Royal Air Force

Article

January 26, 2022

The Royal Air Force or Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air arm of the United Kingdom's armed forces. It is the oldest independent air force in the world. It was created on April 1, 1918, during World War I, by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Since then, it has played an important role in British military history, especially in World War II. In that conflict, during the Battle of Britain, the RAF had great defensive importance. Despite the numerical superiority of the Nazis, the British managed to face them, due to a secret weapon: the radar. They thus caused some 2,500 deaths in the Luftwaffe, destroyed 1,887 German aircraft, and lost 544 men and 1,547 aircraft. At that time, the Spitfire fighters, which faced the German escort fighters, and the Hurricanes, in charge of shooting down the bombers, were of great importance. Radar lessened the need for patrol flights, so RAF fighters could concentrate to attack them. Later, together with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), he played a leading role in the bombings on the European continent and in the battles over Germany that ended up destroying Hitler's air force. More recently, it has served in Iraq and continues to serve in other war zones, being one of the most modern air forces in the world. The RAF has over 1,000 aircraft and, in 2007, 45,710 regular personnel. Today the RAF has as attack and offensive support aircraft the Tornado GR4, Harrier GR9 and Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 fighters. Air defense and airborne early warning aircraft are the Eurofighter Typhoon F2 and Tornado F3. The reconnaissance aircraft are the Sentry AEW1, Nimrod R1, Sentinel R1 and MQ-9 Reaper.

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UK Armed Forces

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