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RAF fighter pilot training situation is “unacceptable” for UK taxpayer, says industry official

14th March 2024 - 14:49 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Chief of the Air Staff air chief marshal Sir Richard Knighton said troubles with the Hawk T2 fleet and the training pipeline would persist for the next few years. (Photo: UK Crown Copyright/MoD)

While the head of the Royal Air Force admits the ongoing issues with the service's ability to train its fighter pilots, no concrete plans were put in place to resolve the problem. What steps could the RAF take to ensure the readiness of its pilot force for future challenges?

New reports on the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) fighter pilot training programme have found that the UK has spent an additional £55 million (US$70.5 million) on overseas programmes due to low domestic jet trainer availability. When broken down, this amounts to about £2 million per pilot, in addition to the roughly £5.4 million already spent on teaching each pilot in the UK.

“This is a situation which for the UK taxpayer is pretty unacceptable,” Tristan Crawford, CEO and founder of Aeralis, told Shephard. “Clearly, the UK taxpayer is paying for the Military Flight Training System (MFTS), and now it’s

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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