A new aircraft type to Royal Air Force service is to be named the ‘Envoy IV’ in “a nod both to its crucial role in defence diplomacy and to previous Envoy aircraft in RAF service”.

The Royal Air Force say here that two new Dassault 900LX aircraft have been purchased to replace the BAe146 aircraft that were withdrawn from Service in March.

“The new Envoy aircraft will be based at RAF Northolt with No 32 (The Royal) Squadron, initially under contract with Centreline AV Ltd. For the first two years, the aircraft will be operated by mixed crews of RAF and Centreline staff, before upgrading to a full military and operational capability in 2024.”

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Strategy), was quoted as saying:

“I am delighted to be able to announce the naming of our new Command Support Air Transport aircraft as the Envoy IV. The name reflects our proud heritage, heralds the  arrival of a new aircraft type, and recognises its important mission. The fleet – and those who make it fly – play a key role in the future of UK Defence, moving quicky to build and strengthen partnerships, relationships and influence across the globe.”

You can read more on this from the RAF here.

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago

So these two, plus the 2 Titan aircraft, plus the Voyager if needed.
Sorted.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
5 days ago

Cessna Titan?… I hadn’t heard about that.

DMJ
DMJ
5 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

Airbus A320’s provided under contract by Titan Airways

wyn beynon
wyn beynon
5 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

ah, thanks

Dern
Dern
5 days ago

Another stealth cut though, 4×146 replaced by 2 airframes (and IMO the 146 was criminally under used).

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

And the 5 125s.

DMJ
DMJ
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Are you surprised given the hysteria of any govt figure flies anywhere

DMJ
DMJ
5 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

If not of

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

Yes because the 146’s had more mission sets than just VIP transport, including MedEvac and cargo. They should have been worked much harder than they where.

Nestor Mahkno
Nestor Mahkno
5 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

The majority of those flights are genuine and require a seperate plane, its only a few govt ministers who abuse their priviledge by taking their mates/mistress/rentboy on overseas jollies with them.

Sadly most of the public cannot understand that.

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
1 day ago
Reply to  Nestor Mahkno

I am “the public” and you are dead right.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

But old and expensive to operate.

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

What, the Government Ministers?

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
5 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

😂😂

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
1 day ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Public school boys and sexual deviants mainly.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 day ago
Reply to  stevethemanc

Its why they need whips.

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well pointed out Dern

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

4×146’s replaced with an A330, an A320 and 2 Dassault 900LX’s…

146’s were getting very old and cost a lot more to run (4 engines was a good idea in the 70’s but really not now) than the A320 and Dassaults/pretty much any decent modern biz jet. Queens flight stopped using the 146 years ago.

The Dassault is a really good bit of kit TBH: good range, very fast, very good climb performance and has got a fancy FLIR system (seen just below the cockpit windows) that is linked to the HUD so it can do full zero visibility landings.

Dern
Dern
5 days ago

The chartered AIrbuses are not replacements. Yes the 146’s needed replacing, but 2 airframes for 4 is still a cut. Queens flight stopped using the 146 yes but the airframes had a lot more practicality than just moving the Queen around, a small airframe, qualified for medevac and capable of moving small amounts of cargo is use full, as long as the joined up thinking is there, and in that context 4 airframes can be in 4 places, while 2 can’t.

James
James
1 day ago
Reply to  Dern

Any idea how often they got used for medevac and cargo transport?

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago

and a lonely single A109 Grand seeking companionship.

Lusty
Lusty
5 days ago

At least we received something!

Is this a case of it being a cut but not being a cut? Yes, a fall from four to two operated by the RAF, but we also have access to the Titan airframes. Okay, I know you can go even further back and the 146 airframes had a few additional uses, but still.. I’ll take this quite happily.

It will be nice to see them liveried up!

Last edited 5 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Yes, so will I. We have other things to worry about!

geoff
geoff
5 days ago

MorningDaniele. 24 degrees in Durbs today but 19 and rain tomorrow! Humiliating that our Important ones have to travel in a French Jet!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff. Rain here in Surrey, been lovely all week til now.

I know, but humiliating in a tongue in cheek way only for me as why not, if it is a good bit of kit.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago

I know Daniele-same here. i secretly love ‘mes amis francaise’😂

Darren hall
Darren hall
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

or just a sign of ”buy foreign” because we sold our industries down the river…

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago

Do it needs to be a 3 engine plane?

Coll
Coll
6 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Redundancy because of the VIPs it will be carrying?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
5 days ago
Reply to  Coll

The Voyager is twin engined: unless I missed (a) engine(s)!!!!?

I assume it was what was on the market at the time at a good price during the surfeit of planes caused by COVIC?

Coll
Coll
21 hours ago

And the RAF Voyager is more expensive to operate. Also, the BAE 146 had 4 engines.

Last edited 20 hours ago by Coll
dan
dan
5 days ago
Reply to  Coll

That might have been true decades ago but 2 engine jets are just as reliable as 3 engines ones. Just look at the commercial airline fleets. Don’t see too many DC-10s or L1011s anymore.

Coll
Coll
21 hours ago
Reply to  dan

And this Dassault 900LX isn’t a DC-10 or L1011 with Trent turbofan engines. Also, the BAE 146 had 4 engines.

Last edited 21 hours ago by Coll
Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

The 146’s it replaces are 4 engined…

geoff
geoff
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I think it doos Alex

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago

So why wasn’t the Bombardier Global 6000 chosen?

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Runway length at Northolt. The Global 5000 or 5500 would have been fine though. I do wonder if 32 sqn could also do with a KingAir 360 for shorter hops.

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

is that the factor though as I understand 32 sqn is operating A321 from Northolt?

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I suspect the A321 will be taking off, only lightly loaded at Northolt. You can get larger, in or out of Northolt, but only lightly loaded. Fully loaded you are limited to Global5500 or ACJ220-100.

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Thank you John – have a good weekend,

Hashmagandy
Hashmagandy
5 days ago

Putin flies in one.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
5 days ago

It will need gold toilet seats – like the one in Johnsonski’s No10 flat, paid for by one of his Russian associates. Oh and solid platinum cigar humidors

dan
dan
5 days ago

Not the prettiest jet I’ve ever seen. lol

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
5 days ago

Does anyone know what the BAE 146 and 125 were called when in service? Did they have a name as most aircraft do?

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Unsure about the BAE 146. I do know the SAAF used the VIP HS125 under the name Mercurius. The RAF Navigator trainer version was known as the Dominie.

Thunderbird167
Thunderbird167
5 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

The VIP 146 was the Statesman

No name for the 125

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Thunderbird167

Thanks Thunderbird

Lord Ralph L Sherlock
Lord Ralph L Sherlock
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

125′ were named “Dominie

David Charles
David Charles
4 days ago

No the Dominie was a specialist navigation trainer. The VIP aircraft never used the Dominie name

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Never heard or read of one with the 32Sqn ones apart from K’s ref to the nav versions with 55R.

Mr A C Simpson
Mr A C Simpson
5 days ago

We bought french aircraft? (I refuse to capitalise the word).

nonsense
nonsense
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr A C Simpson

I like this mention

Nestor Mahkno
Nestor Mahkno
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr A C Simpson

Yes we bought French aircraft as no british airplane was up to the task.

The Scottish, Welsh and english countries do not make any planes good enough apparently.

Good day sir.

Sean the real Sean
Sean the real Sean
5 days ago
Reply to  Nestor Mahkno

I dont so much hate the french as find them all effeminate , especially the men , if France had actually spoken a Germanic language they might have been as industrious and Heroic as the Anglish .

Nestor Mahkno
Nestor Mahkno
3 days ago

Not to be obtuse, they tried speaking German for a few years but felt it didnt suit them…

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  Nestor Mahkno

Does the Bombardier Global still have parts made by Shorts in Belfast? If so, the Global 5500 would have been a better choice, but probably over budget.

Coll
Coll
20 hours ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I think the Belfast Bombardier sold that facility which was bought by Spirit Aerospace.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 minutes ago
Reply to  Coll

Yes, but did Spirit carry on making Bombardier Global bits in Belfast?

geoff
geoff
5 days ago

Slightly off topic but with the list of things we can’t say these days such as Man, Woman,Dwarf etc., surely time to change the antiquated and demeaning(to us peasants) term VIP? I always thought Important Person would suffice but some even think we now need VVIP with the advent of the Super Rich and Oligarchs? So a middle order millionaire Director or Mayor of a town such as say Hastings, might qualify as a VIP(puh) but Bill Gates has to be a VVIP or even maybe an EIP(Extreeemely Important Person!! What you think Lads, Lasses, Non-Binaries?

nonsense
nonsense
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

i like this

Nestor Mahkno
Nestor Mahkno
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

You woke people are feckin wyrd.

Jon
Jon
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

We are not peasants. We are VUPs.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

😂

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Not Very Deplorable People?

Chris
Chris
4 days ago
Reply to  geoff

No person from Hastings could be considered a VIP.

bill masen
bill masen
5 days ago

More money wasted on VIP taxis

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  bill masen

Why? Most other nations have many more, would you have HM The Queen travel by Ryan Air?

magwitch
magwitch
5 days ago

She’s 96. She isn’t going to be flying anywhere.

Angus
Angus
5 days ago
Reply to  magwitch

And still working harder than most. So why can’t she fly?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  magwitch

That was not my point. Her age is irrelevant.

bill masen
bill masen
5 days ago

regular airline is more than enough

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  bill masen

Respectfully disagree. Security. Flexibility. Sudden need to relocate without fitting in with airlines or charter as you say below. Secure communications. Need to relocate IF the situation demands to a secure location without involvement from civilian airlines. This could apply to any VVIP and senior commanders nor just HM. It is a bit like expecting The Queen to live in a 3 bed semi in Surbiton, which the communists, republicans and assorted loony left with chips on shoulders all require. She is the the Queen, Queens don’t do that. I have no problem with that being a Monarchist. Likewise the… Read more »

Dern
Dern
5 days ago

The 146’s also had more jobs than just VIP transport as well, so it’s not like their ONLY job was moving the Queen about.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Agreed, 2 more aquired were in theatre in the gulf.

It is a cut, the reason I will take it is I worried it would be yet another gapped capability or just contracted COMO aircraft.

So buying 2 and eventually having all as military operated I will take it. Some were even suggesting Northolt should be closed, after MODEL and all the money spent on it…🙄

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  bill masen

Would you rather a war started as our foreign secretary & diplomats were stuck waiting for Ryannair & missed the peace talks?

bill masen
bill masen
5 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Utter rubbish, if there was a crisis they can charter a jet in five minutes. These things are just very expensive taxis unneeded by our military

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago
Reply to  bill masen

Does your chartered jet have secure communications? Was it bugged just before it picks up UK delegation? Does it have defences against Manpads? Can it hang around while negotiations go on, or is it hired out elsewhere & has to leave?

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Precisely John.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

And…..yawning silence in reply.

Coll
Coll
20 hours ago
Reply to  bill masen

Good job the A321lr isn’t RAF. You don’t have a clue.

bill masen
bill masen
5 days ago

Scheduled BA is enough for our useless pen pushers and faux VIPs

Email Ittome
Email Ittome
4 days ago

Bit surprising they didn’t go with Bombardier Global Express, aircraft Sentinal R1 was based on, you would think RAF still had the people and parts that serviced that particular plane. If governments like to save money, you would think they would look for commonality. Really bad optics when high ranking UK officials arrives in a French Jet trying to sell UK technology. Since France and UK companies usually compete for same military contracts and Canada doesn’t, why give the French any marketing edge. Additionally, Rolls Royce engines on Global Express. Even the next version of the Falcon will be using… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 day ago
Reply to  Email Ittome

Bombardier Global 5500 would have been perfect for operating out of Northolt, but probably over the limited budget.

nonsense
nonsense
4 days ago

Liz Truss hasn’t been working very well lately.

I regret agreeing to purchase this plane for a high-ranking official.

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
1 day ago

RAF VIP? Not good for morale I think. Put them in a C17 like all our other boys and girls,

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 day ago
Reply to  stevethemanc

We have only got 8 C-17 & they are far too important to carry idiot politicians. Besides 4x 43000lb thrust engines is excessive fuel consumption when you can get away with 3x 6000lb thrust instead.