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UK Royal Air Force announces retirement destinations of its BAe146 fleet

The BAe146 has been in service with the Royal Air Force since 1983. (BAE Systems)

The UK Royal Air Force announced on 21 January that of its remaining four BAe146 aircraft, the two BAe146 Mk2 will go to museums in the UK and the two BAe146 Mk3 aircraft have been acquired by a civilian operator. The aircraft will be flown to their respective retirement locations over the next few weeks. The RAF said of the two Mk2 aircraft, one would be delivered to the air museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and the other, to the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan.

The RAF announced in October 2021 that it would replace its BAe146 in the VIP transport role with a pair of executive aircraft. The winning bid under Phase one of the GBP80 million “Command Support Air Transport Recapitalisation” (CSAT RECAP) contract is expected to be announced later this year. Under phase one, the Ministry of Defence will own the executive jets and these will be leased back to the chosen operator, which will provide servicing, support, and aircrew. Under the first phase a cadre of RAF aircrew would be trained to operate the jets and the aircraft would be operated on the Civil Aircraft Register. Under a second subsequent phase of the CSAT RECAP project, commencing in 2024, the aircraft would undergo “military modifications” and the RAF would take over their operation.

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