Tuesday, September 26

What Is Royal Airforce and What Do They Do?

Royal Airforce
Royal Airforce by raf. mod

‍The Royal Airforce is the branch of the British Armed Forces that operate aircraft and flying training. The RAF has four main roles: Strike, Support, Mobility, and Responsive Reform. These roles are further subdivided into eight core functions: Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Navigation; Space; Maintenance; Logistics; Electrical Operations; Personnel Management, and Training.

In addition to these specific roles, the RAF also has a wide variety of other duties assigned to it by the government. The Royal Airforce was formed on 1 April 1918 as the home component of the Royal Flying Corps. It was initially tasked with defending Britain from aerial attack during World War One.

Today, however, the RAF’s primary focus is on providing military air support for British forces around the world. This includes deployment against hostile forces in war zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan as well as peacekeeping operations in countries such as India or Somalia.

Responsibilities of the Royal Airforce

The primary responsibility of the Royal Airforce is to support the British Army in its operations around the world. This includes providing airlift services to move personnel and equipment, surveillance and reconnaissance operations to collect information on enemy positions, escort operations to defend friendly forces from attack, and Strike operations to destroy enemy targets.

The Royal Airforce also has several non-operational roles. It is responsible for the security of British airspace and running the Air Traffic Control system as well as providing search and rescue services for civilian aircraft in distress. The RAF also oversees the training of all aircrew as well as air traffic personnel.

The Royal Airforce also plays a significant role in British society. Its aircraft are often used to transport senior government officials including the Prime Minister and the Queen. The RAF also provides air shows and public exhibitions that educate the public about aviation and the work of the RAF.

The Core Functions of the Royal Airforce

 60th Anniversary for Royal Air Force Falcons
 60th Anniversary for Royal Air Force Falcons by raf. mod

These are the core functions of the Royal Airforce.


Gathering information about enemy positions and activities. This can be either in the form of imagery or information on radio frequencies or other electronic signals. This information can then be communicated to friendly forces as part of a combined effort.


Analysis of information collected in the reconnaissance function. This includes identifying patterns in the enemy’s behavior, determining their strengths and weaknesses, and forecasting future actions.

Surveillance and Reconnaissance:

Combining the reconnaissance and intelligence functions. In this case, a single aircraft or satellite would simultaneously collect both information and analyze it.

This could be as simple as an aircraft flying a specific pattern to collect imagery from different angles or using onboard sensors to record radio traffic or other electromagnetic emissions.

Determining the position of both friendly and enemy forces. This function is closely related to the intelligence function in that it can be used to identify patterns in the enemy’s behavior or predict future actions.

However, it does not involve any analysis of the information collected. Navigational information can be communicated to friendly forces in real-time via data links such as GPS or INUs.


The use of satellites to collect imagery or electromagnetic emissions. This can be performed by a single satellite or a constellation of satellites working together. Space capability is also used to perform navigational functions.


The operation of facilities to repair damaged or broken aircraft as well as other equipment such as ground vehicles or computer systems. This function is closely related to logistics.


The operation of facilities to supply troops in the field with fuel, ammunition, and spare parts for their vehicles and equipment.

While maintenance is focused on repairing damage, logistics is focused on preventing damage in the first place. The two functions often work together to repair damaged equipment and then redistribute it to other units.

Electrical Operations:

The operation of all electrical systems onboard aircraft such as the communications systems and onboard computers. This includes performing maintenance on these systems as well as training operators.

Personnel Management:

The operation of facilities to recruit and train all members of the Royal Airforce. This includes everything from hiring new personnel to providing on-the-job training.

Responsive Reform Function

This function is intended to reform the way the Royal Airforce conducts its operations. The RAF has faced significant criticism in recent years over a number of operational failures and scandals. This includes the loss of a $2 billion airborne surveillance program known as the Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft in the 1980s and the loss of a $3 billion unmanned surveillance aircraft in the 2000s as well as a scandal involving the misuse of maintenance funds by senior officers.

The RAF has responded to these issues by assigning specific individuals or teams to analyze each branch and operation to identify areas for improvement. This can involve redesigning existing processes or procedures as well as abandoning existing assets that are no longer cost-effective.


The Royal Airforce has been a significant part of British life for almost a century. It has evolved over the years from a small group of pilots defending Britain against aerial attack to a full branch of the British Armed Forces with global responsibilities.

While it has seen significant periods of change, the Royal Airforce has remained an essential part of the British government’s defense strategy. Now that you know more about the Royal Airforce, you can appreciate the role they play in British society. You can also follow their progress as they adapt to new challenges and threats in a rapidly-changing world.

Also, read about U.S. Air Force and Some Facts Which Will Blow your Mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *