Welcome to the XV Squadron website.
XV Squadron has over 280 permanent personnel, and up to 40 aircrew students at any one time, making it the largest and busiest fast jet squadron in the Royal Air Force. As the Tornado GR4 Operational Conversion Unit its main commitment is to the training of Pilots and Weapon Systems Operators before sending them onto front-line squadrons.
The Tornado GR4 is a multi role ground attack and reconnaissance platform. It is capable of performing a variety of day and night, all-weather operations. These include: Airborne Interdiction using precision ground attack munitions; Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defences; Close Air Support for coalition troops; Air-to-Air refuelling and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The Tornado GR4 is currently deployed on operations over Iraq in support of Operation TELIC and it is due to replace the Harrier GR9 in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK in the summer of 2009.
XV Squadron teaches ab-initio aircrew straight from their advanced flying training at RAF Valley and RAF Leeming, as well as conducting Refresher Courses for experienced operators returning back to the Tornado GR4 following other tours of duty; additionally, XV Squadron undertakes Fast Jet Cross Over training for pilots and weapons systems operators converting across to the Tornado GR4 from other fast jet aircraft and the Squadron also trains aircrew officers from other nations Air Forces who are posted to the UK on an overseas 2-3 year ‘exchange tour’ flying the Tornado GR4 with the Royal Air Force.
XV Squadron also conducts post-graduate courses. The Squadron is the home to the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course, the Electronic Warfare Instructor Course and the Instrument Rating Examiner Course; each of these courses provides advanced qualifications to front line aircrew. Additionally, XV Squadron provides both aircrew and ground crew support to RAF operations around the globe when required.