Aircrew Weapons System Operator CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As a Weapon Systems Operator you will manage the sensors and weapons of a particular aircraft during operational missions, whilst at the same time gathering intelligence and supporting forces on the ground.

Full-time regular Spare time reserve

Learn more about this role

Minimum Average Pay Over Your First Year £17,000+ + Benefits

Pay after Specialist Training £32,700+ + Benefits

DAY RATES: DAY RATES ARE DEPENDENT ON ROLE, RANK AND EXPERIENCE

Is this for you?

APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be aged 17.5 - 32 years old (Must attest before 33rd birthday)
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C/4 or SNE at Grade 5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/SNE 5 in English and Maths and at least three other subjects.
  • Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality
  • Pass the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Aircraft
  • Analysis and maths
  • Travelling the world

APPLICANTS MUST:

  • Be aged 18 – 54 years old
  • Qualified ex-military personnel
  • Be a UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth citizen
  • Commit to 27 days per year
  • Pass the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

GREAT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN:

  • Aircraft
  • Analysis and maths
  • Travelling the world

Locations

602 Sqn Glasgow

VIEW ALL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • As a Rotary Wing (RW) crewman you could be deploying troops and cargo, assisting with aircraft navigation, manning the weapon systems or helping to keep your aircraft serviceable.
  • As an Multi-Engine (ME) Air Loadmaster you could be looking after troops and cargo going all over the world, ensuring compliance with international aviation regulations, monitoring air-to-air refuelling systems, or dispatching troops and cargo for airborne delivery.
  • In the Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) role you will be responsible for the radar and surveillance systems, and operating cutting-edge technology on the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft in service with the RAF.

Your tasks as a Weapon Systems Operator include load and cargo restraint, management of troops, operating cutting edge surveillance technology or manning the defensive weapon systems. Weapon Systems Operators play a vital role in protecting the security of the UK and our allies. Flying will be your life - whether you work in an air transport role or on-board reconnaissance aircraft. The Weapon Systems Operator roles are as follows:

• Weapon Systems Operators (ISR) is responsible for the manipulation of complex sensor suites and communications equipment to derive tactical and strategic intelligence to support the war fighter and military commanders.

• Weapon Systems Operators (Crewman/Air Loadmaster) are responsible for assisting in the operation of complex Air Mobility and Support Helicopter transport aircraft to ensure the effective delivery of their payloads to support the war fighter and military commanders.

WHY JOIN THE RAF?

Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

Salary
Benefits Salary
Civilian Role
RAF Role
  • Rent from £75p/m
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Health care
  • World travel
  • 6 weeks holiday

See All Benefits

WHY JOIN THE RESERVES?

The skills you acquire as a Reserve won’t just prepare you for the RAF, they will enhance your work and civilian life.

You might be called up to assist with our operations worldwide for up to six months, during which you may be able to claim a pay award to cover your and your employer’s costs.

  • Training
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Paid pension
  • Paid holiday

See All Benefits

Initial Training

Your career will start with the 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment.  As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.  Following Recruit Training, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew & Controller Initial Training Course (NCACITC) at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This 11-week course is designed to develop your leadership and management skills in an air minded context. It includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

You can find out more information about the NCACITC here.

Specialist Training

WSOp Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR).  If streamed (ISR) you will undergo a 12-week foundation phase. On completion you will be streamed to either the WSOp Electonic Warfare (EW) or WSOp Acoustics (Aco) specialisation.

WSOp (ISR) Electronic Warfare (EW). You will complete a 20 week EW course that will include Synthetic Training and a Flying Training phase at RNAS Culdrose. On completion, you will be assigned to either RAF Waddington or RAF Lossiemouth to complete an Operational Conversion Course of up to 6 months on the aircraft to which you have been streamed. This could be the RC-135 Rivet Joint, Reaper, Sentinel, Shadow, E3D Sentry or P8 Poseidon aircraft .

WSOp (ISR) Acoustics (Aco).  You will complete a 20 week Acoustic Analysis course that will include Synthetic Training. On completion, you will be assigned to RAF Lossiemouth to complete an Operational Conversion Course of up to 6 months on the P8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft.

WSOp Rotary Wing (RW) Crewman. You will complete 56 weeks of training at RAF Shawbury. This will cover all aspects of the Rotary Wing Crewman role. You will learn the basics, on the EC-135 Juno helicopter before progressing to advanced crewman training on the EC-145 Jupiter helicopter. Once complete you will be streamed to either the Chinook or Puma helicopter fleets where you will be assigned to RAF Benson to complete an Operational Conversion Course of up to 6 months.

WSOp Multi Engine (ME) Air Loadmaster.  You will remain at RAFC Cranwell and complete a 31 week training package. This is split into a 5.2 week Military Aiviation Ground School (MAGS) theory phase followed by a 25 week practical and flying phase where you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a Multi Engine Air Loadmaster. On completion you will be streamed to one of the RAF’s transport platforms. You could be a Mission Systems Operator (MSO) on Voyager, monitoring air-to-air refuelling, or an Air Loadmaster on the Bae146, C17, C130 or A400M fleets. Once steamed you will complete the relevant Operational Conversion Course of up to 6 months.

FOUNDATION TOURS

For your first tour you will be posted to a flying station in the UK.  During this tour you will be in an operational and training role, probably involving frequent overseas detachments.  There will be other more experienced Weapon Systems Operators to help  to.develop your skills and knowledge.

YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS

You will join the RAF as an airman under an initial 12 year engagement.  Following several years service, you will be eligible to apply for an extension of service to complete a pension earning engagement of 20 years service or age 40, whichever is the later, during this time.  You will hold the rank of acting Sergeant during your professional training.  Once you start your front-line job, and you are assessed as being capable of operating independently, you will be promoted to substantive Sergeant.  Further promotion to the rank of Flight Sergeant and beyond is by competitive selection.

ONGOING DEVELOPMENT

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. There are opportunities to undertake management and leadership training and you can also study for A-levels or a degree as your career develops.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

The skills and experience you gain throughout your career as a Weapon Systems Operator could equip you for a number of civilian jobs, including: crewman on a civilian helicopter; air cargo specialist, air surveillance specialist and management roles.

COMMITMENT AND LOCATION

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.

Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

ALL APPLICANTS MUST:

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality.

Be between 17.5 and 32 years old. (Must attest before 33rd birthday)

ALL APPLICANTS MUST:

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or holder of dual UK/other nationality.

Be between 18 and 54 years old.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5
Three other subjects C Grade 4 Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom since birth and must not hold (and must never have held) any nationality or citizenship (including joint nationality) other than British or that of a British Overseas Territory.

Whether or not you were born in the UK, you should have resided there for the 10 years immediately preceding your application but candidates with a minimum of 7 years will be considered.

Following the Home Office announcement that the UK Armed Forces will now be able to recruit commonwealth citizens without the 5 year residency requirement, please note that the RAF continues to apply standard residency requirements for security clearance,  ie, DV employment requires 7-years UK residency immediately prior to enlistment; SC requires 3-years. 

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course.
How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender.

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26

 

FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

BEFORE YOUR APPLICATION:

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:

Age

Male and female minimum

Male and female maximum

Male maximum with additional assessment

Female maximum with additional assessment

18 +

18

28

32

30

16 to < 18

17

27

27

27

  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

DURING YOUR APPLICATION:

The Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance

DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. All tattoos must not be visible above the neck collar or below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5
Three other subjects C Grade 4 Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through a Pre-joining Fitness Test. 
How fit you need to be to pass this test can vary depending on role, age and gender.

 

MALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run (Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12.00 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-49 12.54 7.07 16 23
50-54 13.27 7.01 15 20
FEMALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run(Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-49 15.19 5.04 6 20
50-54 15.53 4.09 5 17

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

BEFORE YOUR APPLICATION:

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:

Calculate your BMI now, click here.

  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

BEFORE YOUR APPLICATION:

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:

Age

Male and female minimum

Male and female maximum

Male maximum with additional assessment

Female maximum with additional assessment

18 +

18

28

32

30

16 to < 18

17

27

27

27

  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance

DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. All tattoos must not be visible above the neck collar or below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information contact your local AFCO.

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Regular

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Reserve