Tag Archives | RAF

Remembering the VC10

Just over two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to hitch a ride on the last ever operational sortie flown by the RAF’s veteran Vickers VC10s; a type which had first entered use with the service in 1966. My report on the farewell outing for the UK’s self-styled “Queen of the Skies” […]

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RAF ISTAR watch: a Shadowy arrival, and saving Sentinel

Punchily described as being the UK Royal Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) hub, the service’s Waddington base in Lincolnshire is a bit of a paradox. Located on a hilltop not far from the cathedral city of Lincoln, it’s currently home to three types: the Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control […]

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UK Rivet Joints – will the RAF get a new ‘Damien’?

During a visit to the Royal Air Force’s Waddington air base in Lincolnshire late last week, I was told that the service’s first RC-135W Rivet Joint will be touching down in the UK in October or November this year. To be operated by the personnel of 51 Sqn, the UK’s “RJs” will be identical in […]

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PICTURE: RAF stalwarts make Royal farewell

I was on a Eurostar train bound for Paris on Saturday at the same time as a flypast over central London, which coincided with the annual Trooping the Colour event and the Queen’s official birthday celebrations. That’s not something we’d normally cover on The DEW Line, but the array of Royal Air Force types on show included […]

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UK drone moan reaches home

As expected, the UK Ministry of Defence’s confirmation last week that some of its Reaper UAV missions in Afghanistan are now being piloted by personnel located at the Royal Air Force’s Waddington air base hasn’t pleased the anti-drone lobby. Saturday 27 April saw a first “Ground the Drones” protest march conducted near the Lincolnshire base, […]

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UK confirms SAR transition plan

For as long as I can remember, the Westland Sea King has been the UK’s key search and rescue asset, flown by steady-handed crews from the Royal Air Force (Crown Copyright image of a HAR3A example below) and Royal Navy. The type’s days were already numbered, with its retirement from use by the UK military […]

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617 Sqn’s Dam fine tail art

The UK Royal Air Force unveiled a specially-liveried Tornado GR4 from its world-famous 617 Sqn at Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 21 March, with its unique tail art commemorating the 70th anniversary of the unit’s formation – then flying the mighty Avro Lancaster pictured alongside it in this Crown Copyright image. Mid-May will bring the same […]

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Drone stats: how the UK has adjusted Reaper weapons use

Thanks to Chris Cole at the Drone Wars UK website for providing The DEW Line with the most detailed stats we’ve seen so far about the Royal Air Force’s use of armed Reapers in Afghanistan over the last half-decade. Here’s a Crown Copyright image showing one of the type on the ground at Kandahar airfield, […]

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Up close with a Grizzly; first flight on an A400M

The UK’s signature of two new contracts linked to its A400M acquisition prompted Airbus Military to fly development aircraft “Grizzly 4″ to the Royal Air Force’s Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire on 1 March. This was good news not only because it gave military types the opportunity to see inside the new-generation transport during an […]

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VIDEO: RAF puts Hawk T2 through its paces

Thanks to the good folks at the Royal Air Force’s 4 Sqn for putting together a punchy video showing their Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer in action. There’s some nice footage of the aircraft being put through its paces from the unit’s Valley home on Anglesey in locations including the nearby Pembrey Range and in […]

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