Future of the RAF


The Royal Air Force Development Plan is the means through which Transformation is managed.

The AFBSC 2-star group has ownership and maintains oversight of the Development Plan, reporting progress annually to the AFBSC.

The Royal Airforce Development Plan

The Development Plan sets out the key objectives on the Royal Air Force Strategic Themes out to the Defence Planning horizon (20 years). An explanation of how the Royal Air Force Strategy is articulated in the Development Plan; with oversight is shown below:

The Strategy Framework

The development of the RAF is to be coordinated within a framework described by the RAF Strategy. Within the RAF Strategy, Chief of the Air Staff’s (CAS) Vision and the Future Air and Space Operational Concept (FASOC) beacon represent the ‘ENDS’ or outcomes that are sought out to 2025. The 8 Strategic Themes described by the RAF Strategy, and illustrated below, represents the ‘WAYS’ or paths that will ensure actions are directed coherently towards the Ends.

The RAF Development Plan incorporates CAS’s Strategic Priorities and converts RAF [link not available] into Tasks. It does so through prioritised Development Objectives that articulate those intermediate outcomes within the Strategic Themes that will enable the Service to secure the ‘MEANS’ needed for implementation of the Strategy.

The Purpose of the Development Plan

The execution of the RAF Development Plan sits within the Strategy Battle Rhythm, and is the mechanism that enables Executive direction over the conversion of RAF Strategy into Tasks. Its purpose is to ensure a coherent approach in the pursuit of developing air power capability for Defence; in so doing, it provides focus on the priorities within the Plan and, importantly, it creates alignment on a range of issues throughout the RAF. The relationship between the Services, Policy and force development activities, and the MOD organisation, means that the RAF Development Plan will be used for 2 main purposes: first, to focus RAF resources on development tasks; and second, to influence future MOD planning rounds by

  • Ensuring that the Policy, Concepts, Force Development and Equipment Capability communities understand the contribution that air power can make to Defence and the opportunities that exist for future force planning.
  • Ensuring that the RAF community understands in detail the contribution that air power can make to Defence and the RAF sponsored priorities for development of that capability.
  • Enabling RAF staff involved in future capability work to act as convincing advocates for air power who can consistently and coherently represent the RAF position in respect of developmental direction and priorities.

The Development Plan in Action

Action Plans. Each Strategic Theme has an Action Plan. Action Plans list and provide deadlines for specific Delivery Objectives and Tasks, which will move the RAF towards CAS’ Vision and FASOC. These may include the production of concepts, definitions and baseline analysis, process adjustments potentially including modification to training, changes in application of Standard Operating Procedures and Tactical Training Plans, and reviews and activities that support Short Term Plan/Equipment Plan submissions. Action Plans will be endorsed by the Air Force Board Standing Committee (AFBSC) 2* Executive Group.

AFBSC 2* Executive Group.The AFBSC 2* Executive Group has ownership and maintains oversight of the Development Plan. Collectively, the Executive Group will prioritize Development Plan Tasks and decide on strategic resource issues in order to maintain coherence. The AFBSC 2* Executive Group has assigned Action Plans to nominated Sponsoring Officers at 2* level. Sponsoring Officers will be required to report progress against the Action Plans to the 2* Executive Group. The 2* Executive Group will report overall progress against the Development Plan to the AFBSC including recommendations for action necessary to resolve conflicts and resource priorities. Progress reporting will take the form of an ability to complete a specified Action Plan task by an agreed date.

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