E-3D, C-130J and BAE 146 among the aircraft axed in latest Integrated Defence Review are about to be put on sale.
In March 2021, the UK’s Government published an Integrated Defence Review that introduced several significant changes to the British military. For what concerns the Royal Air Force, in order to achieve its goals, both in the short, mid and long term, the service was “forced” to make some cuts, retiring equipment that has increasingly limited utility as well as rationalising older fleets to improve efficiency.
The first aircraft to be retired will be the E-3D Sentry AEW Mk1, which will be completely retired this year ahead of its replacement with the E-7 Wedgetail in 2023. One Sentry was retired in August this year, after flying its final operational sortie as part of the counter-Daesh Op Shader in July. Its return to RAF Waddington, home of the 8 Squadron, from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, was the latest and last deployment since 2015.
Other aircraft to be retired are the BAe146 operated by the No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron for VIP and transport flights and planned for Mar. 31, 2022, and the C-130 Hercules whose retirement is scheduled for 2023.
Dealing with the helicopters, among the types that will be retired, there are the Puma, the Gazelle as well as the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters currently in the fleet.
To prepare the sale of these aircraft and a bunch of other equipment (including some frigates, fast patrol vessels and tactical vehicles), on Sept. 6, 2021, the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the organisation within the UK Ministry of Defence that is responsible for managing the sale and transfer of surplus Armed Forces military equipment, has published an interesting brochure that some key details about the weapons system that is going to be retired and put on the market for those customers interested in “high quality, combat proven military capability direct from the UK defence inventory as a cost effective alternative to buying new.”
You can find the brochure here.
By the way, the brochure doesn’t list the older Tranche 1 Typhoons, which according to the Defence Review will leave the RAF by 2025, and the Hawk T1 trainers, that are going to be retired (and possibly sold) in the near future. Maybe they will be included in a next edition of the sales brochure.
H/T to our friend @Saint1Mil for the heads-up!
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.