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british special forces » uksf aviation

UKSF Aviation

Air support for UKSF operations is provided by some highly trained pilots from all branches of the UK military.

RAF Special Forces Flights

RAF Special Forces are the cream of the RAF, tasked with flying UKSF forces to and from battle. Trained to penetrate deep behind enemy lines, RAF Special Forces flights operate both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

7 Squadron (Chinook helicopters) »

47 Squadron (C-130 hercules planes) »

Army Air Corps (AAC)

Army pilots fly battlefield insertion/extraction and surveillance operations for UKSF. They also provide a covert transport facility for the Special Air Service.

658 Squadron (SAS helicopter support) »

657 Squadron (Lynx AH7 helicopters) »

651 Squadron (Defender 4S AL.1 fixed wing aircraft) »

7 Squadron RAF, 657, 658 & 651 Squadron AAC are combined into the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW)

Commando Helicopter Force

Top pilots from the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm support Royal Marines, SBS and other UKSF operations.

Commando Helicopter Force »

Other Aviation Support

UKSF, as well as the Paras and Royal Marines may also be supported by any of the many squadrons in the RAF, AAC or Fleet Air Arm. For instance, it is believed that 4 RAF Puma HC1s, operated by No 33 & No 230 Squadrons RAF, supported SAS Task Force Black in Iraq.

more info : 33 & 230 Squadron RAF - UKSF Support

It has also been reported that a flight within No 78 Squadron RAF, operating Merlin HC3A helicopters, have been earmarked for special operations.

It is also believed that UK Special Forces are sometimes supported by British-operated MI-8/MI-17 helicopters. These Russian-built helicopters are fitted with western radio gear and countermeasure systems, additional armour and GPMGs mounted in the cabin doors. UKSF use the MI-17s for several reasons: there's a shortage of helicopters capable of operating across the mountains of Afghanistan, the ubiquitous MI-17 airframe is less obviously Western in appearance than say, a Chinook, and spare parts are easy to find in the region.

read news report on UKSF using foreign helicopters

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