, build and maintain trust, and assist in the development of democratically accountable armed forces, thereby making a significant contributon to conflict preventon and resolution. Peace Support and Humanitarian Operations: To contribute forces to operations other than war in support of British interests and international order and humanitarian principles. Regional Conflict Outside the NATO Area: To contribute forces for a regional conflict which, if unchecked, could adversely affect European security or which could pose a serious threat to British interests elsewhere or to international security. Regional Conflict inside NATO Area: To provide forces needed to respond to a regional crisis or conflict involving a NATO ally who calls for assistance under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Strategic Attack on NATO: To provide, within the expected warning and readiness preparation times, the forces required to counter a strategic attack againts NATO.

Royal Air Force


Motto: Per Ardua Ad Astra Through Adversity to the Stars

History of RAF
Origins
The Royal Air Force is the worlds oldest independent air force being the first air force to become independent of army or navy control. It was founded on 1st of April 1918 with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its interwar years were relatively quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the cotrol of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire. Naval aviation in the form of the RAFs Fleet Air Arm was returned to Admirality control on 24th of May 1939. The RAF developed its doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became the basic philosophy in the Second World War.

Second World War


The RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations. Many individual personnel from these countries, and exiles from occupied Europe, also served with RAF squadrons. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the German Luftwaffe, helping foil Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom, and prompting Prime Minister Winston Churchill to say in the House of Commons on 20 August, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few". The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began almost immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became increasingly devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available. The RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, and developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho.

Post-war
The Royal Air Force was involved in the 1948 Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2nd of May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered during event, using Avro Yorks, Douglas Dakotas flying to Gatow Airport and Short Sunderlands flying to Lake Havel

Years 1960-1970
The British Government elected on 16th of February 1960 to share the countrysnuclear deterrent between the RAF and submarines of the Royal Navy, deciding on 13th April to concentrate solely on the air forces V bomber fleet. These were initially ared with nuclear gravity bombs, later being equipped with the Blue Steel missile.

Later years
After the Cold War, the RAF was involved in several large-scale operations, including the Guf War, the Kosovo War, operations in Afghanistan, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent war and the Libyan civil war. The Iraq War in 2003 saw the RAF supporting one of the biggest ground offensives since the Korean War. every capability possessed by the RAF was involved and the service continues to maintain a significant presence in the Gulf region and in Iraq. More recently, operations have intensified in Afghanistan where the Hercules transports and Boeing Chinook helicopters have been vital in providing in-theatre transport, and Harriers have been on constant call to provide support to the army in operations reminiscent of those mounted many years ago over the same territory. In addition to these operational activities, the RAF has developed a reputation second-to-none for its support of humanitarian aid operations and the continuous watch around our coastline by the ever-present air-sea rescue forces. Throughout this period, the service has been subjected to reductions in its strength, falling to 42,000, yet the commitments overseas have continued. As technology has advanced, so the RAF has increased its capabilities in airborne early warning, surveillance and intelligence gathering where the Nimrod and Boeing Sentry AeW 1 have made a huge contribution to recent conflicts and changed the pattern of airground operations. As the RAF prepares to celebrate its centenary, the introduction of the Eurofighter Typhoon and Raytheon Sentinel R 1, together with other advanced weapons and equipment, will give it even greater capabilities in the face of increasing and unpredictable threats.

Structure
The professionalheadof the RAF is the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton. The CAS heads the Air Fore Board, which is a committee of Defence Council. The Air Force Board is the management board of the RAF and consists of several highranking officers.

Command
Authority is delegated from Air Force Board to the RAFs command. While there were once individual commands responsible for bombers, fighters, training, etc., now only the Air Command exists, headquartered at RAF High Wycombe.

Groups
Groups are the subdivisions of operational commands. Therse are responsible for certain types of operation or for operations in limited geographical areas. As from 1st of April 2007, three groups exist: The Air Combat Group controls the RAFs combat fast jet aircraft and the following stations: RAF Odiham, RAF Benson, RAF leeming, RAF Coningsby, RAF Leuchars, RAF Wittering, RAF Cottesmore, RAF Marham and RAF Lossiemouth in the UK. In addition to RAF Unit Goose Bay in Canada, which is used extensively as an operational training base. The RAFs electronic warfare tactics range atRAFSpadeadam in Cumbria, is also within its sphere of responsibility. The Air Combat Support Group controls the strategic and tactical air transport aircraft, the RAF Regiment, The RAFs air-toair refuelling aircraft as well as Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance and serach and rescue assests. 22 Group, which is responsible for recruting, personel management and training No. 83 Group RAF, under the command of the Permanent Joint Headquarters, is active in the Middle East, supporting operations over Iraq and Afghanistan

Stations
A RAF station is ordinarily subordinate to a group and it is administratively sub-divided intro wings. Since the mid to late 1930s RAF stations have controlled a number of flying sqaudrons or other units at one location by means of a station headquarters.

Wings
A wing is either an operational sub-division of a group or an administrative sub-division of an RAF station. Independent Wings are a grouping of two or more squadrons, either flying squadrons or ground support squadrons. In former times, numbered flying wings have existed, but recently they have been created only when required. For example during Operation Telic, Tornado GR4 wings were formed to operate from Ali Al Salem and Al Udeid air bases and the Tornado F3 equipped Leuchars Fighter Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base; each of these were made up of aircraft and crews from several squadrons. On 31 March 2006, the RAF formed nine Expeditionary Air Wings (EAWs) in order to support operations. The EAW comprises the non-formed unit elements of the station that are
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required to support a deployed operating base, i.e. the command and control, logistics and administration functions amongst others. They are designed to be flexible and quickly adaptable for differing operations. They are independent of flying squadrons, Air Combat Support Units (ACSU) and Air Combat Service Support Units (ACSSU) who are attached to the EAW depending on the task it has been assigned.[16] A wing is also an administrative sub-division of an RAF station. Historically, for a flying station these were normally Operations Wing, Engineering Wing and Administration Wing and each wing was commanded by an officer of wing commander rank. Early in the 21st century, the model changed, with Engineering Wing typically being split into Forward Support Wing and Depth Support Wing, while Administration Wing was redesignated Base Support Wing.

Squadrons
A flying squadron is an aircraft unit which carries out the primary tasks of the RAF. RAF squadrons are somewhat analogous to the regiments of the British Army in that they have histories and traditions going back to their formation, regardless of where they are based, which aircraft they are operating, etc. They can be awarded standards and battle honours for meritorious service. Whilst every squadron is different, most flying squadrons are commanded by a wing commander and, for a fast-jet squadron, have an establishment of around 100 personnel and 12 aircraft. The term squadron can be used to refer to a sub-unit of an administrative wing or small RAF station, e.g. Air Traffic Control Squadron, Personnel Management Squadron etc. There are also Ground Support Squadrons, e.g. No 2 (Mechanical Transport) Squadron which is located at RAF Wittering. Administrative squadrons are normally commanded by a squadron leader.

Flights
A flight is a sub-division of a squadron. Flying squadrons are often divided into two flights, e.g. "A" and "B", each under the command of a squadron leader. Administrative squadrons on a station are also divided into flights and these flights are commanded by a junior officer, often a flight lieutenant. Because of their small size, there are several flying units formed as flights rather than squadrons. For example No. 1435 Flight is based at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands, maintaining air defence cover with four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

Personnel
At its height (1944) during the Second World War, more than 1,100,000 personnel were serving. The longest-lived founding member of the RAF was Henry Allingham, who died on 18 July 2009 aged 113. As of July 2012, the Royal Air Force has a total manpower strength of 39,440 regularand 2,460 volunteer reserve personnel (such as the Royal Auxiliary Air Force). This gives a combined component strength of 41,900 personnel. In addition, there were 33,380 regular reserves of the Royal Air Force.

Flying hours
Figures from 2010 showed that Royal Air Force pilots achieve a relatively high number of flying hours per year when compared with other major NATO allies such as France and Germany. RAF fast jet pilots achieve 210 flying hours per year, while RAF transport and aerial refuelling pilots achieve 290 flying hours per year. In addition, RAF pilots on transport and support helicopters achieve 240 flying hours per year.

Officers
Officers hold a commission from the Sovereign, which provides the legal authority for them to issue orders to subordinates. The commission of a regular officer is granted after successfully completing the 32-week-long Initial Officer Training course at the RAF College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire. Other officers also train at RAF Cranwell, but on different courses, such as those for professionally qualified officers. The titles and insignia of RAF officers were chiefly derived from those used by the Royal Navy, specifically the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during World War I. For example, the rank of Squadron Leader derived its name from the RNAS rank of Squadron Commander. RAF officers fall into three categories: air officers, senior officers and junior officers.

Other ranks
Other ranks attend the Recruit Training Squadron at RAF Halton for basic training, with the exception of the RAF Regiment, which trains its recruits at RAF Honington. The titles and insignia of other ranks in the RAF was based on that of the Army, with some alterations in terminology. Over the years, this structure has seen significant changes, for example there was once a separate system for those in technical trades and the ranks of Chief Technician and Junior Technician continue to be held only by personnel in technical trades. RAF other ranks fall into four categories: Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Junior Non-Commissioned Officers and Airmen. All Warrant Officers in the RAF are equal in terms of rank, but the most senior NonCommissioned appointment is known as the Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer.[22] Branches and trades RAF Pilots and Weapon Systems Officers (WSO) (formerly known as Navigators) are commissioned officers of the Flying Branch. i.e. Fg(P) or Fg(WSO). Formerly in the General Duties branch, which is now reserved for Wing Commanders and above from any previous branch.[23] Non-commissioned (NCO) Aircrew known as Weapons System Operators (WSOp), fulfil the specialist roles of air engineer (E), air electronics operator (AEOp), air loadmaster (ALM) and air signaller (S). Though they are now known collectively as weapon systems operators, individual trade specialisations remain. Commissioned officer specialists are promoted from within branch to become Fg(WSO). The majority of the members of the RAF serve in support roles on the ground. Engineering Officers and technicians are employed to maintain and repair the equipment used by the RAF. This includes routine preparation for flight and maintenance on aircraft, arming aircraft with weapons, as well as deeper level repair work on aircraft systems, IT systems, ground based radar, vehicles, ground support equipment, etc. RAF Flight Operations Officers are involved with the planning and co-ordination of all Flying Operations. Flight Operations Officers can be found in every RAF Flying Station and Squadron. The RAF Regiment is the RAF's infantry unit, its officers and gunners defend RAF airfields from attack. The RAF Regiment is also responsible for CBRN defence and training the rest of the RAF in ground defence. Aerospace Battle Managers and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), control RAF and NATO aircraft from the ground. The FC control the interception of enemy aircraft while the ATC provide air traffic services at RAF stations and to the majority of en-route military aircraft in UK airspace. RAF Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Analysts support all operational activities by providing timely and accurate indicators and warnings. They conduct detailed all source military
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intelligence fusion and analysis by utilising classified and open source information including imagery, human and communications (signals) intelligence. Intelligence is used to inform commanders of the assessed capabilities and intentions of the enemy for strategic/operational planning and targeting. They also tailor the information to brief aircrews for mission planning and other tactical units (such as RAF Regiment) for Force Protection. RAF Medical Branch provides healthcare at home and on deployed operations, including aeromedical evacuation services. Medical officers are the doctors of the RAF and have specialist expertise in aviation medicine to support aircrew and their protective equipment. Medical officers can go on aeromedical evacuations, providing vital assistance on search-and-rescue missions or emergency relief flights worldwide. RAF Medical Officers are either based in primary care on operations or on RAF stations in the UK or in one of six Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHU's) around the UK as specialist practitioners. Administrative Officers and associated Pers Admin trades are involved with human resources management, training management, physical education, catering, infrastructure management, accounts, dress and discipline, personnel and recruitment. RAF Chaplains Branch provides spiritual and moral support for RAF personnel and their families.[33] RAF Legal Branch provides legal advice on discipline / criminal law and operations [34] law. RAF Police are the military police of the RAF.

Reserves
Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) and RAF Volunteer Reserve personnel fulfil a number of specialist roles in ground roles, including Operations, Intelligence and RAF Regiment in support of the regular RAF. RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) are responsible for the management and operation of the Air Training Corps, Combined Cadet Force RAF Sections, Volunteer Gliding Squadrons, Air Experience Flights, University Air Squadron and the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme.

Specialist training and education


The Royal Air Force operates several units and centres for the provision of non-generic training and education. These include the Royal Air Force Leadership Centre and the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, both based at RAF Cranwell, and the Air Warfare Centre, based at RAF Waddington and RAF Cranwell. NCO training and developmental courses occur at RAF Halton and officer courses occur at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham.

Aircraft
British military aircraft designations generally comprise a type name followed by a mark number which includes an alphabetical rle prefix. For example, the Tornado F3 is designated as a fighter by the 'F', and is the third variant of the type to be produced.

Strike, attack and offensive support aircraft


The mainstay of the offensive support fleet are the six squadrons of Tornado GR4s. These supersonic aircraft can carry a wide range of weaponry, including Storm Shadow cruise missiles, laser-guided bombs and the ALARM anti-radar missile. Since June 2008,

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the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 has also been capable of being deployed operationally in the airto-ground role. The RAF has five operational Tornado units, with 9 Squadron, 31 Squadron and 2 Squadron based at RAF Marham. RAF Lossiemouth is home to No. 12 Squadron RAF with 617 Squadron 'Dambusters' and the reserve 15 Squadron. The Tornado was previously supplemented by the Harrier GR7/GR9 in the strike and close air support roles, and to counter enemy air defences. The Harrier fleet was withdrawn in December 2010 following the Strategic Defence and Security Review; the Tornado GR4 is due to retire in 2019 and be replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II.

Air defence and airborne early warning aircraft


The Eurofighter Typhoon F2/FGR4 is the RAF's only air defence fighter aircraft, with a total of six squadrons based across RAF Leuchars and RAF Coningsby, following the retirement of the Panavia Tornado F3 in late March 2011. Their task is to defend the UKs airspace. In October 2007 it was announced that MoD Boscombe Down, RNAS Culdrose and RAF Marham would also be used as Quick Reaction Alert bases from early 2008, offering around-theclock fighter coverage for the South and South West of UK airspace when a direct threat has been identified. The RAF has four front-line and two reserve Typhoon units; 3 Squadron, 11 Squadron, 17 Squadron (Operational Evaluation Unit) and 29 Squadron (Operational Conversion Unit) based at RAF Coningsby, with 6 Squadron and 1 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars. The Sentry AEW1, based at RAF Waddington, provides airborne early warning to detect incoming enemy aircraft and to co-ordinate the aerial battlefield.

Reconnaissance aircraft
The Tornado GR4A is fitted with cameras and sensors in the visual, infra-red and radar ranges of the spectrum. The Sentinel R1 provides a ground radar-surveillance platform based on the Bombardier Global Express long range business jet. These were supplemented in 2009 by four Beechcraft Shadow R1 aircraft equipped for the ISTAR role over Afghanistan. The MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned aerial vehicle has been purchased to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are operated by No. 39 Squadron RAF based at Creech Air Force Base. More MQ-9s are in the process of being purchased. Three Britten-Norman Islanders are operated by the Station Flight of RAF Northolt, involved in "photographic mapping and light communications roles". Support helicopters An important part of the work of the RAF is to support the British Army by ferrying troops and equipment at the battlefield. However, RAF helicopters are also used in a variety of other roles, including support of RAF ground units and heavy-lift support for the Royal Marines. The support helicopters are organised into the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command (JHC), along with helicopters of the British Army and Royal Navy. The only helicopters not coordinated by the JHC are the search and rescue helicopters of the RAF and RN, and those RN helicopters that are normally based on board a ship such as a destroyer or frigate. The large twin-rotor Chinook HC2/HC2A, based at RAF Odiham provides heavy-lift support and is supported by the Merlin HC3 and the smaller Puma HC1 medium-lift helicopters, based at RAF Benson and RAF Aldergrove.

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Transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft


Having replaced the former Queen's Flight in 1995, 32 (The Royal) Squadron uses the BAe 125 CC3, Agusta A109 and BAe 146 CC2 in the VIP transport role, based at RAF Northolt, just west of London. Two further BAe 146 were purchased in March 2012 from TNT Airways, to be refitted byHawker Beechcraft on behalf of BAE Systems for tactical freight and personnel transport. The aircraft are due to begin service between the UK and Afghanistan in March 2013. More routine, strategic airlift transport tasks are carried out by the TriStars and VC10s based at RAF Brize Norton, for passengers and cargo, and for air-to-air refuelling of other aircraft. These aircraft are due to be replaced by the Airbus A330 MRTT which will be known as the 'Voyager' in RAF service. The first Voyager arrived in the UK for testing at MoD Boscombe Down in April 2011, and is due to be delivered to RAF Brize Norton by the end of the year. Shorter range, tactical-airlift transport is provided by the Hercules, the fleet including both older C-130K (Hercules C1/C3) and newer C-130J (Hercules C4/C5) variants, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. All C-130's will be withdrawn by 2022. The RAF leased four C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Boeing to provide a heavy, strategic airlift capability. These were purchased, as well a fifth C-17, which was delivered on 7 April 2008 followed by a sixth aircraft delivered on 8 June 2008. The new aircraft entered frontline use within days rather than weeks. The MoD said "there is a stated departmental requirement for eight" C-17s and a seventh has been ordered for delivery in December 2010. In February 2012 the purchase of an eighth C-17 was confirmed which is expected to enter service in July 2012. The eighth aircraft arrived at RAF Brize Norton in May 2012.

Search and rescue aircraft


Three squadrons of helicopters exist with the primary role of military search and rescue; the rescuing of aircrew who have ejected or crash-landed their aircraft. These are 22 Squadron and 202 Squadron with the Sea King HAR.3/HAR3A in the UK and 84 Squadron with the Griffin HAR2 in Cyprus. Although established with a primary role of military search and rescue, most of their operational missions are spent in their secondary role of conducting civil search and rescue; that is, the rescue of civilians from the sea, on mountainsides and other locations. Both rescue roles are shared with the Sea King helicopters of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, while the civil search and rescue role is also shared with the helicopters of HM Coastguard. The Operational Conversion Unit is 203 Squadron RAF based at RAF Valley equipped with the Sea King HAR3. The related Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service comprises four teams of trained mountaineers stationed in the mainland United Kingdom, first established in 1943.

Training aircraft
Elementary flying training is conducted on the Tutor T1. The Tutor is also used, along with the Viking T1 and Vigilant T1 gliders, to provide air experience training for air cadets and elementary flying training for trainee RAF pilots. Basic pilot training for fixed-wing and helicopter pilots is provided on the Tucano T1 and Squirrel HT1. Weapon systems officer and weapon systems operator training was conducted in the Dominie T1 until the decommissioning of the last six Dominie T1 in January 2011. Advanced flying training for fast-jet, helicopter and multi-engine pilots is provided using the Hawk T1, Griffin HT1 and B200 King Air respectively. At the more advanced stage in
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training, variants of front-line aircraft have been adapted for operational conversion of trained pilots; these include the Harrier T10 and Typhoon T1.

Future aircraft
As of June 2011, the RAF is planning for the introduction of the following new aircraft: The Airbus A400M, of which 22 are to be used to replace the remaining Hercules C1/C3 (C-130K) transport aircraft. Originally, 25 aircraft were ordered, and the A400M will be known as the Atlas in RAF service. The ageing aerial refuelling fleet of VC10s and TriStars will be replaced with the Airbus A330 MRTT under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraftprogramme. The F-35B Lightning II is intended to enter service around 2020 under the Joint Combat Aircraft programme. Although the Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B version had been selected initially, in October 2010, David Cameron announced that the UK would change their order to the F-35C CATOBAR carrier variant for both the RAF and Navy, citing greater range and the ability to carry a larger and more diverse payload than the F-35B. However, in May 2012, it was announced that the UK government had reverted to the previous government's plan to operate the F-35B STOVL variant, due to rising estimated shipbuilding costs associated with the F-35C, and an earlier estimated in-service date for the F-35B. On 19 July 2012 the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, in a speech in the USA, indicated that the UK would initially receive 48 F-35B and would announce at a later date what the final numbers would be. Jon Thompson, MOD Permanent Secretary, told the House Of Commons Defence Select Committee, in late 2012: "Our commitment over the first 10 years is for 48 F-35B." The F-35 is expected to replace the Eurofighter and become Britain's only manned jet fighter from 2030. Project Taranis is a technology demonstrator programme, possibly leading to a future Strategic Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) for both ground attack and reconnaissance roles. The BAE Mantis is another UCAV under development, with an autonomous capability, allowing it to fly itself through an entire mission. This is a potential candidate to fulfil a requirement for an ISTAR UAV to enter service after 2015 as part of the RAF's Scavenger programme. The Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint, of which three have been ordered to replace the Nimrod R1 fleet (retired in 2011) in the signals intelligence role by 2014. Until the aircraft are delivered, the RAF will share signals aircraft of the US Air Force. The aircraft will be Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker tankers converted to RC-135W standard in the most complex combined Foreign Military Sales case and co-operative support arrangement that the UK has undertaken with the United States Air Force since the Second World War. In RAF service, they will be known as the Airseeker.

Symbols, flags, emblems and uniform


Following the tradition of the other British fighting services, the RAF has adopted symbols to represent it, act as a rallying point for its members and encourage esprit de corps. The RAF Ensign is flown from the flagstaff on every RAF station during daylight hours. The design was approved by King George V in 1921, after much opposition from the Admiralty, who have the right to approve or veto any flag flown ashore or on board ship. British aircraft in the early stages of the First World War carried the Union Flag as an identifying feature, however this was easy to confuse with Germany's Iron Cross motif. Therefore in October 1914 the French system of three concentric rings was adopted, with the colours reversed to a red disc surrounded by a white ring and an outer blue ring. The relative sizes of the rings have changed over the years and during World War II an outer yellow ring was added. Aircraft serving in the Far East during World War II had the red disc removed to
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prevent confusion with Japanese aircraft. Since the 1970s, camouflaged aircraft carry lowvisibility roundels, either red and blue on dark camouflage, or washed-out pink and light blue on light colours. Most uncamouflaged training and transport aircraft retain the traditional red-whiteblue roundel. The Latin motto of the RAF, "Per Ardua ad Astra", is usually translated as "Through Adversity to the Stars", but the RAF's official translation is "Through Struggle to the Stars". The choice of motto is attributed to a junior officer named J S Yule, in response to a request from a commander of the RFC, Colonel Sykes, for suggestions. The RAF inherited the motto from the RFC. The Badge of the Royal Air Force was first used in August 1918. In heraldic terms it is: "In front of a circle inscribed with the motto Per Ardua Ad Astra and ensigned by the Imperial Crown an eagle volant and affronte Head lowered and to the sinister." Although there have been debates among airmen over the years whether the bird was originally meant to be an albatross or an eagle, the consensus is that it was always an eagle. In 2006 the RAF adopted a logotype featuring a roundel and the Service's unabbreviated name (shown at the top of this article). The logotype is used on all correspondence and publicity material and aims to provide the Service with a single, universally recognisable brand identity.

Ceremonial functions and display


Red Arrows
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton, with under-review plans to move to RAF Waddington. The team was formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by RAF commands. The Red Arrows badge shows the aircraft in their trademark Diamond Nine formation, with the motto clat, a French word meaning "brilliance" or "excellence". Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team. This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation. In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,000 displays worldwide in 53 countries.

Royal Air Force School of Music


Headquarters Royal Air Force Music Services, located at RAF Northolt, supports 177 professional musicians who attend events around the globe in support of the RAF. Squadron Leader Chris Weldon is Director of Music-HQMS, along with five RAF musicians and three civilians who make up his HQ staff. In 1990 the RAF became the first Service to recruit women into mixed bands and today females are recruited on the same basis as their male colleagues. They form a significant proportion of the personnel with some bands being nearly half female. RAF musicians are also trained to provide medical support in times of war. During the Gulf conflict musicians were deployed to various locations in the Middle East, where they undertook a variety of tasks, ranging from being medical orderlies to guards at hospital sites.

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Army and Navy Air Force


Fleet air arm
The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the Augusta Westland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters.Helicopters such as the Lynx and Westland Wasp have been deployed on smaller vessels since 1964, taking over the roles once performed by biplanes such as the Fairey Swordfish. The Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1924 as organisational unit of the Royal Air Force which was then operating the aircraft embarked on RN ships the Royal Naval Air Service having been merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps in 1918 and did not come under the direct control of the Admiralty until mid-1939. During the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm operated both aircraft on ships and land-based aircraft that defended the Royal Navy's shore establishments and facilities.

Army Air Corps


The Army Air Corps is a component of the British Army, first formed in 1942. There are eight regiments (7 Regular Army and 1 Territorial Army) of the AAC as well as four Independent Flights and two Independent Squadrons deployed in support of British Army operations across the world. They are located in Britain, Brunei, Canada, and Germany. The AAC provides the offensive air elements of 16th Air Assault Brigade. Army Aviation is an amalgam of military capability drawn from the following Regiments and Corps: Army Air Corps; Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Royal Logistic Corps; Adjutant General's Corps. The Army Air Corps (AAC) operates alongside the other Combat Arms of the Infantry and Royal Armoured Corps. Combat Arms are those forces that use fire and manoeuvre to engage with the enemy with direct fire systems. The forces providing fire support and operational assistance to the Combat Arms are called Combat Support Forces. The Five Roles of Army Aviation: Offensive Action - the application of firepower and manoeuvre in order to defeat the enemy. Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) - the use of Army Aviation to gather information using optical and electronic devices. Control and Direction of Firepower - the use of Army Aviation to observe enemy forces and engage with other weapon systems such as fighter ground attack, main battle tanks, artillery and mortars, land based rocket systems and naval fire support platforms. Command Support - providing the capability for commanders to move around the battle quickly. Movement of Personnel and Materiel - support to specialist operations, helicopter evacuation and delivery of vital equipment.

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Joint helicopter command


The Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) was formed in 1999 to bring together under one command the battlefield helicopters of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. The JHC operates over 250 aircraft including the Sea King and Lynx helicopters of the Royal Navy's Commando Helicopter Force; the Chinook, Puma and Merlin helicopters of the Royal Air Force and the Apache, Lynx, Gazelle and Bell 212 helicopters and the Islander/Defender fixed wing aircraft of the Army Air Corps (AAC). The principle Army formation under command is 16 Air Assault Brigade, the newest and largest brigade in the British Army. Formed in 1999 and based in Colchester, the brigade has already served in Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan. 16 Brigade is the Army's primary rapid reaction formation, equipped and manned so that it can be used throughout the spectrum of conflict from humanitarian tasks, such as disaster relief at one extreme, through to high intensity warfighting at the other. The JHC includes all front-line elements of the Army Air Corps. 1 and 5 Regiments AAC are based in Germany and Northern Ireland respectively. 3, 4 and 9 Regiments AAC are part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. 6 and 7 Regiments AAC are Territorial regiments; 7 Regiment AAC (V) operates within the United Kingdom from its base at Netheravon, Wiltshire and the newly created 6 Regiment AAC (V) is based at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. In addition to the regiments, the Army Air Corps have a number of independent flights under the command of JHC; these are based in Canada, Belize and Brunei Overall the JHC employs over 15,000 personnel, some 8,000 of whom are in 16 Air Assault Brigade. This figure includes over 900 volunteer reserves from the Territorial Army and Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and 380 MOD civilian staff. The Headquarters of the Joint Helicopter Command is co-located with the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief Land Forces at Wilton near Salisbury.

Role of the RAF


The Royal Air Forces role, in conjunction with the Defence organisations, is to deliver the UK Defence Vision: Defend the UK and its interests. Strengthen international peace and stability. Be a force for good in the world.

We achieve this aim by working together on our core task to produce battle-winning people and equipment. The Royal Air Force will build upon the successes of our past and on the characteristics that make air power essential across the full spectrum of operations in order to contribute to the Defence Vision. Our people lie at the heart of this capability. We rely upon their professionalism, dedication and courage. We must train them well and enable them to leverage the potential of technology to achieve our vision of: 'An agile, adaptable and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission.

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Conclusion
The RAF is the United Kingdoms prime provider of air power, with ninety-two years of experience and expertise in delivering capabilities across the entire spectrum of operations in support of the UKs national interests. Whilst the main effort for the RAF is focused on the Afghanistan campaign, recent history and future trends indicate that a balanced force structure must be maintained, to provide relevant capabilities for current operations, but also with the resilience to cater for future contingencies. In terms of affordability, this demands a mix of hightechnology and less-capable platforms, including a significant, multi-role combat air element (both manned and unmanned), more specialist Intelligence and Situational Awareness platforms and an appropriate emphasis on transport aircraft and helicopters to meet the level of expeditionary ambition set out in any forthcoming defence and security White Paper. In an uncertain world, where traditional threats endure and novel threats are proliferating, capable air power offers unique policy options and alternatives to decision-makers as one of the essential levers of national power, not least in underpinning conventional deterrence. The ability to fight for control of the air, to deliver precision strike, to gain information and awareness about the enemy, and to provide sufficient lift to support rapid deployment and maneuver on the battlefield will all remain as essential and non-discretionary capabilities for the United Kingdoms future defence and security. Moreover, the RAF is at the vanguard of developments in space and cyber-space, and is best placed to lead the defence sector in these new and important environments.

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Bibliography
http://www.army.mod.uk/ https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence http://www.raf.mod.uk/ http://en.wikipedia.org http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/ International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.) (3 February 2010). The Military Balance 2010 London Shores, Christopher (1969). Finnish Air Force, 19181968. Reading, Berkshire, UK: Osprey Publications Ltd

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The Utility of Air Power: the Royal Air Forces Contribution to the Defence and Security of the United Kingdom
British air power is primarily delivered by the Royal Air Force (RAF), complemented by the small, organic elements within the Royal Navy and the British Army which provide niche capabilities to their own services. The RAF was originally formed in 1918 after an

independently commissioned report acknowledged that the provision of air power through separate Army and Navy elements had been inefficient and wasteful; instead, a single, dedicated organisation was necessary to coordinate and deliver air power properly and effectively. As a result of this far-sighted decision, the RAF enjoys a proud heritage and ethos as the worlds longest established independent air force, with an unparalleled record of experience and success in every sort of military operation around the globe, ranging from the Battle of Britain in 1940, which ensured the survival of the nation and demonstrably altered the course of history, through to the twenty years of continuous air operations over Iraq which finally ended last year.

AIR POWER CAPABILITIES

The RAF currently comprises some 39,400 uniformed men and women operating 1,100 aircraft from a dozen main operating bases within the United Kingdom and at a number of airfields overseas.

Air Power and the Security of the United Kingdom

At home, the RAFs primary task is to guarantee control of the airspace above the United Kingdom, to ensure that the country is safe from aerial attack. At present, the most significant threat is a repetition of a 9/11-style event, with a hijacked airliner being used as a suicide bomb. Consequently, a force of Typhoon fighters is held at quick reaction alert all year round, day and night, with a remit to take-off or scramble within five minutes to intercept any aircraft that enters the United Kingdoms airspace without proper authorisation.
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This is a demanding

requirement and, as demonstrated by the attack on the World Trade Centre, the consequences of a successful terrorist incident would be devastating: there is no margin for error. In 2007 alone, ninety-eight alerts were called and fighters scrambled forty-three times to check airliners that had failed to make proper contact with air traffic control and, on some occasions, to escort probing Russian military patrol aircraft away from the United Kingdoms airspace. As well as routine air defence cover, high profile events require particular attention, and the RAFs Typhoon fighter force, air defence radar system and specialist Sentry airborne warning radar aircraft will all be critical in ensuring the security of the 2012 Olympics.

RAF search and rescue helicopters are also scrambled on a daily basis, not only on conventional rescue missions, but also to assist civilian agencies in the wake of events such as the widespread flooding in Cumbria and the Lake District in November 2009 and the harsh winter weather in January this year. Over 1,200 people in the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands more than 100 every month are assisted or rescued by RAF helicopters every year. Maritime patrol aircraft are tasked with longer-range rescue operations, and also have an important role in monitoring the United Kingdoms territorial waters, providing protection for the nations fisheries and other offshore interests.

In addition to these critical, but routine duties, the RAF has to be ready to react to any unforeseen events or crises, so forces are held at readiness to support national, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU) response forces. This means that properly equipped aircraft and fully trained personnel are identified and ear-marked to be available to meet contingencies within a specified time-scale. The forces need to be balanced to cater for any eventuality, imposing an additional burden on personnel when they are recovering between operational tours of duty. About 3,000 of the RAFs people are deployed on operations at any one time, usually for periods of four to six months. Currently, some 20% of the RAFs trained uniformed strength are committed to operations in Afghanistan every year, and on average every member of the RAF will serve in a combat zone every two to three years, although the tempo of operations for key specialists and trades such as helicopter, fast jet and transport aircrew, paramedics and the RAF Regiment may be markedly higher. While manning operations, the RAF also has to sustain itself by training over 2,000 recruits every year, effectively replacing about 5% of its front-line strength annually.

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THE FUTURE OF BRITISH AIR POWER

New Domains of Conflict

All current trend forecasts emphasize the increasingly fragmented and disparate nature of conflicts and crises. In the coming years, the United Kingdom will need to deal with a

multiplicity of sub-state threats and actors, but may also have to confront traditional states with similar high-technology capabilities to ourselves, either directly, or through proxies in ungoverned spaces. Adversaries in this future battlespace both state and non-state - will therefore be highly agile, and are likely to have access to sophisticated capabilities. In this sort of environment, time is a weapon, and air power is best placed to exploit the fourth dimension by taking advantage of fleeting opportunities as they arise. Future success will depend on effective decision making, based on accurate and timely information, underpinned by the agility delivered through flexible and adaptive capabilities. In particular, space and cyber-space will become increasingly important in military operations, and the RAFs core values as an institution make it particularly well-suited to lead the defence sector in the exploitation of these domains.

The provision of accurate and timely information has always been critical to the effectiveness of all military activities, and the importance of the information domain is increasing as societies become more networked. The exponential growth in the availability of information means that the RAF must understand how to deliver and protect national interests which may depend as much on perceptions as on hard realities - in the cyber domain. This means that a cadre of people must be developed who understand and can manage the modern networked environment, and are comfortable with the concept of treating information as a capability in itself. Here, the organizational culture of the RAF is a real strength: it is steeped in a history of information management and network operation. Fighter Commands air defenc e system during the Battle of Britain was a classic example, where information from radar and observers was collected, processed, fused and disseminated to provide battle-winning decisionsuperiority to the RAF commanders. This tradition of networking, driven by the particular requirement of air operations for timely information, has continued to the present day, forming the basis, for example, of the strategy that is being developed to create the best possible intelligence picture to counter the proliferation of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.
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One of the real current challenges for defence is in sharing information effectively, so that military capabilities may be integrated and synchronized at speed with the other services, government departments and coalition members that will be encountered on operations within the comprehensive approach that is now necessary to resolve complex crises. Additionally, as network capabilities are enhanced, so the susceptibility to computer network attack and computer network exploitation increases; indeed, in a world where information is pre-eminent, it could also quickly become a critical vulnerability. Set against a backdrop of a dynamic and

proliferating threat, an effective computer network defence capability is therefore essential. This means identifying and addressing risks as early as possible in the capability development process, while developing tactics, techniques and procedures to provide resilience where networks are contested or compromised.

Space is similarly vital to both our military operations and wider society. All nine sectors of the United Kingdoms critical national infrastructure depend to a greater or lesser extent on space and networked operations, and there is a growing awareness across government of what a bad space day might look like, in terms of both military effectiveness and the economic viability of the United Kingdom as a functioning state. Up to 90% of all military capabilities depend on space, from surveillance to navigation and targeting and, most fundamentally, the accurate position and timing functions which are vital to nearly all activities. Inevitably, the United Kingdom will have to continue to rely on alliances and partnerships for access to space, leveraged through influence and specialist knowledge. The RAF has already forged important relationships with the United States and has developed the British Military Space Operations Coordination Centre to build a credible level of expertise to understand and exploit space power most effectively. However, prudence dictates that the United Kingdom casts the net as widely as possible to guarantee its access to space and also remains open to the technological developments that may offer the means to acquire an affordable indigenous space capability nanotechnologies enabling small satellites are one example. What is certain is that despite treaty constraints, space will become an increasingly contested domain, and a concept of operations must be developed to deal with this. The United States Operationally Responsive Space Initiative provides one potential model for how flexible space capabilities may be delivered in short timescales in such an environment.

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Affordable Air Power

The future strategic environment is uncertain, with diverse and unpredictable threats to security including religious fundamentalism, global warming, large-scale migration, competition for resources, poverty, inequality and poor governance. Within this problematic context, the global economic down-turn and the size of the United Kingdoms budget deficit mean that that the challenge for air power is to provide relevant capabilities that are matched directly to the nations security needs - but are also affordable.

It is clear that a balanced force structure is necessary, so that the RAF can continue to deliver across all four of the air power roles and in the space and cyber domains too. Accomplishing this will not be easy, because of the variety, unpredictability and uncertainty of the threats likely to be faced in the future. This is where agility and adaptability in equipment and personnel is essential. Radical partnering arrangements with industry have been adopted to support the RAFs aircraft fleets, and these are on track to yield some 2 billion worth of savings over the next five years. Similarly, the Future Strategic Tanker and Transport Aircraft

programme is another ground-breaking, world-leading initiative, which aims to deliver affordable capability through a joint military-civilian enterprise employing civilian personnel as RAF reservists and selling-back surplus capacity to the commercial sector. These innovations demonstrate real determination to wring the most out of every defence pound; implementation has required a high level of commitment to overcome the sometimes painful adjustments required in traditional working practices and processes.

One of the RAFs enduring institutional strengths is its readiness and capacity to embrace emerging technologies and, in the relatively near-term, technical solutions are in prospect that may offer ways to square the circle between capability and cost. For example, the development of simulated and synthetic training technologies will enhance the quality of the learning experience while driving down the cost of flying training, not least its environmental impact. More fundamentally, the emergence of directed energy weapons may mark a revolutionary stepchange in air power capabilities, potentially offering a low collateral alternative to the employment of more traditional and very expensive capabilities, such as low observable or stealthy platforms, as a means of, for example, securing control of the air; it may well be possible
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to neutralise a sophisticated air defence system by using directed-energy weapons in conjunction with cyber-attack without the necessity to physically destroy targets on the ground.

Consideration of a balanced force is not, therefore, just a question of numbers of platforms (the proportion of fast jets to helicopters or transport aircraft) but rather the overall balance of capabilities. The key areas at stake include sensibly balancing the mix of manned and unmanned systems; the issue of capability versus mass; and the correct emphasis between high technology systems, with universal utility, against lower technology and less capable systems that are likely to be capable of niche employment only. None of these issues are likely to be either -or choices. For example, unmanned aircraft will contribute significantly to future capability, as they offer a very attractive and cost-effective option for dull, dirty and dangerous tasks, at minimal (or no) risk to their operators, all with impressive persistence. However, within the bounds of near-term technology, manned aircraft retain significant advantages over unmanned aircraft and their remote operators in terms of speed, payload, flexibility, discrimination and situational awareness. Additionally, the legal and ethical implications of flying unmanned

aircraft in civilian-controlled airspace, and the role and status of their operators, are important concerns that are yet to be fully resolved.

Adaptability can help to resolve force-balance dilemmas and genuine multi-role capabilities particularly in terms of manned and unmanned combat air aircraft mitigate some of the problems. For example, although the Tornado was originally planned as a Cold War bomber, over the last two decades it has been used continuously in everything from intense, conventional high-technology combat - on four occasions, in the Gulf and in the Balkans through low-intensity air policing over Iraq, to its current role as a counter-insurgency platform in Afghanistan. Although the original unit cost of the Tornado was 20 million, its intrinsic capability has provided the development potential that has permitted it to be adapted so successfully to different circumstances, and few other modern weapon systems can match its ubiquity. The Tornados remarkable track record demonstrates the importance of the Typhoon and Lightning (the Joint Strike Fighter) as the future of the RAFs combat air capability, as their multi-role adaptability will underpin three of the four air power roles: control of the air, intelligence and situational awareness, and attack. However, there are limits to the effects that multi-role adaptability can deliver, and there is a danger in investing exclusively in a diminishing number of highly capable platforms; this is where the capability versus mass argument comes

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into play, and new technologies and unmanned systems offer options to balance the capabilitymix.

Air power and Society


The RAF is rooted in the community particularly through its 2,500 reservists, who routinely serve on active duty, and its 60,000-strong air cadet force, which is one of the countrys premier youth organisations. The RAF also employs 8,000 civilian staff directly, and has a huge impact as a wealth generator and employer on the economies of the often remote and rural areas where its major operating bases tend to be located. As a technology based fighting service, it is intimately linked to industry and the commercial aerospace sector. Aerospace is one of the United Kingdoms most significant export industries, the largest aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the USA in the world. In 2008, the sector generated a turnover of 21 billion and new orders of 35 billion. The RAFs reputation as a world class and highly respected air force underpins this success. The Al Yamamah Project, initiated in 1985 with Saudi Arabia, is a case in point. The largest contract ever awarded to a British company, it has generated a substantial portion of Britains export earnings over the last two decades and its success has depended on the support and advocacy of the RAF. Recent export orders for Typhoon (seventytwo for Saudi Arabia and eighteen for Austria) demonstrate the confidence that other nations continue to retain in RAF equipment, training and aircraft.

Projects such as Typhoon and Al Yamamah bring financial benefits in terms of exports and job creation and also have strategic significance through the maintenance of aerospace expertise and a defence industrial base. The long term support required for Typhoon and Lightning (the Joint Strike Fighter) means that the United Kingdom will be able to retain its aerospace engineering and design capability for the through-life management of these aircraft: at least twenty five years. Typhoon is estimated to have created 40,000 jobs in the United

Kingdom, while the A400M aircraft programme has added another 8,000. Finally, the cuttingedge research and development involved in aerospace equipment projects creates technological spin-offs that can be harnessed to other sectors of industry, such as car manufacturing and engineering.

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