The combined flying hours of Reaper and Typhoon over Syria and Iraq in the last 12 months are 15,192.

The aircraft are deployed in the region as part of Operation Shader.

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, asked in a written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) flying hours and (b) air strikes have been conducted by British armed forces against Daesh in (a) Iraq and (b) Syria in each of the last 12 months.”

James Heappey, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“There have been 37 Weapon Release Events in the past 12 months (37 in Iraq and zero in Syria). The combined flying hours of Reaper and Typhoon during this period were 15,192 (Reaper: 7,799; and Typhoon: 7,393). As the data concern operational activity, figures may be updated in future.”

The MoD also say that UK Armed Forces continue to “provide a significant contribution to the global coalition ensuring the Daesh terrorist group does not become resurgent in Syria and Iraq, with Royal Air Force aircraft flying daily armed reconnaissance patrols”.

What is Operation Shader?

The air drops were ordered following the genocide of the Yazidi people and other ethnic minorities by Daesh in Northern Iraq, which had led to them fleeing onto the mountainside to escape Daesh.

Following the conclusion of the aid drops, the operation quickly changed to become the UK element in the US-led coalition that began the campaign to destroy Daesh. Based out of Cyprus, the Royal Air Force continues to survey and strike targets in Iraq and Syria as part of the Global Coalition under the banner of Op SHADER.

You can read more about the operation here.

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That’s like using up airframe life of 2 x typhoon per year. How often are aircraft rotated?


Daily Mail says Boris wants to get rid of 53 Typhoons
My Dad always said Labour were anti the military ……
Cameron , Fox and Osbourne decimated the defence budget with their manipulation……
and now I think we are in trouble with Boris and Co
Thanks Ian


Boris taking lessons from Merkel. Let other nations mainly America do the heavy lifting while we waste, I mean spend the money from defense on crazy social programs. Ugh

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

These will be the 53 T1 variants that can’t be upgraded to the same standard as T2 T3 . I’m not sure how much credence I’d put into believing the shitey MSM though . This was on the cards years ago anyway then they reversed the decision .prob best to wait and see mibees aye mibees naw .


My understanding is that of the 53 Tranche 1, 24 single seaters are being retained with some being used in the Aggressor role.
There was a recent picture of a Tranche 1 in black for this role. The Tranche 1 that have been removed from service have been used in the ‘Reduce To Produce’ program to salvage as much as possible, all 16 two seat trainer variants have/are going this way.
If the plan is to get rid of all Tranche 1 then I hope we’d replace them with a Tranche 4 buy like the Germans.

Steve R

I’d hope so too but not likely.

Daniele Mandelli

Sounds like the usual “musical chairs” with FJ squadron numbers. Timeline: 2010 inheritance from Labour: 7 GR4 / 2 F3 / 2 Typhoon / 1 GR9 = 12 Post 2010 SDSR up to 2015: 5 Typhoon / 3 GR4 = 8, threat of reducing to just 6 with elimination of GR4 and addition of 617 sqn on F35. Post 2015 SDSR: Threat of reduction to just 6 averted and “spun” by withdrawing GR4 force of 3 sqns, adding 2 extra Typhoon squadrons with EXISTING airframes. In reality cut in numbers but FJ squadrons remain at 8. 7 Typhoon, 1 F35.… Read more »


Neither are pro military there’s no votes in defence. Watch Cold War, Hot Jets on Amazon or When Britain Ruled the Skys on BBC iplayer to see how far we have fallen. Within the next 2 years we will no longer make a fast jet in the UK.

Daniele Mandelli

My Dad always said Labour were anti the military”

Both Tory and Labour equally bad.

I can list most of the cuts Labour made 1997 2010 if you’d like for comparison! People have short memories sometimes, especially when party lines are drawn.

And that is not excusing Cameron Osborne 2010 SDSR as that was appalling.

Steve R

The Tories are staunchly the party of defence… as long as they’re in opposition!

Labour are anti-military. The Tories are anti-spending. It’s lose/lose for defence.

Douglas Newell

That’s the best explanation of the problem I’ve seen. :o)

Mind you the the government has been happy to blow Tens if not Hundreds of billions of pounds on propping up the Banks and keeping millions of people sitting doing nothing over the current Pandemic.

Its always bugged me they can find the vast sums to do that at the drop of a hat, but can’t find the cash to support defence jobs whether servicemen or the industries that support defence. At least there is a output to that defence spending.

Steve R

Few votes in defence spending, though.

Douglas Newell



This may be true but the 53 figure happens to coincide with tranche 1. T1 twin seat birds have now been through RTP so that leaves about 36/37 single seat T1? Based on the fact they can’t be upgraded, they may well go this decade but hopefully would be offset by commitment to F35 numbers or even a small number of T4 Typhoon. But as we predicted, global Britain is all bullshit if we continue to cut.

Paul T

I wonder what was the Material State of the RTP Examples,if they were Life Expired or Approaching it it makes some sense,if they had plenty of Life Left in them and they were Capable of doing so id much rather those Typhoons Dropping Bombs on ISIS rather than using up Valuable Hours on the Latest Ones.


Paul T, Pretty sure Tranche1 can’t bomb anything, they were being retained for training and QRA, not sure if they’re still on QRA

Robert Blay

Global Britain isn’t about expanding our military. Making it more deployable, yes, new technology, yes. Global Britain is about trade, and doing business beyond the EU, not the return of Empire.


Indeed, but if you extend your trade links you need a more active foreign policy and that goes hand-in-hand with defence. Why else are we discussing “East of Suez”? Overall further cuts will not enable that foreign policy.


First the RAF drops humanitarian aid followed by years of bombing. You cannot combat terrorism with conventional weapons Live ammo training exercises anyone?

Steve R

And yet if it weren’t for Western air power in Iraq and Westerncand Russian air power in Syria, Daesh would have likely taken Baghdad and Damascus already.

Barry Larking

Near East. The Typhoon was over Iraq not Pakistan I presume?

The geographic terminology derives from the system used by British shipping companies. Near East (western Meditteranean or ‘the Levant’); Middle East (Persian Gulf and South Asia or India); Far East (Singapore and further off). Australia was just Australia. The term Mid East stems from U.S. media’s misunderstanding geography as seen from Blighty.