One of the oldest squadrons in the Royal Air Force is to be re-equipped with the latest Typhoon jets, it has been announced.
The move is part of a transformation of the RAF’s combat air capability which will see the battle proven, Tornado GR4 aircraft replaced by state-of-the-art Typhoon and F35B Lightning II fighters.
Number II (Army Co-operation) Squadron, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, celebrated 100 years of service in 2012 and is currently training for its next tour of duty in Afghanistan flying Tornado jets early next year.
After that, the unit will begin the process of swapping its Tornados for Eurofighter Typhoons and transfer to its new base at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.
The move was announced by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, who said the change was part of the planned realignment of the RAF’s long serving, Tornado Force, under which all GR4s will leave the service by 2019.
He said: “Number II (AC) Sqn has the distinction of being one of the oldest fixed-wing flying squadrons in the world, having formed in 1912.
“Since being equipped with Tornado aircraft in 1989 it has served with distinction on operations in Libya, the Balkans and Iraq and will complete its final tour of duty in Afghanistan in early 2014.
“I can announce that it will formally disband as a Tornado Squadron on 31 March 2015 and will re-equip to form a new frontline Typhoon Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth the next day on 1 April 2015.”
“I am sure that Number II (AC) Squadron’s valuable contribution to operations throughout its long and distinguished history will continue as it helps maintain the strong traditions of RAF Lossiemouth as a main operating base for the RAF into the future.”
The newly reformed II (AC) Squadron will be the fifth frontline RAF Typhoon Squadron.