The table offers a detailed summary of the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s current fleet, organised by type of aircraft, encompassing jets, propellers, rotorcraft, gliders, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

For each type, the role, introduction year, and the number presently in service are specified. The RAF’s fleet features a mix of aircraft, including multi-role fighters such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the stealth Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning, specialised aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR), alongside tankers, transports, and trainers.

Additionally, the table includes aggregate counts for fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and UAV platforms.

TypeClassRoleIntroducedIn Service
Eurofighter TyphoonJetMulti-role2007137
Lockheed Martin F-35B LightningJetStealth Multi-role201334
Boeing E-7 Wedgetail AEW.1JetAW&C20220
Beechcraft Shadow R.1PropellerISTAR20096
Boeing RC-135W Rivet JointJetSIGINT20133
Boeing P-8 Poseidon MRA.1JetASW/Anti-ship20199
Airbus VoyagerJetTanker / Transport201114
Boeing C-17A Globemaster IIIJetTransport20018
Airbus A400M Atlas C.1PropellerTransport201422
Dassault Envoy IV CC.1JetTransport20222
Leonardo AW109SPRotorcraftTransport20161
Boeing ChinookRotorcraftTransport198057
Westland/Airbus Helicopters Puma HC.2RotorcraftTransport1971/201314
Airbus H145 Jupiter HC.2RotorcraftTransport20246
Airbus H135 Juno HT.1RotorcraftTrainer201829
Airbus H145 Jupiter HT.1RotorcraftTrainer20187
BAE Systems Hawk T.2JetJet trainer200928
Beechcraft Texan T1PropellerTrainer201814
Embraer Phenom T.1JetTrainer20185
Grob Prefect T.1PropellerTrainer201822
Grob Tutor T.1PropellerTrainer199991
Grob Viking T.1GliderTrainer199052
General Atomics MQ-9A ReaperUAVISR / Attack20079
Protector RG1UAVISR / Attack20231
British Aerospace Hawk T.1 (RAF Red Arrows)JetTrainer198012
Total Fixed-Wing347
Total Rotary-Wing114
Total UAVs10

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

It’s important to note that the aircraft listed in this table are part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and are not operationally deployed. They are maintained and flown to commemorate the RAF’s pivotal role in World War II, particularly during the Battle of Britain.

TypeClassRoleIntroducedIn Service
Avro Lancaster (PA474)PropellerHeavy bomber19421
de Havilland Canada ChipmunkPropellerTrainer19462
Douglas DakotaPropellerTransport19421
Hawker HurricanePropellerFighter19372
Supermarine SpitfirePropellerFighter19386
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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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frank
frank
15 days ago

Well that’s not true is it…. 137 Typhoons ? 34 F35b’s ? … we might actually own them but we most certainly don’t operate them. At least we have a Heavy Bomber and 6 Spitfires though…… Would be comforting to know they could keep HMS Victory safe in times of war……….. (look, don’t bother coming at me, you know it’s mostly just sarcasm). But then again 🤔😃

Meirion X
Meirion X
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

“Well that’s not true is it…. 137 Typhoons ?”

Yes, it is true, until next year, that is when 28 T1’s will be withdrawn from service.

A portion of the fleet will be a wartime reserve.
Not sure does the RAF exercise the war reserve crews regularly?

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion X
Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

How many operational & serviceable aircraft should be the question. Up to a 25% percent could be affected by service / breakdown issues. 40 Typhoons with ECRS 2 / P4E is woefully inadequate

Meirion X
Meirion X
15 days ago

Yes, the T2’s should be upgraded to ECRS2/P4E standard.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

But you missed the next sentence ……

MattW
MattW
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

How many of these are Typhoon-shaped collections of spare parts?

I’d suggest that the 137 claim is deloberately deceptive,

MT1
MT1
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

We don’t have a war time reserve, aircraft not with front line Squadrons will be in maintenance or will be an attritional reserve. There are no reserve crews for them, in the Cold War the OCUs had Shadow Squadron numbers and would have activated as combat Squadrons. Aircrew instructing on types like Hawk/Tucano would likely have gone back to the operational type they were on before instructing. TWU Hawks and Red Arrows would have been used as emergency air defence possibly in mixed formations with Phantoms or Tornados.

Graham M
Graham M
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I doubt the RAF has war reserve crews. Never heard that before.

dc647
dc647
15 days ago

Not enough

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  dc647

Isn’t that just the truth!

maurice10
maurice10
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Several senior military people from several nations are warning about the increasing possibility of a war in Europe beyond the Ukraine border. This being the case, the UK contribution may be enough if combined with other NATO and non-Nato partners. If however, in the event of such an engagement without a unified European component, then we may all be in danger. The US will step up to the plate even with a Trump presidency, but it might be tempered by US public opposition? The current vacuum of concern shown by Westminster is puzzling and Churchill will be turning in his… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Absolutely 👍

Larry
Larry
15 days ago

The airframe inventory of the Royal Air Force in 1989 consisted of the following aircraft:[12] Combat aircraft * 229x Tornado GR1 / GR1A — additional 26x GR1 on order * 165x Tornado F2 / F3 — additional 15x F3 on order * 100+ Phantom FG1 / FGR2 * 14x Phantom F-4J(UK) F3 * 100+ Jaguar GR1 / GR1A / T2 * 80+ Harrier GR3 / T4 * 94x Harrier GR5 / GR7 — deliveries ongoing * 65+ Buccaneer S2B * 36x Nimrod MR2 Special mission * 3x Nimrod Nimrod R1 * 6x Avro Shackleton AEW2 * Sentry AEW1 — 7x… Read more »

Marked
Marked
15 days ago
Reply to  Larry

Back in the day it was an air force not a defence force.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Today’s air force would eclipse the air force of the early 90s. Capability trumps airframe numbers every single time.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Larry

Any yet today’s fleet would eclipse that fleet in capability.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

At what point in the continuous cuts in numbers will you actually worry ?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Modern air warfare isn’t about simple numbers anymore. Of those nations with superior numbers, how many are actually operational, what can they actually do with them. How many can fly a 3000 mile round trip, hit targets with pin point accuracy in any weather day or night and return home fully supported. Not many. Future mass will come from drones. The manned version of Tempest will be in small numbers, If it happens. Every conflict since the end of the cold War we have been part of a large coalition. Russia over Ukraine has demonstrated its air force is pretty… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Did you not see that recent “documentary” Top Gun Maverick? A 1970’s F14 takes out a 5th gen.
I fear limiting ourselves to so few aircraft will result in us being overwhelmed, no matter how far superior we hope thay are. Complacency has large, sharp teeth that bite us on the backside.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
14 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

But who is going to overwhelm us? Russia hasn’t managed to overwhelm Ukraine with its very limited airforce.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Larry

Now that’s what I call an Air force ,looking at the list brings tears to the eye to what we have now 😪 🇬🇧

steve
steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Larry

interesting how the proportion of the fleet that are trainers has grown since 1989. I’d have thought with modern tech and simulators the proportion of trainers would have reduced over time?

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
15 days ago
Reply to  steve

Yes, it appears that the number and/or mix of types of fixed wing RAF training aircraft may be out of kilter compared to the fleet size and fast jet training requirements, with training aircraft accounting for more than half (53%) or 184 out of the 347 current RAF fixed wing airframes in inventory. It is interesting to compare the ratio and type of training aircraft used by the RAF and RAAF with their respective fast jet combat aircraft fleet (say around 2025 when numbers have stabilized for both air forces – RAF minus Tranche 1 Typhoon but including final Tranche… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
15 days ago
Reply to  Larry

Wow good info, makes you realise what we did have in the past! However numbers do matter of course but so does capability, and modern platforms are way more capable! But, there is always a minimum number by which you cannot go below and I believe we are there! For example 4 Typhoons may be able to replicate the ability of say 16 Tornadoes, but those 4 Typhoons are still only 4!

Graham M
Graham M
13 days ago
Reply to  Larry

Those figures reflect the Cold War fleet; it was inevitably much larger. The bigger question is how far the numbers fell over the years since ‘right-sizing’ for the post Cold War era was achieved by the Options for Change defence review.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago

Nowhere near enough!!!

Jim
Jim
15 days ago

Yes, it’s depressing. We should be aiming to operate 400 fast jets which was what was outlined before Cameron and Osborne started chopping.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes, but that is not accurate, Jim.
By the time Cameron and Osborne came in 2010 we had already fallen from 30 plus fast jet Sqns from 1989 to just 12. In 1997 there were around 23.
12 Sqns don’t have 400 fast jets!
But yes, they still took a cleaver to it, for which they will never be forgiven.
Unfortunately, Joe public care not a jot and are mostly unaware unless they are ex military so have an interest or people like us here.

Steve R
Steve R
10 days ago

Even 12 squadrons would be great right now.

8 Typhoon and 4 F-35, or 7/5 even.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I always wonder how them Gentleman sleep at night , after making them cut specially now we have war in Europe .All three services have still not recovered and now it’s starting to show 😞

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

They sleep fine because its really not a problem for them, doesn’t affect a significant amount of votes for them.

MattW
MattW
15 days ago

Without reading the article, I’m referring you to Paul Daniels.

Not a lot …. not a lot !

(I will now read the article.)

(How many more F35s could we afford if we had bought CV90s not Ajax, for example?)

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  MattW

Fair point 🤔

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
7 days ago
Reply to  MattW

Or bought the better variant, and built a carrier that could launch proper aircraft, and catch them

Coll
Coll
15 days ago

Isn’t the Grob 115e owned by Babcock?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Quite a few of those aircraft are COMO, Contractor Owned, military operated. They’ve thrown gliders in too.

Coll
Coll
14 days ago

Babcock owns and operates them on behalf of the MOD.

Airborne
Airborne
15 days ago

Are we down to 14 Pumas? I know they are planned to be replaced but 14 seems low! Ah, but if only 14 remain then the replacement numbers can be reduced but at the same time the politicians can say a 1 for1 replacement (along with a few other rotary platforms I am aware of) Daniele will know the numbers but maybe 40-45 platforms replaced by 25 or less?

Gary
Gary
15 days ago

That cant be all. It mentions Reaper and Protector but no other UAV or large drones.
Watchkeeper?

MT1
MT1
15 days ago
Reply to  Gary

Watchkeeper and other small drones will be with the Army.

geoff
geoff
15 days ago

Notwithstanding the quality, the tiny number on the front line is truly shocking! In addition this includes an FAA sharing!! With the UK’s defence budget up in the top ten I am sure I am not alone in being totally mystified by it all.

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff

I fear a lot of the budget is simply corruptly profit-mined by the big defence companies who many of our so called repesentatives & leaders have shares in. That’s why we have a huge budget but a tiny forces.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
12 days ago

This table is interesting but my ADS-B transponder watching suggest there are a minimum of 83 Typhoon airframes active in the past 4 months but more interestingly I’ve added 2 Hawks to the tally this week so that in fact 21 different Hawk airframes have been flying in the past 4 months, which suggests that well over half are in fact available – but of course we know that the engine problems are still there… but being sorted? All but 1 Atlas have been seen on radar in the past 4 months, and their work rate is high. Engine problems… Read more »