The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced a new squadron for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) latest Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.

Based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, the Number 2 (Army Co-operation) Squadron becomes the fifth front line squadron to swap its Tornado GR4 fighters for Eurofighter Typhoons, and will transfer them to its new base at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

The squadron personnel are currently training for their final tour of duty, which will see them flying Tornado jets in Afghanistan, in early 2014.

Armed Forces state minister Mark Francois said the squadron will formally disband as a Tornado squadron on 31 March 2015, and will re-equip to form a new front line Typhoon squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth, on 1 April 2015.

”I am sure that Number 2 (AC) Squadron’s valuable contribution to operations throughout its long and distinguished history will continue as it helps maintain the strong traditions of RAF Lossiemouth as a main operating base for the RAF into the future,” Francois said.

"The squadron personnel are currently training for their final tour of duty, which will see them flying Tornado jets in Afghanistan."

The move forms part of the planned realignment of the RAF’s long-serving Tornado force, which seeks decommissioning of all GR4s by 2019, and subsequent replacement by Typhoon and F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

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Formed in 1912, the Number 2 (AC) Squadron was equipped with Tornados in 1989, and has served on operations in Libya, the Balkans and Iraq.

Manufactured by a consortium of EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE, the Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter designed for deployment during air operations, including air policing, peace support and high-intensity conflict missions worldwide.

Image: An RAF Number 2 (Army Co-operation) Squadron Tornado fighter during operations in Afghanistan. Photo: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown ©.

Defence Technology