A second Hawk T2 squadron is to form to provide Advanced Fast Jet Training to Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots.

According to the RAF, the existing IV(AC) Squadron, which has operated from the Anglesey station since 2010, is to split into two with a reformed No.25 (F) Squadron taking on responsibility for the first phase of AFJT.

The move has been prompted by the increased demand for fast jet pilots on the front line to fly Typhoon and Lightning. The number of Typhoon squadrons was boosted on Tuesday 24th July 2018 with the reformation of 12 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, which followed the announcement that IX(B) Squadron will stand up on Typhoon at RAF Lossiemouth next year. Meanwhile at RAF Marham 617 Squadron continues to work up on the Lightning.

Air Vice-Marshal Warren James, Air Officer Commanding No. 22 Group said:

“I am delighted that No. 25 Squadron is returning to fly the Hawk T2. These are exciting times for the Military Flying Training System and the addition of this new squadron will see the continued delivery of high quality, efficient and effective flying training to meet the requirements of the front line.”

Wing Commander Tim Simmons, Officer Commanding No.25 (Fighter) Squadron, said:

“It is a great honour to be the first Officer Commanding of the re-formed No.25 (Fighter) Squadron here at RAF Valley. The Squadron first formed at RAF Montrose in Scotland on 25 September 1915 and served with distinction throughout WW1 and WW2. No.25(F) Squadron then conducted Air Defence operations with a series of early jet aircraft types, followed by the Bloodhound Surface to Air Missile and, latterly, the Tornado F3, before being disbanded on 4 Apr 2008.”

The squadron is expected to reform by the end of the year.

18 COMMENTS

  1. If i remember correctly the number of sqds has increased ‘by one’ but the number of Typhoons in service has stayed the same. So why form another sqd ? Oh right another sqd means another wing commander !

    • Still 8 Squadrons.

      Might be 9 if when 2nd F35 unit forms and none if the extra 2 Typhoon units disband.

      Again extra squadrons but with less aircraft.

      Tech and capability increasing, numbers always the issue.

  2. Until retiring in December 2015 I was employed by a contractor to the MoD at a certain RAF base, 12 years in the RAF & 29 years as a contractor I’ve seen it all before – smoke & mirrors, another Sqn forming but does it actually mean more air craft – I think not!.

  3. Blimey Expat and they say you can’t flog a dead horse!
    BAE Systems still trying to warm over the trusty old Hawk!

    I thought the last effort was the type reaching its evolutionary zenith, but perhaps not after all.

    With no clean sheet design that should have been started 20 years ago, BAE Systems have had no choice but to continue to develop a very old airframe with new systems and sell it … To my surprise successfully, against some very advanced opponents!

    • The original hawk design was very good and so was the Adour engine. For a trainer the airframe is probably good enough. Although not sure about the maintenance and through life cost. Newer airframes are probably better in this regard. The focus for training is the simulation and the Hawk is up there with the best. The advance hawk was probably low cost for BAe. HAL in india worked on the wing and the glass cockpit came from the TX competition which Northrop pulled out of. They we hoping for orders from the Indian air force but nothing materialised. After the Qatar order I can’t see the Hawk getting any more orders. UK’s next trainer will be whatever wins the US TX competition. UK has lead the jet trainer market for years, profits should have been reinvested into a new airframe.

      • expat – interesting post but I have two points,first is that the Hawk T2’s the RAF uses are relatively new,agree that the T1’s are well past their sell by date but would buying a different Trainer based on the US TX winner make any sense regarding logistics etc ? Second point is the Elephant in the room which is the Red Arrows,presuming they are to continue well into the future would it be acceptable for them to perform in a non-uk designed and built Aircraft ? To me the obvious option would be to order a follow on batch of T2’s (keeps the Factory going) or as you say buy into the TX winner for Fast Jet Training and maybe buy a specific batch of Hawks for the Red Arrows.

  4. Good to see the new Typhoon squadrons standing up in the near future and the extra Hawk squadron too. I was lucky enough to see the RAF 100 fly past, they flew over the back of my house.. Awesome sight. Seeing the 22 Typhoons and 9 Tornado aircraft with 3 F35’s, impressive.

    • Hi John
      Agreed – that would have been a great sight. I think I can better it though!
      I was in the Mall in Sept 1990 during the Battle-of-Britain 50th anniversary flypast.
      167 aircraft – mostly fast jets flew over during 15-20 minutes.
      Now, that was impressive!
      (But in the spirit of one-upmanship: I’m suspect someone on this site probably saw the 1953 Coronation fly-past!)

  5. We should offer some Hawks to the Argentines; stretch out the hand of friendship and make some money on a training package. Do they have any fast jets that are airworthy?

    • Oddly, I’m kind of in agreement. We could control the flow or spare part or upgrades. Better than another country where we would have no ability to ground the jets. Argentina has been shopping for fast jets for some time. They’ve talked to China, Pakistan, Israel. Even tried to get the Gripen via Brasil. I believe France sold them some Super Etendards in the end. The down side would be having a trainer they could keep the hours down on the Super Etendards.

  6. Inspite of the naye-Sayers, more fast jets and aircraft at readiness, better than having them sat round in storage with no pilots

    • It is not Naye Saying.

      What extra aircraft are at readiness?

      Improved servicing by Baes yes. Same numbers of Typhoons.

      Losing 3 Tornado squadrons in the meantime. These crews will eventually move over as Op Shader allows, there are your pilots.

      The whole point of the extra Typhoon units was to stop a catastrophic fall to just 6 Squadrons as Tornado retires.

      I emphasise agsin, happy to see squadron numbers maintained but we must always be wary of MoD spin. Just like the “growing RN crap”

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