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Alpha Jet In RAF Service?  
User currently offlineLN-ATC From Norway, joined Jul 2001, 62 posts, RR: 3
Posted (12 years 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 6941 times:

I came across this photo:

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Photo © B Condon

Why do RAF have Alpha Jets, what is "wrong" with the Hawk? Is it being used for some sort of testing?

Anders Presterud, Stavanger, Norway
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 6898 times:

RAF has no Alpha Jets in service, at least not squadron service.

As you can clearly see there are no squadron markings or subunit identifier number anywhere, which means it's not part of any unit...

That makes it private or RAE, maybe BAe systems operates it as a testbed for something (under UK law all aircraft capable of operating weapons systems must use the military register).

This looks like an ex-German aircraft.

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLN-ATC From Norway, joined Jul 2001, 62 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 6885 times:

ZJ650 (cn 1035) is ex 41+35 and 98+35 (Luftwaffe). There seem to be a total of twelve Alpha Jets wearing ZJ serials.

All according to: http://www.ukserials.fsnet.co.uk.

Anders Presterud, Stavanger, Norway
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13602 posts, RR: 76
Reply 3, posted (12 years 3 months 2 hours ago) and read 6857 times:

They are used for testing and trials work, replacing aircraft like Hunters a few years back, at the same time as the RAF had no Hawks to spare.
Some kind of leasing deal with the Alpha Jets, no doubt claiming to be cheaper than buying a new batch of Hawks, though a completely new spares/support network for this unfamiliar type in UK service must have cost some.

User currently offlineContact_tower From Norway, joined Sep 2001, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6890 times:

It's not an RAF aircraft, but rather owned by QinetiQ.

"It comprises the greater part of DERA, the British Government's "Defence Evaluation and Research Agency". Until July 2001, DERA was an agency of the UK Ministry of Defence, incorporating the bulk of the MoD's non-nuclear research, technology and test and evaluation establishments. It then split into two organisations, DSTL and QinetiQ Group plc. DSTL remains part of the MOD and continues to handle the most sensitive areas of research.


As I recall, QinetiQ got a killer deal on the ex GAF Alpha Jets.

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