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The British Empire's air forces are probably the most centralised part of the Empire's armed forces, with very few colonial air units. To compensate, the RAF's forces are dispersed throughout the world.

The British Empire operates British-designed and built aircraft almost exclusively. There is cooperation with France on certain projects (e.g. the SEPECAT Jaguar, and the Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000K). License production in India and the Dominions is commonplace.

The RAF is the world's oldest independent air force, and the Dominion air forces are among the oldest air forces in the world. The Royal South African Air Force is the world's second oldest independent air force, and the Royal Australian Air Force is the third oldest.

The combat aircraft of the British Empire (and particularly the Royal Air Force) can fall into two categories to match the types of operations in which they participate. European operations aircraft, and Empire operations aircraft. An instance of this distinction is the HS/Dassault Mirage 2000K versus the SEPECAT Jaguar. Mirages are rarely deployed outside the UK, while most of the UK's Jaguar force is deployed throughout the Empire. The Jaguar is also far more popular with Dominion and Colonial air forces than the Mirage.

Air ForcesEdit

Royal Air ForceEdit

Home Air ForcesEdit

  • Bomber/Strike
    • 7 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Vengeance B.2
    • 8 Squadrons of BAC Eagle S.2
    • 6 Squadrons of BAC Eagle S.1
    • 3 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.4
  • Fighters
    • 14 Squadrons of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 10 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Typhoon F.2
    • 10 Squadrons of HS/Dassault Mirage FGR.3
  • Ground Attack
    • 6 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 6 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.9
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.7
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MRA.4
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
    • 3 Squadrons of Vickers VC10 AEW.5
  • Transport
    • 4 Squadrons of Vickers VC10 C.1K/K.2/K.3/K.4
    • 3 Squadrons of Airbus A310 C.1K
    • 6 Squadrons of Airbus A330 C.1K
    • 10 Squadrons of Short Empire C.1 (C-17-like transport)
    • 4 Squadrons of Airbus A400M C.1
    • 5 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 6 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 4 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
    • 32 (The Royal) Squadron
      • 2 BAC/Aerospatiale Concorde CC.1
      • 2 Airbus A330 CC.2
      • 4 Hawker Siddeley HS.146 CC.2
      • 4 Westland Sea King HCC.4
      • 4 Aerospatiale Dauphin HCC.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 3 Squadrons of Westland Westminster HC.4
    • 6 Squadrons of Westland Wildebeest HC.1
    • 6 Squadrons of Westland Merlin HC.3
    • 5 Squadrons of Westland Puma HC.1
  • Training
    • Elementary Flying Training Schools
      • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Flying Training School (Basic jet training)
      • Short Tucano T.1
    • Flying Training School (Advanced jet training, lead-in fighter training)
      • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.1
      • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Flying Training School (multi-engine, navigator, non-commissioned aircrew training)
      • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1
    • Helicopter Flying School
      • Aerospatiale Squirrel HT.1
      • Agusta A109 HT.1

Far East Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.4
    • 2 Squadrons of HS/Dassault Mirage FGR.3
    • 4 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.7
    • 6 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MRA.4
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Wildebeest HC.1
    • 2 Squadrons of Westland Puma HC.1

Near East Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 2 Squadrons of HS/Dassault Mirage FGR.3
    • 1 Squadron of BAC Tornado GR.4
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.9
    • 4 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 6 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Wildebeest HC.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Westland Puma HC.1

African Air CommandEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.4
    • 6 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.7
    • 9 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 5 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 4 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Westminster HC.4
    • 3 Squadrons of Westland Puma HC.1

Indian Air CommandEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Eagle S.1
    • 3 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 4 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Westminster HC.4
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Merlin HC.3
    • 2 Squadrons of Westland Puma HC.1

Caribbean Air CommandEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Shorts Tucano GR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Puma HC.1

Royal Australian Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.4
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 4 Squadrons of GAF/Dassault Mirage 2000K
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Vickers VC10 K.3
    • 1 Squadron of Short Empire C.1 (C-17-like transport)
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.4
    • 34 Squadron (VIP)
      • 2 Airbus A319 CC.1
      • 6 Hawker Siddeley HS.125 CC.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Canadian Air ForceEdit

  • Combat Aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.4
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 4 Squadrons of Canadair/Dassault Mirage 2000K
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Vickers VC10 K.3
    • 1 Squadron of Short Empire C.1 (C-17-like transport)
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 1 Squadron of deHavilland Canada Buffalo C.1
    • 2 Airbus A310 CC.1
    • 5 Canadair Challenger CC.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Irish Air CorpsEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 1 Squadron of Scottish Aviation Jetstream C.2/CC.3
    • 1 Flight of Hawker Siddeley HS.125 CC.1
  • Support Helicopters
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Puma HC.1
    • 1 Squadron of Westland Gazelle AH.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal New Zealand Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.4
    • 4 Vickers VC10 C.2K
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.1
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal South African Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Atlas/Dassault Mirage 2000K
    • 3 Squadrons of Atlas/SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.4
    • 4 Vickers VC10 C.2K
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
    • VIP Squadron
      • 2 Airbus A319 CC.1
      • 6 Hawker Siddeley HS.125 CC.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Indian Air ForceEdit

  • Strike aircraft
    • 4 Squadrons of BAC Tornado GR.1
  • Fighters
    • 3 Squadrons of BAC Tornado F.3
    • 6 Squadrons of HAL/Dassault Mirage 2000K
  • Ground attack
    • 10 Squadrons of HAL/SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.3
    • 6 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Antelope C.4 (A.W.681)
    • 4 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 4 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Rhodesian Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.5
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Singapore Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 3 Squadrons of HS/Dassault Mirage 2000K
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Egyptian Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 3 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 5 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Ceylon Defence Force (CDF)Edit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.3
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Malayan Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of HS/Dassault Mirage 2000K
    • 2 Squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Sherpa C.1
    • 3 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air ForceEdit

  • Combat Aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2/T.3
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 4 Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 3 Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 1 Squadron of Scottish Aviation Jetstream C.2
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

Sultan of Oman's Air ForceEdit

  • Combat aircraft
    • 1 Squadron of SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
    • 2 Squadrons of Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2
  • Maritime Patrol/Surveillance
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover MR.4
  • Transport
    • 1 Squadron of Hawker Siddeley Andover C.5
    • 2 Squadrons of Short Skyvan C.1
  • Trainers
    • Slingsby Firefly T.1
    • Short Tucano T.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3
    • Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1

AircraftEdit

Hawker Siddeley VengeanceEdit

The Hawker Siddeley Vengeance is a four-engined supersonic strategic bomber. It is the last of the V-Bombers, and entered service with the RAF in 1978. It is designed for low-altitude penetration nuclear bombing, and conventional bombing. It can also perform maritime strike, and the cruise missile carrier role.

It has a swing wing, and initially had four Rolls Royce Spey afterburning turbofans. The current model is powered by the Rolls Royce Titan with a top afterburning thrust of 60,000 pounds (pushing the top speed from Mach 1.8 to Mach 2.5). It is designed for a relatively low radar cross section (but is not a true stealth aircraft), and carries an array of advanced avionics operated by a crew of four.

The Vengeance has a maximum internal bombload of 77,000 pounds, and a maximum external load of 60,000 pounds. There are three weapon bays, and six external pylons. The total maximum combined weapons load is 90,000 pounds.

Approximately 140 serve with the RAF. All are permanently based in the UK but are often deployed throughout the Empire.

British Aircraft Corporation EagleEdit

The BAC Eagle started life as the TSR-2. It was a requirement for a Canberra replacement in Europe. It was a low altitude, supersonic nuclear strike aircraft. It is also capable of conventional attack, reconnaissance, and maritime strike. Due to its high price, it is used by the RAF only. It serves primarily in Europe, and has been built in two versions, the BAC Eagle S.1 and the upgraded, swing-wing BAC Eagle S.2.

British Aircraft Corporation TornadoEdit

The British Aircraft Corporation Tornado is an advanced multi-role combat aircraft family. It is used by the RAF, several Empire air forces, and the Royal Navy (as the Sea Tornado). It was developed to fulfill a variety of roles, and first flew in 1974. It became operational in 1978. There are six versions. Their factory names are:

  • BAC Tornado IDS (Interdiction Strike)
  • BAC Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant)
  • BAC Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance)
  • BAC Sea Tornado IDS (Interdiction Strike)
  • BAC Sea Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant)
  • BAC Sea Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance)

The BAC Tornado IDS is seldom used in the United Kingdom, but has found its niche as an out of area long range strike aircraft. Most RAF Tornado IDS aircraft are deployed to protect the empire's overseas possessions. The BAC Tornado ECR is more often based in the UK. It is used for defence suppression and support jamming. The BAC Tornado ADV is Britain's premier air defence aircraft.

The Royal Navy's Sea Tornado replaced the Vickers-Supmarine Sabre, and the BAC Buccaneer. Its compactness, strength, and ease of maintenance suggested it as a carrier aircraft. The first Sea Tornado flew in 1977, and it made its first carrier landing in 1978. Initial Operational Capability was achieved in 1980.

Service designations:

  • BAC Tornado GR.1 (Initial Tornado IDS)
  • BAC Tornado GR.1A (Tornado IDS reconnaissance version)
  • BAC Tornado F.2 (Initial Tornado ADV, never used operationally)
  • BAC Tornado F.3 (Definitive Tornado ADV)
  • BAC Tornado GR.4 (Upgraded Tornado IDS)
  • BAC Tornado E.5 (Tornado ECR)
  • BAC Sea Tornado GR.1 (Initial Sea Tornado IDS)
  • BAC Sea Tornado F.2 (Sea Tornado ADV, equivalent to Tornado F.3)
  • BAC Sea Tornado E.3 (Sea Tornado ECR)
  • BAC Sea Tornado GR.4 (Upgraded Sea Tornado IDS)

Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000KEdit

The Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000K (known in RAF service as the Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage FGA.1) is the British version of the Dassault Mirage 2000. The two-seat training version is the Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000DK (known to the RAF as the Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage T.2). It was ordered by the RAF to fulfill a tactical fighter role.Officially its roles include:

  • Air superiority
  • Battlefield air superiority
  • Close support
  • Battlefield interdiction
  • Maritime strike
  • Air defence
  • Suppression of enemy air defences

The Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000K is assembled in Warton by BAe under a license production arrangment with Dassault Aviation. Wings are made in by Hawker Siddeley in Samlesbury, Lancashire, fuselage and fin by Hawker Siddeley in Warton, the engine is the standard M53 made under license by Rolls Royce, avionics come from both British and French sources and include the Blue Vixen radar by Ferranti, the ICMS countermeasures system by Thales of France, TIALD by GEC Avionics, Thales ring-laser gyros and GPS, glass cockpit designed by Dassault. The RAF ordered 310 aircraft. Other changes from the standard Mirage 2000 include carriage of all British weaponry (except the Red Thunder cruise missile)

The Mirage 2000K prototype (called 'Entente') first flew from Warton Aerodrome in December 1983. Rapid development and production followed and the RAF took delivery of its first Mirage FGA.1 in July 1986. Production proceeded rapidly, with the Mirage 2000 being composed largely of off the shelf British and French systems. and all Mirages were delivered by the end of 1992.

In RAF service, the Mirages are painted medium grey, and carry the words "Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage 2000K" in script on the side of the nose in deference to French tradition. They are sometimes used in the QRA role alongside Tomcats, but are most often used for air-to-ground roles, and battlefield air superiority. British pilots like the flying characteristics of the Mirage 2000 in all regimes except extreme low level (in which the ride quality is inferior to the Eagle or the Tornado).

The Mirage 2000K production license also covered production of the British version elsewhere in the Empire. Atlas Aircraft Corporation in South Africa, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India, and the Government Aircraft Factory in Australia produce the Mirage 2000K.

The Mirage 2000K aircraft were upgraded, and the versions in service now are:

  • Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage FGR.3
  • Hawker Siddeley/Dassault Mirage T.4

SEPECAT JaguarEdit

The SEPECAT Jaguar was the second example of Anglo-French industrial cooperation in aviation (the first being Concorde). While the Concorde was the greater technical success, the Jaguar was the greater commercial and operational success. SEPECAT was a cooperative venture between the British Aircraft Corporation and Breguet Aviation to build an advanced supersonic trainer for Britain, and a low cost trainer/strike aircraft for France. In the event, the training requirement was scrubbed. The RAF's roles for the Jaguar include reconnaissance, close support, strike, and colonial support. Its ruggedness, ability to use poor (and non-existant) airfields, and ease of maintenance have served the Jaguar well in its colonial role, and the majority of the UK's Jaguars are deployed outside the UK. They are also widely used by Dominion, and Colonial air forces. The type is extremely popular with the Royal Indian Air Force. Indian airmen call the aircraft the Shamsher. It is produced under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Atlas Aircraft Corporation.

The Jaguar is used extensively by the Royal Navy under the name "Sea Jaguar". It has a different undercarriage, more powerful engines, and a completely different avionics suite. While the land-based Jaguar is primarily an attack aircraft, the Sea Jaguar is undoubtedly a multi-role aircraft. The increased engine power and improved avionics, which include the Ferranti Blue Vixen multi-mode radar, make the Sea Jaguar an excellent fighter. It serves as a tactical multi-role fighter with the Royal Navy alongside the Sea Tornado.

Current versions of the SEPECAT Jaguar in service include:

  • SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 (no longer used by the RAF)
  • SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3
  • SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3A
  • SEPECAT Jaguar T.2 (no longer used by the RAF)
  • SEPECAT Jaguar T.4
  • SEPECAT Sea Jaguar F/A.3
  • SEPECAT Sea Jaguar T.4

Hawker Siddeley HarrierEdit

The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the military version of the Kestrel. The name Harrier was to be given to the Hawker P.1154, but problems with the P.1154 caused its cancellation. The subsonic STOVL Harrier entered service in 1969. It has gone through several revisions.

Evolution of the Harrier

  • Hawker Siddeley Harrier (first generation close support and reconnaissance aircraft)
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier T.2
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.3
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier T.4
  • Hawker Siddeley Sea Harrier (first generation naval fighter, based on the first generation Harrier)
    • Hawker Siddeley Sea Harrier FRS.1
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier T.4N
  • Hawker Siddeley Harrier II (second generation close support and reconnaissance aircraft, later multi-role fighter)
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.5
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.7 (avionics, engine upgrade)
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.9 (engine upgrade, equipped with Blue Vixen radar)
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier T.10
  • Hawker Siddeley Sea Harrier II (second generation naval fighter, based on the Harrier II)
    • Hawker Siddeley Sea Harrier FA.2
    • Hawker Siddeley Harrier T.10N

Uniquely for a combat aircraft, the Harrier has proven useful inside Europe, and outside Europe. It is used extensively by Imperial air forces.

Hawker Siddeley HawkEdit

The Hawker Siddeley Hawk was originally designed as a trainer, but now also serves as a light strike fighter. For some air forces, Hawks are the only combat capability they possess. It serves in large numbers with the RAF as an out of Europe light strike fighter. The following versions of the Hawk are in Imperial service:

  • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.1 (original trainer)
  • Hawker Siddeley Hawk FGR.2 (Hawk 200)
  • Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.3 (Hawk 100, becoming the standard RAF and RN advanced jet and lead-in-fighter trainer, first Empire user was the RAAF)

Short TucanoEdit

The Short Tucano is a Northern Irish-made trainer based on a Brazilian trainer. It also serves (as the Tucano GR.2) as a counter-insurgency and forward air control aircraft. The latter is primarily used outside the UK.

Hawker Siddeley NimrodEdit

The Nimrod is the British Empire's premiere maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Many of them serve in the UK, the remainder are dotted throughout the Empire. Apart from their maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine roles, they serve as level bombers in colonial enforcement missions.

Vickers VC10Edit

The Vickers VC10 was designed as a high-speed airliner intended for hot and high operations from African and Indian airports. It was adopted as a strategic transport and eventually took on the tanker role.

During the early 1980s, the VC10 was developed into an airborne early warning aircraft. The final upgrade of the VC10 gave changed it from a four-engined aircraft to a twin-engined aircraft, with 2 RB211s replacing the 4 Conways. The new engines deliver greated power and increased range. In the tanker role, the new engines increase the available offload fuel.

In the transport role, the VC10 was supplemented by the Airbus A310 in 1985, and is finally being replaced by the Airbus A330. The VC10 also serves with several Empire air forces.

Short EmpireEdit

The Short Empire is a large STOL transport aircraft. Developed to replace the Short Belfast, the Short Empire is named after a flying boat of the 1930s. It is powered by four Rolls-Royce RB211, and uses a system of double-slotted flaps to direct part of the engine exhaust downwards. It is capable of using unimproved airstrips.

The Short Empire can carry more than 130 troops, 176,000 pounds of cargo, or a Challenger 2 main battle tank. The Short Empire is used by the RAF and the RAAF.

Hawker Siddeley AntelopeEdit

Starting life as the Hawker Siddeley HS.681, the Hawker Siddeley Antelope was the first in a series of advanced, jet-propelled British STOL transport aircraft. The Antelope entered service with the RAF in 1971. It is used extensively in the Empire. Apart from the RAF, the air forces of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India use this aircraft. Over the years, the Antelope has been upgraded several times.

It can take a 35,000 pound payload and is powered by four Rolls Royce Medway engines with thrust vectoring.

Hawker Siddeley HS.146Edit

The Hawker Siddeley HS.146 was originally designed for commercial requirements. It has exceptional STOL capability for an airliner, and was intended for commuter airlines. Its quiet operation cleared it for airports such as London City Airport.

The HS.146 found its way into military service as a VIP aircraft. 4 serve with 32 (The Royal) Squadron. During the mid-1990s, the RAF issued a requirement to replace its ageing Andovers. Hawker Siddeley responded with the HS.146M. The HS.146M was a private venture. It is a dedicated tactical transport. Compared with the standard HS.146, it has a hydraulically operated rear ramp, a lowered main deck floor, and a redesigned main undercarriage (housed in sponsons).

The RAF has plans to acquire several hundred HS.146 C.3 aircraft to replace the Andover, and many of the Hawker Siddeley Antelopes. It represents the British committment to advanced transport aircraft, and can serve in virtually any part of the Empire. It is believed that many other Imperial Air Forces will purchase the HS.146 tactical transport.

There are two versions of the Hawker Siddeley HS.146 in service:

  • Hawker Siddeley HS.146 CC.2 (VIP aircraft)
  • Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3 (tactical transport)

Image of the Hawker Siddeley HS.146 C.3

Hawker Siddeley AndoverEdit

Like the Hawker Siddeley HS.146, the Hawker Siddeley Andover started as a civilian airliner, the Hawker Siddeley HS.748. It entered RAF service as a VIP aircraft in 1966, and in 1968 as a tactical transport. It has also found a niche as a second-tier maritime patrol aircraft. The initial versions are simply VIP versions of the standard HS.748. The standard HS.748 airframe also provides the basis for the maritime patrol version.

The tactical transport version of the Andover is extensively modified. It has a reinforced main deck floor, a different empennage with a rear loading ramp, and kneeling main undercarriage to allow easier access. It has good short field performance, and a respectible payload. It has been modified several times, and serves throughout the Empire.

The Andover MR.4 is an armed maritime reconnaissance version of the HS.748 transport. Externally, it is distinguished by a radome under the fuselage, and underwing pylons for weapons. Weapon loads include torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, bombs, and depth charges. In the fuselage, it also carries a launcher for sonobuoys.

The transport version of the Andover serves every air force in the British Empire. The maritime patrol version serves with most of the Empire.

Short SherpaEdit

Short SkyvanEdit

Westland WestminsterEdit

The Westland Westminster is a heavy lift helicopter. Development started in the 1950s. It started as a private venture, but attracted the interest of the RAF. It entered service in 1965. It has been improved four times. The current version has new engines, and modern avionics. The rotor blades of the Mark 4 use the British Experimental Rotor Programme design. An NVG compatible glass cockpit with a satellite navigation system allow the maximum use of the Westminster's capability. In addition to being used by the RAF, it is used by the Australian Army. In spite of the Westminster's capability, it is being replaced with the Westland Wildebeest.

[1] [2] [3]

Westland WildebeestEdit

Westland MerlinEdit

The Westland Merlin is a medium-lift helicopter for military applications but also marketed for civil use. Its roles include medium transport, anti-submarine warfare. It is used by the RAF, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Australian Navy.

[4]

Westland PumaEdit

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