7 March
The European Helicopter Industries Merlin HC3 is delivered to No.28 Squadron
at RAF Benson.

11 April
RAF Nordhorm range in Germany is closed.

23 May
The Boeing C17 Globemaster III is formally accepted into Royal Air Force
service, with No.99 Squadron.

Ultra Electronic’s Replacement Acoustic Processor (RAP) enters service
on the Nimrod MR2 fleet.

The first pair of uprated Adour 106 engines is delivered for service with
the Royal Air Force’s Jaguar fleet.

30 June
Squadron Leader Justin Paines becomes the first Royal Air Force pilot
to fly the Lockheed Martin F35B.

17 July
No.28 Squadron is officially reformed at RAF Benson.

18 July
Following engineering modifications, a Concorde flies to RAF Brize Norton
to begin flight trials prior to its re-introduction into service with
British Airways and Air France.

10 August
A Royal Air Force (RAF) Panavia Tornado GR4 attacks Iraqi air defence
locations in co-operation with United States Air Force (USAF) units.

21 August
No.31 Squadron Panavia Tornados, the last permanently German based Royal
Air Force unit, leaves RAF Bruggen.

September – October
Operation Saif Sareea II: a combined, joint exercise involving United
Kingdom and Omani forces takes place in Oman. ‘Saif Sareea II’
was more than three years in the planning and is the most complete test
to date of the United Kingdom’s Joint Rapid Reaction Forces. The
operation involves the following resources:

  • 24,000 United Kingdom personnel
  • 12,000 Omani personnel
  • 12 Panavia Tornado GR4
  • 12 Tornado F3
  • 8 Harrier GR7
  • 8 Puma HC1
  • 4 Chinook HC2
  • 2 Boeing E-3D Sentry
  • 3 Nimrod MR2
  • 3 Vickers VC10 tankers
  • 4 C-130 Hercules

Post September
The Royal Air Force provides tanker and reconnaissance support to the
allied coalition, in the war in Afghanistan.