Aircrew Weapons System Operator CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As a Weapon Systems Officer 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

Pay during Training £15,200+ + 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
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English and Mathematics and 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 Support Helicopter (SH) 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 Air Mobility (AM) crewman 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) is 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 alongside all the RAF ground Trades with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course (BTRC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. You will learn about life in the RAF as well as undertake both military and fitness training.

NCACITC

Following Basic Recruit Training, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew & Controller Initial Training Course (NCACITC) at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This is an 11-week aviation minded course designed to develop your leadership and management skills and includes fitness development. The course builds on the basics learnt at BTRC and provides the necessary leadership skills required to produce credible, motivated, physically and mentally robust Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO).
You can find out more information about the NCACITC here.

Aircrew Training

After graduation, you will complete a week-long survival package and be fitted for your flying equipment during an Aviation Medicine week at RAF Henlow. Once complete you will start your aviation-specific training starting with Generic training.

Generic Training

Generic training is 14 weeks long and takes place on 45 Sqn at RAFC Cranwell. The course comprises of theory, simulator and practical exercises. You will be assessed throughout this course on a wide range of subjects from Meteorology to Radar Theory and Aircraft structures. At the end of this course, you will then be streamed to Electronic Warfare, Rotary or Fixed Wing.

Specialist Training

WSOp Support Helicopters (SH) – If streamed SH you will complete an 11-month helicopter training package at RAF Shawbury  which will cover all aspects of the rotary crewman role. You will learn the basics of operating on the Squirrel Helicopter and then advanced crewman responsibilities on the Griffin helicopters of 60 Sqn including voice marshalling, navigation, night flying and cargo and passenger regulations. Once complete you will be awarded your flying brevet and be streamed to either our Chinook or Puma helicopter fleets.  You will then be posted to 28 Sqn RAF Benson to complete the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). This training will introduce you to either the Chinook or Puma and get you to a Limited Combat Ready (LCR) standard whereby you will be then posted to a frontline Sqn for your first tour where you could find yourself on exercises and operations around the world transporting troops and cargo around the front line.

WSOp Air Mobility (AM) - If streamed AM you will remain at RAFC Cranwell on 45 Sqn and complete a 20-week training package. This is split into a 10-week theory and practical phase and a 10-week flying phase. Throughout the course, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a fixed-wing crewman. This will include dangerous goods management, passenger and cargo regulations, loading and restraint principles and standard operating practices. On completion of this course, you will be streamed to one of the RAF’s fixed-wing platforms. You could be an MSO on Voyager dealing with air to air refuelling, or a crewman on the Bae146, C17, C130 or A400M fleets. Whichever way you are streamed you will complete the relevant OCU on a frontline Sqn after which you could find yourself transporting passengers and freight over long distances across the world and also within operational areas.

 

WSOp Intelligence, Surveillence Reconnaissance (ISR) - If streamed as ISR you will undertake a 20-week Training Phase that includes a 4-week Synthetic Training Phase and 9 weeks of Flying and Simulation Training at RNAS Culdrose. On completion of this phase, you will be assigned to RAF Waddington to complete an Operational Conversion Unit of up to 6 months on the aircraft to which you have been streamed. This could be the RC-135 Rivet Joint, Reaper, Sentinel or Sentry E3D aircraft.

Foundation Tour

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, involving frequent overseas detachments. There will be other more experienced Weapon Systems Operators to help develop your skills and knowledge.

Your Career Prospects

You will join the RAF as an airman under an initial 12-year engagement. Following 4 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  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. As you will have completed Generic training you will be eligible to request a career change to another WSOp specialisation once you have completed at least 1 tour on your chosen type. 

Ongoing Development

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. There are opportunities to undertake training in further aircrew skills, leadership and management training, and to qualify as an instructor. There are also opportunities to continue with further educational qualifications, including degrees, 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; translator or interpreter, as well as a host of management roles. The aircrew training courses you complete will qualify you for awards in leadership and management through the ILM and CIL.

More details +

FOUNDATION TOURS

After Engineer Officer Foundation Training (Aerosystems), you will have the skills and knowledge to lead and manage large teams of highly skilled technicians within a military airworthiness environment. There is a diverse range of employment opportunities for you following training, however, typically you will be responsible for leading an engineering department responsible for providing mission critical equipment in support of the frontline aircraft. In this role you will be responsible for the optimum performance of the department, which will include making technical decisions, prioritising tasks and ensuring all engineering practices are maintained to the highest standard at all times. Following this tour you will likely move to a ‘frontline’ role where you will be directly responsible for maintaining the airworthiness of an aircraft type, such as the Junior Engineer on a Typhoon, C17 or Chinook support helicopter squadron.

 

YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS

Within your first or second tours you will be promoted to Flight Lieutenant and given extra responsibility. As your career progresses you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of different roles and environments; building on your experience as you progress. For example following a ‘frontline’ tour where you were directly responsible for the airworthiness of an aircraft platform you may progress in to a Project Team responsible for supporting that platform and introducing modifications and enhancements. Following further promotions you could be responsible for leading that Project Team or being the lead engineer for a platform or station. Throughout your career as an engineer officer and professional engineer, you will hold a great deal of responsibility and your opinion and knowledge will be highly regarded. With the introduction of fourth and fifth generation aircraft our engineers need to remain current with new and evolving technology and therefore there are opportunities to specialise and/or develop your knowledge through further study as you progress through your career.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

Much of our in-house training is accredited and/or recognised by external awarding bodies.  For engineers, we encourage and have developed a streamline route with various Professional Engineering Institutes for those looking to obtain their Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

There are numerous opportunities for both professional and personal development throughout your career; this may be an MSc/MBA from the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, using your Standard or Enhanced Learning Credits for courses which are of benefit to the RAF, or – if your specific role requires – a year’s Master’s degree at a UK university in a specialist topic.  Furthermore, as you are promoted you will receive further leadership and management training to match your responsibilities.

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.

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

 

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

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

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years may be considered.

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 9.1 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

 

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