Red Arrows Hawk aircraft

Roles of the Red Arrows

Representing and showcasing the skills and values of the Royal Air Force

Protecting our skies

The Red Arrows are part of the wider Royal Air Force and the team is a great reminder of the dedication and talented people found across the Service. Indeed, members of the Squadron have served on operational units, whether they be fast jet or helicopters, strategic transport or intelligence-gathering aircraft. Their backgrounds hint at the wide range of tasks the Royal Air Force performs today and is prepared for. As an example, the pilots have completed operational tours in Afghanistan and Libya, or been part of the Quick Reaction Alert in the UK and Falkland Islands, protecting our skies.

Supporting British industry

Supporting British Industry

Being renowned both at home and overseas, the team and the excellence it invokes reinforces the reputation of the UK and the country’s people and equipment. The Red Arrows fly BAE Systems’ Hawk T1, which is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, and this technical expertise is crucial to the team’s success.

Assisting in defence diplomacy

Defence diplomacy

Displays by the Red Arrows are one of the ways the UK strengthens its relationships abroad, benefitting defence and prosperity. The team provides the UK, as the Royal Air Force does, with a great ability and option to promote and support the country’s interests – diplomatically, industrially and militarily. The Red Arrows have, by the end of the 2016 season, displayed in 57 countries worldwide. The 2016 Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tour was a great example of how the Red Arrows represent the UK far away from home. The nine-week, 20,000-mile deployment visited 17 countries and drew a global audience of a billion people - seeing the team display in China for the first time.

Aiding recruitment for the UK Armed Forces


The team are members of the Armed Forces and are proud to represent the UK. Many of the pilots and other members of the Squadron joined the Royal Air Force as a direct result of seeing the Red Arrows perform as children.

Like us on Facebook

Text size: