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Number of RAF Aircraft

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Number of RAF Aircraft

Old 4th May 2019, 10:53
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What about the 100 or so Bulldogs?
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Old 4th May 2019, 22:09
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Pontius Navigator;10462500] Tanker for tanker, more reliable and more give away,

/QUOTE]

So wrong Pontious! On wartime AAR Ops the TriStar flew 1000's of missions without mission failure. TriStar was the RAF's heaviest lift tanker ever. Tristar standard FOB on arrival Afghan 106T, Voyager would probably be hard pressed to arrive with 95T under same profile.

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Old 4th May 2019, 22:46
  #23 (permalink)  
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As so often, this thread may have lost its initial focus. Wasn't 1979 the base date for comparison? If so, then pre-Tristar, and I imagine that the comparison intended was Victor K2 with Voyager, but I stand to be corrected. And in the great scheme of things, it possibly matters not a lot.
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Old 6th May 2019, 16:32
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ihoharv View Post
Drifting the thread a tad but forty years ago we had about three times the personnel than today (approx. 95K then, 33K today).
But the aircraft fleet was, at most, about 70% larger (see FinningleyBoy's post & add up)
So, arguably, we have a more "efficient" force today? Hat, coat....
And 40 years ago the RAF had 1st, 2nd and 3rd line engineering facilities and experience within their ranks, not contracted out. They had RAF service personnel employed as chefs and stewards, etc. Accountants may well that claim todays set up is better. After all they know cost of everything and the value of nothing.
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Old 6th May 2019, 17:15
  #25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ICM View Post
As so often, this thread may have lost its initial focus. Wasn't 1979 the base date for comparison? If so, then pre-Tristar, and I imagine that the comparison intended was Victor K2 with Voyager, but I stand to be corrected. And in the great scheme of things, it possibly matters not a lot.
Correct .
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Old 6th May 2019, 20:05
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by seven g View Post
Having done a quick count from a few sources I estimate the number of aircraft in the RAF now to be about 1000. That includes operational types of all sorts plus trainers, unmanned, etc. Anyone got any info or want to hazard a guess regarding numbers in 1970s - 1980s Cold War days?
ICM, Pontious, get your specs on. Here is the original post. I think it reads "1970s - 1980s Cold War days"!

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Old 6th May 2019, 20:50
  #27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Onceapilot View Post
ICM, Pontious, get your specs on. Here is the original post. I think it reads "1970s - 1980s Cold War days"!

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A little test, try 2019-40.
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Old 6th May 2019, 21:12
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Getting 100 ac into the sky for the anniversary last year was a major undertaking for most frontline fleets.

This simple FACT shows you what a hollowed out state we are in. Any one else here on an FL type getting their 15 hrs a month? I seriously doubt it.
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Old 6th May 2019, 23:36
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Avionker,

And in 2019 the RAF is still involved in 1st, 2nd and 3rd line engineering, it still has RAF stewards and Chefs, and it has been contracting out services since before the second world war.
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Old 6th May 2019, 23:39
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Had Whirlwinds disappeared so long ago?
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Old 6th May 2019, 23:44
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Finningley Boy,

Not sure where you got your ORBAT figures from but they underplay a lot of the fleets of the time in terms of total numbers;

There were 24 Victor K2 tankers.

360 Sqn alone had more than 10 Canberra T17's. It was one of the first of the Thatcher cuts that trimmed it down to 12.

There were 12 Shackleton AEW2's and 2 MR2(T)'s. Again it was John Nott who cut the fleet in half to 6.

115 Sqn alone had 9 Andover E3's and E3A's. More were elsewhere.

I personally saw the Ops board in the COC at Gutersloh in 1980 that showed a squadron strength of 24 each, 21 GR3's and 3 T4's per squadron and 2 newly delivered T4's in Engineering Wing awaiting allocation. They all had where they were currently parked marked alongside the serial number and code.

I could go on but I won't. Your list does not reflect the strength of the RAF in 1979, more like a list of what happened to be serviceable and available on the line at a particular point in time.
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Old 6th May 2019, 23:45
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Rigga,

Wasn't 84 Sqn still going with Whirlwinds in 1979 in Cyprus? And 2 FTS at Shawbury had a load as well as SARTU at Valley and 32 Sqn at Northolt.
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Old 8th May 2019, 09:23
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Avionker,

And in 2019 the RAF is still involved in 1st, 2nd and 3rd line engineering, it still has RAF stewards and Chefs, and it has been contracting out services since before the second world war.
In vastly smaller numbers though, or am I mistaken? When I was in I could have been posted 1st line, 2nd line to an Avionics bay or Rects section. Third line carrying out Minors and Majors, to Sealand or to a variety of special posts including Service Software teams. How many of those posts still exist?

Virtually every mess I knew off or used was staffed by service personnel with a handful of civilians. Is the same true now?

There is a difference between supplementing and replacing. Which path would you say the MoD has chosen to take?
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Old 8th May 2019, 10:13
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Avionker,

And in 2019 the RAF is still involved in 1st, 2nd and 3rd line engineering, it still has RAF stewards and Chefs, and it has been contracting out services since before the second world war.

Battle Damage Repair. I'd have thought with a much smaller fleet very important, we used to have trained personnel on every sqn and stn plus a central team and centre of excellence. And now........... a line on a risk register?
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Old 9th May 2019, 17:48
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Finningley Boy,

Not sure where you got your ORBAT figures from but they underplay a lot of the fleets of the time in terms of total numbers;

There were 24 Victor K2 tankers.

360 Sqn alone had more than 10 Canberra T17's. It was one of the first of the Thatcher cuts that trimmed it down to 12.

There were 12 Shackleton AEW2's and 2 MR2(T)'s. Again it was John Nott who cut the fleet in half to 6.

115 Sqn alone had 9 Andover E3's and E3A's. More were elsewhere.

I personally saw the Ops board in the COC at Gutersloh in 1980 that showed a squadron strength of 24 each, 21 GR3's and 3 T4's per squadron and 2 newly delivered T4's in Engineering Wing awaiting allocation. They all had where they were currently parked marked alongside the serial number and code.

I could go on but I won't. Your list does not reflect the strength of the RAF in 1979, more like a list of what happened to be serviceable and available on the line at a particular point in time.
Hi pr00ne, I'm sure that if you added up every single airframe which was available as a reserve already in location or in store at Shawbury or St Athan, or wherever you would arrive at a far healthier figure. But the Harrier UE for Gutersloh in 1979 and on until passed 1983 remained 36. Now I'm not sure if this figure included the two-seaters or not, I suspect not. However, when the RAFG Harrier force was made of three Squadrons, the total UE was the same as for when they became just two Squadrons. Meanwhile aircraft were lost, yet UE's everywhere remained unchanged somehow. According to HQ AAFCE, I was one of the Ops Assistants there 1980 to 1983, evidently 19 and 92 never had more than 10 aircraft a piece. Yet I obtained from another source it was more like 15. It's always struck me that stated UE's even under a classified heading never reflected fully everything that was comprehensively available. Indeed, John Nott went about shredding stuff like HM Forces were having a Fire Sale and was then caught out on 2 April 1982. I'm not sure of your politics sir, but did you ever read 'Sense about Defence' authored by the Labour Party Defence Study Group in 1977. The Group were headed by Ian Mikardo MP. You should read that and see just how bad things could have gotten for the long term UK Defence posture.

Best regards,

FB

PS a crusty old AEO from the Vulcan Force, John Pearson, was one of the Ops Officer's at HQ AAFCE (CRAOC) when I mentioned my understanding that the Vulcan Sqns were issued with about 8 jets each, he thought this an over stated number and said it was more like 5 per unit. Again, I think he was thinking more of what was usually available routinely.

Last edited by Finningley Boy; 9th May 2019 at 17:57. Reason: CORRECTION
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Old 9th May 2019, 18:28
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19 Sqn and 92 Sqn in the Phantom FGR2 era were 10 Aircraft Established (AE) + 1 x In-Use Reserve (IUR). The 10 AE were funded for aircrew manning at 2:1, fuel, spares, flying hours etc - the IUR was not - but was usually the one on Minor / Minor * at 2nd-line in Aircraft Serving Flt (ASF).

For TACEVAL Part 2s, savvy EngOs would arrange for the 1 x IUR not to be in ASF and - if you were really lucky - arrange for the one coming out of Major at St Athan to arrive in RAFG but delay the one going away.

% Combat Availability - captured on the hour and divided by the total number of hours on TACEVAL Part 2 - was based on the 10 x AE. Hence how 92 Sqn managed to get 112% average on one TACEVAL I was involved in.

The Luftwaffe were even better off - a wing of F-104G had an AE of 2 x 18 AE squadrons but often was allocated 52 aircraft. This also allowed both the non-flying QRA(N) commitment to be held and 2nd- line maintenance to be carried out without affecting daily availability on the sqns.
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Old 10th May 2019, 03:40
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Just to amplify the Gutersloh Harrier strength. From 1977 to 1980 these were the aircraft on 3(F) - total 21, including the two T4s

A XV741. K XW763 W XV808
B XV738. L XW917 Y XV801
C XW764 M XV751 Z XZ139
D XW765 N XV792
E XW766 O XV781
F XZ132. P XV779
G XW630. Q XW933
H XZ138. R XV793
J XZ134 T XZ145

Of these Y crashed Dec 78, O Jun 79, E Oct 79 and D Mar 80. So for the whole of 1977 and 1978 there were more than 18 and less than 24! I would assume 4 Sqn numbers were the same.
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Old 10th May 2019, 07:34
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Tristar vs Voyager

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In fairness to PN he did say offload. Over a lengthy on task over Afghan the Voyager would be able to give more away (less burn and lower off task fuel). Not only that but it can give it away more efficiently (2 hoses not one). As for your reliability thoughts, having suffered the Tri unserviceabilities at first hand I would be interested to see the stats (if they exist).
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Old 10th May 2019, 08:36
  #39 (permalink)  
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Finningley Boy. I was on the same sqn as John but he left in Sep 64. I don't know where he went after that.
PS a crusty old AEO from the Vulcan Force, John Pearson, was one of the Ops Officer's at HQ AAFCE (CRAOC) when I mentioned my understanding that the Vulcan Sqns were issued with about 8 jets each, he thought this an over stated number and said it was more like 5 per unit. Again, I think he was thinking more of what was usually available routinely.
He was wrong about UE which was 8 per bomber sqn but possibly correct about unit strength as the Coningsby Wing was receiving new aircraft from Avro.

UE is the number of aircraft for which a unit is established and on which its air crew, ground crew, fuel allocation is calculated. It does not always represent actual manning and equipment. An 8 UE Vulcan sqn had 1.25 crews per aircraft, plus 1 for QRA. I think the FJ sqns had 1.5 crews per jet.

RAFEngO above mentions IUR. In-Use Reserve. A cunning device to cut engineering man power, allow a sqn jet to sit in the shed, and the proper number of jets to sit on the flight line. I am not sure how they accounted for it during alert exercises.

In the V-Force, and I guess other forces, extra aircraft were 'scattered' through the Stats. Some were on CWP - contractor's working party - having extensive work done. Others on AWA - never found out what that meant - but while the Mk 2 Blue Steel was being re-roled to free fall the Blue Steel aircraft were swapped one for one.
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Old 10th May 2019, 22:00
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Originally Posted by seven g View Post
Having done a quick count from a few sources I estimate the number of aircraft in the RAF now to be about 1000. That includes operational types of all sorts plus trainers, unmanned, etc. Anyone got any info or want to hazard a guess regarding numbers in 1970s - 1980s Cold War days?
Pontious: Wind your neck in! Here above is the original post. 40 years was added by someone else.

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