RAF to launch Top Gun unit

Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo

The RAF is to set up an elite Top Gun-style squadron to hone the dogfighting skills of its fighter pilots.

After two decades of mainly carrying out bombing missions against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, commanders have decided pilots need to boost their aerial combat skills to counter any potential threat from new Russian fighters that patrol Syria and eastern Europe.

The move is part of the expansion of the RAF’s fleet of Typhoon jets, from five to seven squadrons, announced last November.

Read my article in full on the Sunday Times web site (subscription required for full story)

About Tim Ripley 33 Articles
Tim Ripley has been writing on defence issues since 1990, for a wide range of British and international publications. He has reported from conflict zones in the Balkans and Middle East, as well as major defence and aerospace industry exhibitions around the world. Recent assignments include the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, the Farnborough, Paris, Dubai and Singapore Airshows, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, The Hague war crimes tribunal and the Pentagon in Washington DC. His news reporting and features have appeared in the mainstream news media (The Sunday Telegraph, The Economist, The Scotsman) as well as specialist defence publications (Jane's Defence Weekly, Jane's Intelligence Review, Jane's Sentinel, Air Forces Monthly, Air International, Defence Helicopter, Unmanned Vehicles, Flight International, Flight Daily News, World Air Power Journal, International Air Power Review)

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