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Royal Air Force pilot training troubles not going away

16th August 2022 - 16:48 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


A substantial burden placed on the RAF is the UK’s commitment to training fast jet pilots from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The issue around the Royal Air Force’s fast jet pilot training is multifaceted with no quick fixes at hand. What is the UK not getting right?

A little more than a week ago, Sky News reported that it had seen documents proving the RAF’s flying training is still in a quandary, despite senior leaders being aware of the issues.

Problems with the pilot training pipeline can be traced back to 2011 when the RAF axed around a third of its trainee pilots and froze recruitments amid a £300 million defence spending cut. Reductions in spending also meant fewer assets and airframes across the force.

Around the same time, the delivery of F-35s began to the UK and in 2015 the RAF decided to reinstate many of the previously cancelled capabilities.

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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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