The government have announced that the life of Typhoon is to be extended into 2040 and that two additional squadrons will be created, giving a total of 7 front-line squadrons.

“We will be extending the life of our multirole Typhoon for 10 extra years through to 2040, meaning we will be able to create 2 additional squadrons. This will give us a total of 7 frontline squadrons, consisting of around 12 aircraft per squadron. We will also invest in their ground attack capability and fit them with a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar to ensure they can continue to operate in hostile environments in the future.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Dunne, said previously that the Ministry of Defence had been reviewing its earlier decision to retire 53 Tranche 1 Typhoon combat aircraft in 2018.

Asked by Toby Perkins:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the consequences for the UK’s capability of the retirement in 2018 of the 53 Typhoon aircraft purchased in tranche 1; and if he will reverse this decision in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Strategic Review.”

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Dunne answered:

“The Ministry of Defence is reviewing the potential utility of all its current platforms, including its fleet of Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft, as part of the ongoing Strategic Defence and Security Review. Where there is clear merit in extending the life of existing equipment in terms of both military utility and value-for-money, the opportunity to do so will be considered in the context of the wider Review. It is therefore not appropriate to anticipate decisions on the Typhoon Tranche 1, or other capabilities, that have not yet been made.”

The RAF currently field 192 combat aircraft, made up of 87 Tornados; 53 Tranche 1 Typhoons; and 52 Tranche 2 and Tranche 3A Typhoons, deliveries of which are ongoing.


  1. More Hoorahs … along with the (eventual) full fleet of F35s to be bought, P8s and new Protector fleet the UK will once again have a combat aircraft fleet that is not only high tech but of a reasonable size to keep us up in tbe big league.

  2. David,
    Really, you don’t think we will end up with an ageing fleet. Older Tranche 1 air that are dubious in that they can not survive in a BVR environment without significant upgrades. A slow march towards F35 which is a Harrier Replacement, the best option of the series, but still a Harrier replacement.
    The cost of these jets will in turn erode further the mass of the RN, and stop any chance of a meaningful upgrade or replacement of Challenger.
    Hoorah, not sure until time allows us to see detail. I am sure you are one who understands “the devil is in the detail”. At what cost?

  3. Manston Airport in East Kent would make an ideal launch pad for an extended RAF. It has an extremely wide and long runway, isn’t currently in use and is strategically well positioned. SAR also have the desire to be based there. Exsiting Mess facilities exist at the nearby MOD Fire Training Establishment.

  4. Christmas comes early for the UK. Perhaps the gloomy Gus’ will feel better now. I had a feeling things would turn upward, considering all the austerity measure and missteps of recent years. Time will tell if all the “promises” pan out. I suspect they mostly will. These press releases aren’t given lightly.

  5. Just to be clear, is this 7 front-line Typhoon squadrons, not 7 front-line FJ squadrons? I am assuming by 2023 there will be around 3 front-line squadrons of F35B, giving the UK at least 10 front-line FJ squadrons.

  6. This seems to suggest that tranche 2 and even tranche 1 aircraft will get escan? I’ve only ever seen word that tranche 3a would be getting the radar upgrade, as they have been built with provision for the new radar, or am i interpreting it wrong. They are politicians after all.

  7. Bring back RAF Wattisham. It is close to London for potential Terrorist threats and had for many years been a Fighter Station!

  8. Whilst I personally would like to See RAF Coltishall brought back into service as would many thousands of others who served at that fantastic RAF Station – It wouldnt be practical – the runway has or is being ripped up for hard core for the new norwich by pass – there is also a High Security prison in situ now using the accommodation blocks – the hangers are BER – Royal Air Force Leeming has always been the preferred choice of RAF Chiefs and preparations and upgrades have been and are being made to the Station in preparation for the arrival of the new Typhoons and possibly a Squadron of T35 Lightnings MK2 – I also wouldnt dismiss the use of RAF Scampton either – Also RAF Lyneham ( still under MOD control) is a possibility it has a nice long well maintained runway and infrastructure I am sure the powers that be have looked at all options and I would think the RAF Chiefs will have a few plans in place too.

  9. To little to late, if the armed forces had not been run down so much over the last 10 years, there would be no need to create or re activate Sqn’s or is that just me?


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