UK DEFENCE Secretary Sir Michael Fallon confirmed on November 1, that the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatic team is to re-equip with new aircraft. He said that the team’s current Hawk T1s are in need of replacement and a decision will be made within the next two years. Fallon said that it is too early at this stage to say what type of aircraft will replace them.
The announcement came on the same day as the team performed its first ever public display in China, on the first day of Airshow China in Zhuhai. This brings the number of countries in which the team has performed to 57, since their opening season in 1965, when they flew the Folland Gnat T1.
Defence cutbacks in recent years have led to continuing speculation that the team could be axed. Today’s announcement allays these fears and secures their future for some time to come. Fallon said: “I don’t think the public would let us lose the Red Arrows.”