The Royal Air Force has announced that a second Hawk T2 squadron, 25(F) Squadron, is to be formed at RAF Valley, Anglesey later this year. The August 1, 2018 press release said the new squadron will provide Advanced Fast Jet Training (AFJT) for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots.
Previously, 25(F) Squadron operated the Tornado F3 at RAF Leeming, Yorkshire before being disbanded on April 4, 2008. The current Hawk T2 unit, 4(AC) Squadron, which presently lies the RAF’s entire leet of 28 Hawk T2s, and has been based at RAF Valley since 2010. Once 25(F) Squadron stands up, the leet of Hawk T2s will be shared with 4(AC) Squadron. There are no plans to buy additional Hawk T2 aircraft.
The RAF said the move was prompted by the increased demand for fast jet pilots to ly Typhoon and Lightning.
The fifirst of two planned new Typhoon squadrons, 12 Squadron, a joint UK-Qatari unit reformed at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire on July 24, 2018 and will be involved in air-policing over the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The second new Typhoon squadron, IX(B) Squadron, presently one of the RAF’s last two Tornado GR4 units, will stand up at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray in 2019.
The other current Tornado GR4 unit, 31 Squadron based at RAF Marham, Norfolk will become the first GA-ASI MQ-9B Protector unmanned aerial system (UAS) unit and will be based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It has not been announced when 31 Squadron will reform, but the first of 26 Protectors on order is scheduled to arrive in 2024.