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PostPosted: 02 Jul 2021, 19:34 
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Picture Credit RAF

The UK equivalent of an 'Air Force One' aircraft. This multi-use Airbus A330 is seen replenishing RAF and Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoons over the skies of Romania. NATO enhanced Air Policing is currently conducted by an integrated detachment of RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft based in Romania. Needless to say it will also have an interest in the currently ongoing Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 over the Black Sea, Romania being a coastal state bordering the Black Sea.
When not requested or required for British VIP transport this RAF Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) can be used in a secondary role.

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 27 Aug 2021, 16:52, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2021, 09:05 
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Commemorating 50 years of the Airbus Helicopters Puma HC.MK2 in RAF service.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/puma-hc2/

Introduced into RAF service in 1972, with an order for 48 aircraft, the first major deployment took place in 1980 to the former Rhodesia, for monitoring the ceasefire and transition to the newly created Zimbabwe. It saw extensive service in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Kuwait, and the former Yugoslavia. It received a major upgrade in engine (Makila 1A1) and avionics in 2013.
The achievement was commemorated by a flypast of 10 Pumas over some twenty RAF bases and other military establishments in England. Thankfully the planned route and flypast was announced and well communicated over social media, allowing for photographic record of the event.
My photograph shows the 10 ship formation flying over RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, with a heavily overcast sky, soon followed by rain. The gathered photographers were undeterred for this not-to-be-missed occasion.

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 09 Jul 2021, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2021, 09:16 
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Great stuff, thanks Tally-ho.

The Puma certainly earned its accolades, but the flypast was commemorating 50 years of RAF service, not its retirement from RAF service?

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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2021, 13:50 
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I also thought that the flypast was for the 50th anniversary in service with the RAF?


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2021, 14:30 
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@Dean and AT6C

Correct you are, I was getting ahead of realities and will correct my script. Thank you for pointing this out. The RAF will crucify me ... :)

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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2021, 16:03 
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Lots of life in them Pumas yet. :lol:

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2021, 13:23 
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The RAF Sentinel R1 (heavily modified Bombardier Global Express) was withdrawn from service earlier this year. Five of the type served since 2007 as an Airborne Stand-off Radar (ASTOR) platform, flew some 32,300 hours and 4,870 sorties (Ref RAF). They are currently stored on-site at RAF Waddington, where they were based, undergoing the removal of installed hardware and systems.
The picture was taken at RAF Waddington in 2019, under a threatening sky with a last bit of sunlight before the rain arrived.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/ra ... al-flight/

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 29 Jul 2021, 08:16, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2021, 08:19 
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Have the RAF Sentinel's been taken out of service due to funding?

Are they been replaced?


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2021, 09:19 
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Think it was funding and no requirement since the withdrawal from Afghanistan?

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2021, 10:22 
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Morning AT6C and Dean.

The short answer is yes and yes again. Funding for an increasingly 'excess to requirement' and obsolete on-board systems were factors. The 'Sentinel' came about because of an operational requirement for a dedicated battlefield surveillance platform during Operation Herrick - the British involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
Currently ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target acquisition and Reconnaissance) are manifesting themselves in the 'Poseidon' (Boeing P-8 for maritime needs), 'Protector' (the remotely operated MQ-9B), 'Rivet Joint' (Boeing RC-135W), 'Shadow' (Beechcraft King Air 350), and soon the 'Wedgetail' (Boeing 737 / E-7).

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/ra ... al-flight/

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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2021, 08:32 
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Vulcan on the move, Wednesday 28 July.

Avro Vulcan (XM607) is to receive a much-needed wash and a repaint. It is displayed within the RAF Waddington perimeter, right next to a busy main road south of Lincoln. Fortunately, there is a dedicated aircraft viewing facility (café and ample parking) opposite the display. The location is good for aerial approach and departure shots of aircraft over the northern-end runway threshold.
The Vulcan was moved early morning, after much preparation and many checks the previous few days, from its hardstanding onto a nearby taxiway. A clear unobstructed view from the parking area was hampered by a tall and thick perimeter hedge. My picture was taken from a vantage point further along the fenceline, which necessitated a quick shoot and scoot exercise in order to get a good unobstructed view, of this rare event.
In the background one of the recently retired RAF 'Sentinel' aircraft - see previous post.

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 29 Aug 2021, 09:48, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2021, 13:05 
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Nice one, thanks.

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2021, 08:31 
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The RAF aerobatic team, The Red Arrows, doing a practice display over RAF Waddington. Only eight aircraft participated, the ninth had technical issues before take-off and stayed grounded. My photograph shows *Tornado* being performed with two aircraft rotating the smoke trail, whilst the main body makes a full 180° turn to port.
Taken Friday 13 August 2021.

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*Tornado*

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PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 12:41 
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The era for increased usage of RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) has taken a major step forward within the RAF. The latest version of the operationally successful General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper is undergoing flight trials and integration within the RAF.
The new RAF specific Protector RG Mk 1 (Reconnaissance / Ground attack Mark 1) is currently undergoing testing and familiarisation flights from its homebase at RAF Waddington, using airspace above the Lincolnshire coast and the North Sea. 31 Squadron RAF will go operational in 2024.
I missed the initiation for its advanced testing and familiarisation flights from RAF Waddington last week by an hour and had to be content with seeing its movements over the North Sea on Flightradar24.

Three pictures:-
- A screenshot of the flight path, with the image showing a Boeing K35R tanker and a USAF F-15 in the near vicinity.
- A RAF file photo of the Protector
- Whilst in the viewing area near the base and deciding my options, waiting for the return or going home, along came a RAF Embraer Phenom 100 (multi engine pilot training, mission aircrew training and airborne specialist training) for some circuit work.

Image
Protector showing as DRON

Image
RAF file photo

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RAF Embraer Phenom taking off

I hope to see and photograph the Protector soon and will show the pictures here.

Sources:-
https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/protect ... k-1-mq-9b/
https://www.airforce-technology.com/pro ... d-kingdom/

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PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 17:48 
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I'm suitably jealous over the opportunities spotters and photogs have at RAF bases :mrgreen:

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