LN-ATC
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 2:54 am

Alpha Jet In RAF Service?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:06 am

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
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Alpha Jet In RAF Service?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:11 am

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
 
LN-ATC
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 2:54 am

RE: Alpha Jet In RAF Service?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:44 am

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
 
GDB
Posts: 12700
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Alpha Jet In RAF Service?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:07 am

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.
 
Contact_tower
Posts: 534
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:05 am

RE: Alpha Jet In RAF Service?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:27 pm

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.

http://www.qinetiq.com/

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


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